The Rasher (a piece of bacon to be cooked quickly or rashed) was reportedly invented in 1820 by Henry Denny, a Waterford butcher who patented several bacon curing techniques still used to this day. The original Denny premises stood along Penrose Lane and fronted along O’Connell St, then known as Queen St.
The Bacon Curing Establishment on Penrose Lane.
Until the early 19th century, pork was cured by soaking large chunks of the meat in barrels of brine for weeks. Shelf life was poor, as often as the inside of the chunks did not cure properly, and meat rotted from the inside out. Henry Denny and his youngest son Edward Denny introduced a number of new innovations - he used long flat pieces of meat instead of chunks; and they dispensed with brine in favour of a dry or ‘hard’ cure, sandwiching the meat in layers of dry salt. This produced well cured bacon with a good shelf life and revolutionised Irelands meat industry. Irish bacon and hams were soon exported to Britain, Paris, the Americas and India.
Denny’s bought a Danish meat company in 1894, introducing Irish techniques to Denmark, while another company O’Mearas from Limerick, opened a factory in Russia. However, according to a local historian Jack Burtchaell, not everyone was pleased with this new way of curing pork. As the meat was now dry salted on open curing floors, barrels of brine were no longer needed and disgruntled coopers now without a trade openly attacked some bacon companies!
By the time he died in 1905, Edward Denny was one of the most powerful men in the international meat industry. A defining moment in the brand’s history arrived in 1933 at an International food fair in Manchester. Denny was awarded a gold medal for making the finest sausages, which is now in the Waterford Museum of Treasures. This accolade gave birth to the Denny Gold Medal brand. This medal is a link to one of Ireland’s first multinational companies. Kerry Foods bought out the Irish operation in 1982.
The area shown on the map marked appropriatly enough ‘Bacon Curing Establishment’ the map dates from the the turn of the last century. The site is now occupied by apartments and an Aldi store. The original premises lasted up to the 1990’s but soon got redeveloved in the so called Celtic Tiger years. There is not much left to remember the birth of the rasher except that the locals call the street Denny’s Lane – however this is not the offical name of the street.
The Cache: The sky view is limited so the co ords and navigation may be a bit wobbly, placed +/- 7m accuracy on an Oregon 400. There are a lot of overlooking windows. Also the cache placement celebrates what used to stand here and how the rasher came to be. Those buildings are long gone. The current surroundings are not the most beautiful or scenic and despite the shabbiness of the area, all the buildings you see have been built in the last twenty years. Please BYOP. Enjoy.