Monday, September 09, 2013

This Little Piggie

The enthusiasm for all things bacon is still running high, as far as I can tell, around the blogosphere. Although I need to keep my consumption to a minimum, I do love the flavor and crunch of bacon.

In Sebastopol, in Sonoma County, CA, part of the West County in fact, there is a new foodie haven called The Barlow. Since I've been familiar with Sebastopol for decades, I can tell you that The Barlow area used to be Barlow's cannery. That was from the ancient past when Sebastopol was the central point for the cultivation and harvest of the lovely Gravenstein apple, now a Slow Food apple. Gravensteins are not keepers. They tend to turn to mush over time, as I found out when I tried to store a box of them over the winter during our first year in the area. Best to beat them to it and turn them into some of the best applesauce you'll ever have. Hence the Barlow's cannery operation.

With the inroads that grapes for wine have made in Sonoma County, the acreage planted in Gravensteins (or any apple, really) has fallen off and the cannery has been closed for years.

Now it has been transformed into an area for both retail and wholesale distribution of coffee, wine, beer, bread and baked goods, and...bacon.

Last week I had lunch at Zazu Kitchen and Farm in The Barlow and my friend and I had a yummy pizza that had bacon, but also a delicious artisan crust, slivers of fresh basil and some fresh and toothsome corn, as well as a nice, thin layer of intensely tomato flavored tomato sauceand a nice, light hand with the cheese. I think it was cooked in a wood fired oven, so the crust was crunchy in places and overall the dish was delightful. They also sell the Black Pig bacon used on the pizza. In fact it is made right there at the Barlow.

New establishments are opening every week, so if you happen to be in the area or live in the Bay Area and want to take a day trip, come see The Barlow, especially Zazu before it becomes too crowded to enjoy.

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