Value for money: rashers


This week, Value for Money compares four widely-available varieties of rashers

Marks & Spencer Dry Cured Bacon

€3.99 for 240g, €16.62 per kg

This is a new product on the M&S shelves and is the only bacon to come from outdoor bred (British) pork. Maybe it was all that running around or maybe M&S are more careful when it comes to trimming but there is hardly a pick of fat on any of the 16 slices and each is commendably meaty. The bacon has been, the packaging tells us, hand rubbed with rock salt although we think whoever was doing the rubbing may have lost the run of themselves as the end result is almost overpoweringly salty. They are also the dearest of the bunch.

VERDICT: Nice, pricey

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Glensallagh Streaky Bacon, Lidl

€1.49 for 250g, €5.96 per kg

This streaky bacon to be found in Lidl won a Gold at the Great Taste awards in Britain last week and was described by the judging panel as being “close to perfection”. After eating a couple of slices we are inclined to agree. It is old-school streaky bacon with a perfect amount of fat, salty but not excessively so, and it crisps up beautifully. The packaging is a tiny bit problematic and once opened is next to impossible to reseal but that’s really about its only failing.

VERDICT: Excellent

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Galtee Streaky Bacon

€3.99 for 260g, €15.34 per kg

“Lower price”, the manufacturers claim but they’d really want to lower it a whole lot more if it is to come close to competing with the Lidl offering and despite the absence of hand rubbed rock salt and outdoor bred pork, it is almost the same price as the M&S rashers. The rashers were slightly thicker than competition but there was a lot of shrinkage during the frying process and there was an awful lot of grease left behind in the pan.

VERDICT: Overpriced

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Tesco Pale Streaky Rashers

€2.30 for 250g, €9.20 per kg

These are the only rashers to come with a hint of rind which lends them a pleasing crunch when properly fried. They are fairly competitively priced and Tesco has sourced the pork from Irish farms which is to its credit. While these rashers taste okay, they lack anything by way of a standout feature except perhaps saltiness — we could practically feel our blood pressure spike as we ate these.

VERDICT: Very salty but fine

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