8305 Bolivar Road, Middletown; Waverly Farmers’ Market, (301) 371-8565, southmountaincreamery.com
Food faddism aside, what is it about bacon that tempts vegetarians to fall off their wagon? We know all about the general appeal of fat and salt: Humans evolved in the Pleistocene era, when it made sense to gobble all the scarce salt and adipose you could find. As to the signature smoky flavor, our fondness for that may be based on traditions and preferences that go back just as far. Stir fat, salt, and smoke together with some soy-derived crap and you can approximate bacon, but there’s more to the real thing: actual pork. Fibrous, flavorful protein. And we can think of only one locally available bacon product in which the authentic taste of pig meat takes center stage, with the chorus of smoke, salt, and smoky salted fat standing respectfully behind. South Mountain Creamery makes no special claims about this fine meat product; maybe they just have access to particularly tasty pigs. The company has stands at both the Waverly and downtown farmers markets, but sells bacon only in Waverly; it also offers home delivery in some Baltimore neighborhoods.