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Why is There Bacon in Flippin’ Everything?

Bacon (which is just cured strips of pork belly) while hardly a vegetarian favorite (see fakin bacon) holds an undeniable appeal for just about anyone looking for an unapologetic fatty indulgence. It is relatively cheap, and intensely flavorful, bringing a smoky depth to whatever it comes in contact with. The general thinking is that everything is better wrapped in, or at least infused with, bacon. There is now bacon vodka on the market, bacon cologne, and something called “Baconalia” which is being “celebrated” at Denny’s and is punctuated by a Maple-Bacon Sundae. Whether it is a case of collective entitlement or just a further yearning for the consummate comfort food, bacon is one thing people fell is worth dying over.

Whether this is a prolonged food trend, or a carnivorous compulsion, it is painfully clear that bacon’s appeal will be stretched beyond the limits of good taste. While the intrepid vegetarian will still be able to easily avoid these strips of flesh, it will be more and more difficult to avoid seeing fellow diners ply themselves with every conceivable form of bacon in a veritable orgy of fatty pork products (at least until a good percentage of them collapse due to arterial blockages).

What is your feeling on bacon as a trend, or a phenomenon? Is it worth all of the excitement?

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Eric Steinman

Eric Steinman is a freelance writer based in Rhinebeck, NY. He regularly writes about food, music, art, architecture, and culture and is a regular contributor to Bon Appétit among other publications.

132 comments

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5:19AM PST on Jan 6, 2014

Interesting article although to find the prevalence of bacon around I really have to go and look for it on the internet. There are bacon watches and chocolate dipped bacon but I see little of it present in my daily life. One can even get organic bacon sans nitrates if one is looking for it.
The author mentions:

"it will be more and more difficult to avoid seeing fellow diners ply themselves with every conceivable form of bacon in a veritable orgy of fatty pork products (at least until a good percentage of them collapse due to arterial blockages)."

5:18AM PST on Jan 6, 2014

Somehow, I doubt it. Except for a few strips of bacon once in a while most of my friends don't eat it very often at all but I like the taste of it when I have organic bacon. I have heard of bacon ice cream from the internet, but I have a problem imagining how that would taste. So true, Nessie B.

Shannon B thinks that perhaps bacon should be banned but concedes that could start a riot. Along with banning things like potato chips, soda or pop with tons of HFCS and who knows what else that people eat on the planet. Just don't ban tea or coffee, bacon...or chocolate. I agree with Reade H.

10:44AM PST on Mar 2, 2013

bacon cologne, really? even back in the days when i still ate bacon that would have grossed me out

3:10PM PST on Dec 9, 2012

Yikes!
:P

9:25AM PST on Feb 16, 2012

Sounds like a twist on the marketing of pork being the other white meat...

9:21AM PST on Feb 13, 2012

This just makes me feel sorry for the poor pigs.

5:53PM PST on Feb 11, 2012

Bacon makes me puke. If you want to eat it, kill it yourself you cowards.

12:08PM PST on Jan 29, 2012

Not a bacon eater. I have never tasted the stuff. So well meaning friends of mine presented me with....drum roll..... Kosher bacon salt.
Vegan. Kosher. Kind of oddly addicting. I kept the jar through a couple moves as a kitchen joke.

But I have a theory on the bacon fad. People know deep down that hey should eat more veggies. But to taste buds saturated with sweet and salt and, yes, fat, veggies are too simple, too clean, yes, even boring.
So borrow a trick from old days and add a bit of flesh to your greens or beans.

IF, and that is a huge if, people dropped a quarter to half pound of meat from a meal, replacing it with a couple ounces of stripped fried stuff, there would be a net gain, nutritionally.


I understand that in a homestead, pigs are efficient converters of scrap to food.
But unless Wilbur is in your yard, is the downside of the food, all ethics aside, worth it?

11:56AM PST on Jan 29, 2012

I think this bacon obsession is utterly ridiculous....

12:32AM PST on Jan 28, 2012

Thanks for the article.

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