…BACON! Mmmm, bacon.
Last month, word about amazing new bacon inventions (like bacon maple donuts and chicken-fried bacon) began swirling around the office, tempting the appetites and imaginations of myself and like-minded coworkers. Eventually, the constant bacon talk (without accompanying bacon action) ended up making me cranky. Cranky for bacon.
It’s not clear if my coworkers had reached the same level of bacon-deprivation as I had, but a group of us agreed that an evaluation of various nouveau bacon comestibles needed to happen. In the third week of January, we had our bacon products tasting.
Sadly, we were unable to secure supplies of bacon maple donuts or travel to Texas for chicken-fried bacon. What we were able to gather together, for the most part, did not disappoint: (Homemade) Bacon Candy; The Redhead Bacon Peanut Brittle; Vosges Mo’s Bacon Bar; Lollyphile Maple-Bacon Lollipop; and, Bacon Salt.
The Bacon Candy (pictured at top), by virtue of being actual strips of bacon, was by the far the baconiest of the bunch. WitGirl actually found the recipe for and whipped up the batch of bacon candy for the tasting. My only quibble was with the name of the dish—seems like it was more candied bacon than bacon candy. Also, I tried the bacon candy first which pretty much blew the rest of the not-actually-strips-of-bacon entries out of the water.
The Redhead Bacon Peanut Brittle, is from a (trendy?) neighborhood restaurant in New York City called The Redhead. I’d never heard of the restaurant or bacon peanut brittle, but I was glad to discover both at our gathering.
Calling this snack peanut brittle is a stretch. When I think of peanut brittle, I envision shards of petrified, caramel-entombed peanuts. Our supposed peanut brittle was more like baconized peanuts. And, on further tasting, the flavor was more smoked/barbecue than bacon. Still very tasty, though.
Vosges Mo’s Bacon Bar (also from New York—are they just bacon-crazy over there?) was a good mix of sweet chocolate and salty bacon. Vosges uses good quality chocolate and just the right amount of minced bacon to let you know it’s there. Make sure to eat your Mo’s Bacon Bar before its expiration date though—quality does suffer post-expiration.
I have a complaint about Mo’s Bacon Bar which has nothing to do with the taste—it’s the hoity-toidy, wine-critic ad copy on the box. I just want to eat some chocolate with bacon in it fer chrissakes, I don’t need to be taken on some kind of journey of the senses.
DesignGirl brought in Lollyphile Maple-Bacon Lollipops from the city (San Francisco) for our bacon evaluation. I liked the pops, but for the life of me, couldn’t taste any bacon. All I could taste was maple sugar. Could be that my tongue’s bacon-receptors overloaded on the other bacon products; it’s hard to say.
Some of the other tasters applied Bacon Salt to the lollipops with reportedly good results. I found that the salt added a chemically-metallic taste to the lollipops.
The Bacon Salt does indeed have a bacon-ey flavor. Unfortunately, more powerful than its bacon taste, the salt also has a chemical tang that it transfers to whatever it’s sprinkled on. Seemingly, some fine tuning in the Bacon Salt lab is still needed.
In the end, since the bacon foods tasting didn’t include judging, there were no winners or losers amongst the products. I guess the tasters could be consider the winners, and the pigs who ended up as bacon would be the losers. (The odd exception would be the Bacon Salt, which apparently doesn’t contain any bacon since it’s claimed to be both vegetarian and kosher. In this case, I suppose the pigs are the winners, and, since I didn’t exactly care for it, I’m the loser.)
Next time, I’m convening a group to try this: Bacon Explosion.