Cut into thick steak-sized portions, stuffed with a variety of ingredients and rolled end-on in crushed peppercorns, they add a point of interest to your display and offer additional choice for the customer searching for inspiration for an evening meal.
By varying the ingredients, more than one style of product can be created. Cheddar is a good basic type of cheese to use, but a more intense flavour can be introduced through use of an oak-smoked cheese. A range of accompanying ingredients can be inserted into the bacon melt, too, with mushrooms and dried apricots proving popular additions. Or you can experiment with other types of cheese and dried fruit.
Bacon melts are a popular seller at Brindon Addy's shop near Holmfirth, a small town in the heart of the beautiful Holme Valley, north of the Peak District in West Yorkshire. Holmfirth is on the tourist trail, as it was the setting for the world's longest-running TV comedy series Last of the Summer Wine.
Oven-baking is the best way to cook this type of product. Simply place on a baking tray and cook for about 30 minutes at Gas Mark 5 or 375ºF in an electric oven.
It can be served with creamy mashed potato and green vegetables, or with a salad.
Brindon Addy opened his shop a few miles from Holmfirth in 1993 and the business has expanded greatly since then. The original butcher's shop is now a delicatessen section and the fresh meat department is at the front of the building. It looks tiny from the outside but this shop opens up once you step inside and becomes a real Aladdin's cave. It is well-lit and well laid-out.
Brindon is chairman of the north-east region of the Q Guild. It was the Guild that originally inspired him to make improvements to his business, he says. He admits that while he initially thought he knew a lot about running a business it was only when he saw the standards achieved by competition winners and by butchers in the Q Guild that he realised how much more he had to learn. "The Q Guild opened up my eyes completely and helped develop my business no end. We try to introduce variety into our meetings, perhaps having a business agenda at one meeting and a shop visit at the next," he says.
One of many young butchers trained under Dave Clapham at Thomas Danby College in Leeds Addy then joined Malton Bacon as a trainee production manager. For two years he worked with a butcher in his home town of Holmfirth. Then, aged just 21, he opened his own business at Hade Edge, south of the town.
Brindon supports local farmers through field-to-plate supply partnerships. "We cater for people who appreciate and enjoy eating top-quality locally produced food at the right price," he says. "We seek to handcraft as many of our own products as possible in-house including homemade sausages and beefburgers, pies, cooked ham and beef, and dry-cured bacon. And we support our local communities."
For Addy the next step is possible further expansion of the front of his shop to create a food hall. He may also buy another shop if the right premises come along.
Dry cured loin of pork
Dried apricots (optional)