Prediction for 2014: pork belly will be the new bacon. Oh, sure, you could get nit-picky and argue that pork belly is bacon, but to that we say… um, not quite. Yes, they come from the same cut of meat, the belly. But bacon, traditionally, is smoked or cured, and pork belly is not. You can buy pork belly raw and spend hours preparing it from scratch yourself - it's very popular in both Chinese and Korean cuisines - or you can buy Trader Joe's Fully Cooked Pork Belly and revel in the rich, lightly seasoned flavors without having to do any of that kitchen labor.
Trader Joe's Fully Cooked Pork Belly comes to us from a supplier in the Midwest who supplies fully cooked pork belly to restaurants, as well - yes, that's why so many restaurants are featuring pork belly now; they're getting it fully cooked as well, and just doing final preparations in-house! Our supplier takes the big chunks of pork belly, lightly seasons it with salt, and then braises it over low heat for 12 hours. After it's cooked, they vacuum seal it to keep it fresh, and send it to us. We're selling each 12 ounce package of Fully Cooked Pork Belly for $6.49, every day. You'll find it in our refrigerated case.