I love bacon, I think I love it as much as anyone, but I am getting tired of it. It is everywhere, it is in everything, and as much as I love it, I don’t want to eat it all the time! You may not agree, but I think bacon is the new black, it has become ubiquitous, and all the “foodies” are lovin’ it, is bacon just another fad? Here’s my beef (!) with bacon though, it has become a flavor crutch. Anyone can make mediocre food taste better by adding bacon, and if you want to take it up a notch add candied, peppered or maybe sour-patch bacon! There are probably people reading this who are shocked and appalled at my attitude, but I bet there are some other people thinking oh, it’s not just me.
Bacon certainly deserves a place at the table, and I applaud all those chefs who’ve pushed the boundaries and taken bacon to new arenas. It is a flavor powerhouse, and loved by many, including me, and yet, I’ll pass on the candied bacon ice-cream, and honestly those Voges Mo’s Bacon Chocolate Bars don’t do it for me. Voges chocolate is wonderful, and if anyone can do it right it’s them, but I’ve had one, and I’d rather just have the chocolate. And really, bacon condoms???? Give me a break! Would you like a bacon flavored candy necklace? You can get one! Why do we do it? We take a good idea, a really good idea, and commercialize it into the absurd.
Can you cook? Can you make really great tasting food? If so, and you really want to taste what you’ve made, why throw bacon at it? Relying on bacon for flavor is kind of a flavor hack. It does all the work for you. Please don’t stop using bacon, all I ask is that you use it more judicously, make the most of the deep,smoky, salty flavor, but please not in every course of my dinner. I never thought I would tire of it, but I have. You can’t watch anything food related and not see bacon featured. It’s like we forgot there are other flavors available. There are other ways to get that deep flavor, how about some soy sauce, or smoked paprika? Maybe some mushrooms or roasted garlic and shallots?
Maybe this all sounds pretty odd coming from someone who spent last weekend smoking everything that would fit in my smoker, though I’ve been thinking about this for a while, and smoked corn is absolutely not bacon! Next time you have the thought ‘Gee, this is delicious, I bet it would be even better with bacon’ stop and think if you really want bacon in your rice pudding, your lemon meringue pie, or your salsa? Bacon doesn’t really make everything taste better, it just makes it taste bacon-y.