It was the best bacon time of our lives today as we got an exclusive tour of Olymel (bacon heaven) in Cornwall’s industrial park. A huge thanks to Sandra Marleau and Bacon Rick for making this happen since we know it is not common practice.
We felt the warm welcome as soon as we walked in the door with the lobby television screen welcoming us for the big day. Once we got suited up for the tour it felt like Christmas morning when we were kids in anticipation to the wonders we were about to see.
First thing is first and the attention to cleanliness and sanitation is second to none. One of my personal highlights was walking into the plant on a brush belt to clean the bottom of your boots and squirts soap on your hands before you arrive at the knee operated sink so your hands are super clean. The plant employs over 350 people and the amount of product produced in one day will blow your mind. It was hard for me to not hug everyone as we walked around but I did sneak a few here and there. Thanks to Steve and Chloe for indulging me.
We saw ham being prepared and ALL OF THE BACON!!!!!! Here are some numbers a typical day at Olymel yields in production.
- 250,000 partially cooked bacon slices/per day…that’s about 1,700 to 2,000 per minute!
- 17,000 Pork Picnics (4lbs shoulder) per day with 13,000 to 15,000 packaged
- 75,000 to 100,000 kilograms (over 20,000 pounds) of bacon produced per day
As you can see by the numbers the are a well oiled machine with an efficient staff getting the work done. We got to meet the lab staff who keep the products free from bacteria and safe as well as Sylvain the Production Supervisor.
After finishing out tour of the production side we got to do some sampling of bacon in various forms. Our new friend Sharon cooked up some smoked bacon that was made same day and various types and temperatures of bacon bits completed our BACON LUNCH BUFFET.
We learned that eating bacon is like sampling whiskey or craft beer in that there are certain things you look for that set each style and slice of bacon apart. The four things you look for when enjoying bacon are: SWEETNESS, SMOKINESS, SALTINESS AND TEXTURE. It was all amazing and delicious and more than we dreamed when we walked through the door. We can thank the staff there enough for their hospitality.
When you are out shopping and wonder it the bacon or ham you’re buying was done at Olymel in Cornwall look for the number 169A on the package and you’ll know it was made at our local plant. we can say enough about how much detail and focus there is on safety and cleanliness at the plant but we were very impression with how much attention is paid to create safe quality products.
On our way our with bellies full of bacon we were each given a bag full of bacon to take home. It was a real pleasure to spend some time there and thanks to the gang at Olymel our love of bacon is now even stronger than before. The city should be proud of the first class operation in the industrial park that offer that sweet smell of smoked bacon when you drive past.