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In 1973 Alan Benton, (the hog smoker) realized he’d made the wrong career choice as a college guidance counselor. He heard that his neighbor was selling his ham curing business, so he sat with him under a maple tree to see if he could take it over. Today he produces the best ham and bacon in the United States, an intoxicating combination of pork, salt, smoke, brown sugar, and time. He never intended to make a substantial living out of it, it was supposed to simply be a way of life, with the single goal to produce exquisite hams and bacons. Now, he can’t make it fast enough. “We count our blessings every night,” he says, “because this happened in spite of us not because of us.” You can read more about Alan in my book “Food Heroes.”



  • JT
    Posted August 28, 2009 at 10:05 am

    Dude, I’ll never forget when you added this bacon to a beef stew. I’m still thinking about it.

  • TK
    Posted August 28, 2009 at 10:49 am


  • Peter Gabriel
    Posted August 28, 2009 at 11:06 am

    The first time I tasted Benton’s bacon was at Momofuku. David Chang was raving about it. As a long-time vegetarian/vegan, I was leery, but eventually relented. I was in Hog Heaven. The next thing I knew I was ordering a palette of the stuff for New Years.

  • BRubio
    Posted September 10, 2009 at 9:16 am

    I finally tried Benton’s bacon and cannot believe how delicious it is. I think I am going to become addicted.

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