It’s no small wonder why we are a nation suffering from an obesity epidemic. Am I the only one who’s noticed that there is a bacon obsession going on? Slowly but surely bacon has found its way into just about everything we eat?
Although I have downed my share of bacon and eggs in my life and am still a big fan of the All-American BLT, I find it counterproductive to crumble it over my salads. I mean, what’s the sense in eating a salad if you’re going to soak it in a rich dressing and sprinkle bacon over the top like grated cheese? Still, I can understand those who choose to do this feel that it is better than putting the fatty fried pork between bread and slathering it with mayonnaise.
The other day I went into a diner. It was Friday and being Catholic, I am not supposed to eat meat on Fridays during Lent. I decided upon a tuna melt. I felt it a good choice as it is classic diner fare and fit into my “Meatless Friday.” The waiter took our order and just as he was about to leave our table he turned and said, “Oh I almost forgot to ask you an important question regarding that tuna melt.” I was expecting him to ask me what kind of cheese I would prefer on it but he instead asked, “Would you like bacon on that?” I was shocked. Bacon? On a tuna melt????
I don’t know why it surprised me. It seems that little piece of the piggy has morphed into some kind of pork virus, infiltrating everything in its way! We are now a world with bacon ice-cream, chocolate with bacon and candied bacon. There’s even a bacon salt [almost redundant] and something called “Baconnaise” billed as the ultimate bacon flavored spread which carries the slogan, “because everything should taste like bacon!”
Therein lies the problem. To me, bacon is a flavor that can easily take over the foods it’s being added to. Chefs and home cooks alike are wrapping meatloaf in it as well as roasted chickens and even turkeys. It is added to burgers, wrapped around hot dogs and crumbled into mashed potatoes. Bacon has become a very fatty high-cholesterol seasoning! Not only that, but once you wrap your roast turkey in bacon, all the dripping taste like bacon. How do you make pan gravy out of bacon fat?
Now folks who know me, know that I am a bit of a food purest but surely I cannot be the only one who thinks that there is a time and place for the fatty, albeit tasty strips and that some foods are simply not meant for baconing up!
While working on a program last week, I was in a very high-end, five star hotel. We broke for dinner and went to the hotel’s fancy- schmancy restaurant. They were offering bacon wrapped asparagus, bacon burgers [although that is nothing new]. However it was added to their salads and wrapped around the pork chops as well as the meatloaf. It seemed whatever they had to offer; either had or could have bacon added to it. The icing on the cake was when I asked the waiter what the soup of the day was. He told me it was fresh chicken noodle soup… with…
wait for it…
wait for it…
you guessed it, bacon!
Until next time,