Pig’s head before grilling. Photo by Kelly S. Kurt
There’s a strip of belly in my hand that somebody cured into bacon where I shift my attention. I observe it long enough to salivate, then bite: It crunches magnificently, like a Heath bar. The balance of meat to fat is remarkably on the side of meat, for the strip is wine-dark, laced off-white with fat. I am too young, too unproven, to define the flavor, having grown up in the city, eating the packaged strips that Oscar-Mayer had stripped of all distinction. My mother’s father slew and smoked hogs ten yards from his kitchen door. My mother tossed our salads with Bacos. I am staggering in the middle path, seeking the lost flavor of a long-ago truth on an unsure, unsung tongue.