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Last Updated: Wednesday, 15 November 2006, 16:14 GMT
'Best bacon butty' in forest cafe
Brendon Williams
BBC News

Brendon Williams tries a bacon bap
Taste test: It's a thumbs up from me
I've never been in any doubt what I'd choose if I had to decide my last meal - it'd have to be a bacon butty.

So I was as happy as a pig in mud when I was asked to give my verdict on the UK's best bacon sandwich, according to a good food survey by BMW.

But you will have to travel to the middle of a forest to find it.

The Oneplanet Adventure Cafe is in a converted log cabin at Llandegla, near Wrexham, surrounded by 40km of mountain bike trails.

Thankfully I wasn't asked to put the cycle track to the test to reach the cafe within the 650-hectare forest.

That just sounds like the way to ruin a perfectly stodgy sandwich.

I didn't waste time debating whether to have red or brown sauce - it's got to be both
Being married to a farmer's daughter, I like to think I know my meat.

And I can knock up a pretty mean bacon sarnie, even if I do say so myself.

Cafe manager Ian Owen was confident he'd win me over with one of his butties though.

And after churning out up to 500 a week, he's certainly had enough practice.

"All the bacon is sourced locally, as is all our meat. The beef and lamb we use is what you see in the fields around us," he said.

Ian Owen cooking bacon
Ian Owen says the secret is in locally-sourced meat

"For the bacon I set the griddle at number four - not too high - and drizzle on some extra virgin olive oil.

"I push down the fat on the bacon, so it crisps, and ends up more like crackling than a stringy piece of rind.

"We use white baps from a local bakery, and the finest unsmoked back bacon.

"It's just what you need after a long walk or cycle in the surrounding forest."

Well, if nothing else, Ian talks a good bacon sandwich. But, luckily for me, the proof is in the eating.

I was willing to overlook the use of toasted baps (for me a butty is all about plain white thick-sliced bread) and I even forgave Ian's apparent use of margarine, not butter.

I didn't waste time debating whether to have red or brown sauce - it's got to be both.

Bacon bap
Just the way I like it - red and brown sauce

I had to hand it to Ian - this was one mean bacon butty.

The editors of the BMW 1 Series Good Food Ride said they "found no one more dedicated to the art of making such sandwiches than the staff here".

Clearly, they've never been to our house on a Saturday morning.

Making the ultimate bacon sandwich is an art, and I reckon Ian is almost there.

Best in the UK though? I'd need to taste the other contenders - another challenge I'd be more than happy to meet.

Forest centre officially opened
04 May 06 |  North East Wales

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