Posted December 10, 2018
Tender Belly is a purveyor of superior pork products including bacon, slab bacon, smoked bacon, dry-rubbed bacon and spiral-cut ham.
WE'VE ALWAYS BELIEVED THAT IF YOU'RE GOING TO DO SOMETHING, YOU SHOULD PUT IN THE EFFORT TO MAKE IT BETTER. AND THAT THERE ARE LOTS OF PEOPLE OUT THERE WHO FEEL THE SAME WAY WE DO.
It was this thinking that inspired us to start a company that stands for more than things we sell. We wanted to build a brand that stands for better. A commitment to doing things our way, even if it's the hard way, as long as the result is a superior product. And that's always looking for new ways to bring more to the table. If our Tender Belly name is on it, it has our stamp of approval. A promise that no corners have been cut. That every choice we make, partner we choose and product we sell is subject to our tireless commitment to better. Always better. Because to us, there's just no other way.
What Makes our Bacon Best, the Tender Belly Difference
Certified Awesome – The Tender Belly Difference: Our passion for doing things better now extends to all cuts of pork and beyond. Certified AWESOME! That's what we call it. A pursuit of excellence in everything we sell. We set our standards high. And when something doesn't rise up to meet them, it's not good enough for us. Plain and simple.
OUR COMMITMENT TO QUALITY STARTS WITH OUR HERITAGE HOGS, MEANING HOGS WITH GOOD GENES FROM LONG, DOCUMENTED BLOODLINES. OUR TWO MAIN BREEDS ARE KNOWN FOR THEIR EXCELLENT TASTE AND TENDERNESS.
BERKSHIRE Pigs. The flavor and texture of Berkshire pork is what sets it apart from other breeds. It's best described as having a distinctive, rich, buttery taste with unparalleled juiciness, tenderness and depth of flavor.
DUROC Pigs. Duroc hogs are a hardy breed, happy and healthy in both cold and warm climates. Their meat is typically a dark red and maintains lots of moisture for good fat marbling throughout.
OUR HERITAGE HOGS
Our pork comes from Heritage Breed hogs raised on lush farms devoted to the care and well-being of each animal. They're fed rich, all-natural, 100% vegetarian diets and given access to the outdoors and room to move around freely, which creates exquisite intramuscular marbling you can't achieve any other way.
TENDER BELLY SIGNATURE BLEND BACON
Our Signature Blend Cherrywood Smoked, Dry-Rub Uncured Bacon offers the best tasting bacon that money can buy. Our bacon comes from the ultra-tender bellies of Heritage Breed hogs and gets its standout flavor from our signature dry-rub that co-founder Erik perfected using his culinary background and the highest-quality, freshest ingredients possible. We slow-cure our bacon, and we mean slow. We give it a full 12 days to absorb the exceptional flavor of the dry-rub. Of course, we can't tell you everything that goes in it, but we'll tell you why it's so delicious.
Our signature dry-rub recipe is critical to the flavor of our bacon and we spare no expense in getting it right. We start by hand-selecting the best ingredients. Fresh juniper berries ground seconds before being added to the mix. Real, late-season maple sugar from Vermont. And specialty spices from our custom spice blenders. Nothing we put into our dry-rub is processed. Ever. Basically, it's the best rub we can make. And it shows.
How We Cook Bacon
When it comes to bacon, the Duffys know best. They recommend cooking Tender Belly bacon in a cast iron skillet, on medium heat, flipping twice, six to seven minutes per side. It's how you get that crispy, caramelized flavor that makes bacon the best meat ever invented.
WHY THE TOP CHEFS ACROSS THE NATION CHOOSE TENDER BELLY: IT'S NOT JUST THE FLAVOR THAT HAS THE CULINARY INDUSTRY SWOONING OVER OUR SWINE. TOP CHEFS CARE ABOUT HOW OUR HOGS ARE HARVESTED TOO, AND SUPPORT OUR COMMITMENT TO QUALITY.
Our Process and Quality Control
Hooves down, the best pork money can buy. What sets us apart is our commitment to doing things our way, which isn't always the easy way. But to us, the extra effort always pays off. It's why we give our hogs the time they need to mature. Why we dry-cure for two weeks. Why we never take shortcuts. Not just because it makes us feel better about how we do things but because it results in the best-tasting pork that'll ever grace your mouth. In order to meet the incredibly high standards we set for ourselves, we team up with partners who hold themselves to the same level of quality we do, starting on the farm all the way through transportation, harvesting and packaging. Our farmer-partners comply with the expectations we've set for animal welfare because they believe in it just as much as we do.
SUSTAINABILITY IN THE PORK INDUSTRY
Earth is important to us. It’s where our hogs come from. We make every effort to be sustainable, humane and environmentally conscious. We choose farms close to our processing plants to cut down on unnecessary transportation. We promote sustainable feed, much of which comes from the same farms that raise our hogs, and we select farms that rotate their crops annually. We ship our product in insulated, biodegradable wrapping. And we're always looking for new ways of doing things better.
NOSE TO TAIL, CUSTOM PORK PROGRAMS
Every animal's life is precious, so we try to sell the whole hog whenever possible, whether that's through our pork programs or by reselling to other distributors. We know every customer's needs are different. We work personally with clients of all sizes, from individual restaurants to multi-store chains with a national presence to create custom offerings just for them. If you're interested in designing your own program, call us to chat about it.
ABOUT THE DUFFYS, THE FOUNDERS OF TENDER BELLY
Shannon and Erik grew up around hog farms in lowa, so to say their standards for outstanding pork are high is quite the understatement. They know the good stuff, and frankly, it's often hard to find. So they wondered, how much more would people love bacon if they knew how good it could really be? That's when they started Tender Belly. A company devoted to sourcing the kind of bacon that makes you pause by the slice to reflect on its superior flavor and quality. Their passion for doing things better now extends to all cuts of pork, and beyond. Certified awesome. That's what they call it. A pursuit of excellence in everything they sell. They set their standards high. And when something doesn't rise up to meet them, it's not good enough. Plain and simple.