Well saddle up in that rockin’ chair over there, and I’ll pour you a long glass of iced tea for our debate.  I know you’ll be thirsty, because we’re talking about something salty.  No, not that.  Sheesh.  Breakfast pork.  Our debate is, what is your favorite pork product for breakfast?

I know you can get all three in the country sampler at Cracker Barrel, and even though CB does a good job, I want to make the distinction between a bought breakfast and a home cooked breakfast.  You see, I was in Nashville this weekend for the Titans smackdown of the Broncos, and we spent the night with my in-laws the night before.  To say my mother-in-law cooks well is like saying Da Vinci painted well.  She is a country culinary arteest.  We had eggs, country ham, and biscuits.  For the biscuits we had a choice of gravy, honey, or homemade blackberry preserves.  Man, I’m going to have to either get me a bib or a plastic covering for my keyboard when I write about cooking.  Anyway, I smelled the country ham from the other end of the house and thought, “Yep, it’s going to be a good day.”

The thing is, I love all pork.  Specifically, I love bacon, sausage, and country ham for breakfast.  So I got to debating with myself on which is better. 

Bacon is light and has a texture that can be hard and chewy at the same time.  It can be cooked to varying degrees of doneness so everyone gets it cooked the way they like it.  You can stack it on a biscuit, and it doesn’t overpower anything else you may put on there, like eggs or cheese.

Sausage can be tricked out with seasoning, and it has both patty and link options.  I like patties myself, as that’s what I grew up on, but links are good too.  You can also make a great biscuit with sausage, but it does tend to be the main focus when it is stacked with other ingredients.  You also can’t really under or over cook sausage, or you’ll either get food poisoning or a hockey puck.  Neither of these is a great option.

My choice is country ham.  I love country ham.  My wife doesn’t like it overly salty, but I like it so salty that it makes your jaw sieze up when you bite into it.  I also like it so crisp it’s almost burnt, which ain’t an easy feat given the thickness of the ham.

My grandfather had a smokehouse in the back yard where he salted and smoked hams.  When you walked into the building, the smell of pork goodness permeated the air.  You could see where the floor was discolored from years of hanging the hams from the rafters and the salt and juices dripped on the floor.  Now if you’ve never been around this type of thing you’re probably thinking it’s gross.  I’ll agree that it sounds that way, but there ain’t nothing better with eggs and biscuits than a good salty piece of country ham.

My parents still live in the house my grandfather built, and they eventually had to tear down the smokehouse.  The deer in the area would literally kick in the planks from the sides of the smokehouse so they could lick the salt from the floor.  It was that good.

So, what’s your favorite breakfast pork?  I’m open to debate here.  So I’ll pour you another glass of iced tea to wash that salt down with.  Tell us all your thoughts.

Until next time. ~clink~