After our visit to the amazing Otaru brewery, and a quick stop at LeTao chocolate shops, we seem to be finishing up the perfect day at Mercado, where the amazing Otaru Cherry-wood smoked bacon magic happens.
This is the bacon we use throughout J-Sekka, which is just so strongly flavored with the Cherry wood, and definitely the greatest bacon in the world, without question! ;)
We were blessed with the opportunity to today visit Mr. Bacon and his wife and see how it all happened. As the story goes, he went to Spain / France and fell in love with the food, especially the bacon. He wanted to bring that back to Japan ... Mercado used to be a little restaurant that he started producing bacon for, but the bacon proved to be more popular than the restaurant, which is when he changed paths.
He turned the quaint little space into a bacon producing machine, but ran into one small glitch ... having a big enough space to classify as a production kitchen and seal his products. But upon reading through the details carefully, the required space was in cubic meters, not square meters. So immediately the top story floor was knocked out, and, ta da, here you have Japan's smallest, but tallest, production room. So clever!
But it's no problem to smoke the bacon under the side stairs ... hehe
We are lead around to corner and shown the tiny little alcove where bacon is pumped out all hours of the day .... the wood and sakura chips sitting just outside.