"There are few sights that appeal to me more than the streaks of lean and fat in a good side of bacon, or the lovely round of pinkish meat framed in delicate white fat that is Canadian bacon."
I LOVE BACON! That about says it all. Not only is that the name of a new book by Jayne Rockmill, but also what is on so many minds these days. Bacon is in! Think skillet bacon spread, bacon buns, maple bacon pretzels, chocolate bacon pretzels and there are even bacon toothpastes on the market.
Ed Blonz, popular syndicated newspaper nutritionist, shared some bacon information recently. There are about 20 standard-size slices of bacon in 1 pound; 2 slices contain 87 calories and bacon loses 2/3 of its fat during cooking. My hint: To help decrease the fat, cut off much of the fat before it is cooked. That makes for leaner strips of bacon.
I LOVE BACON!, by Jayne Rockmill, highlights over 55 recipes all revolving around one ingredient, bacon. For under $20, you are introduced to recipes such as the Bacon Mary Cocktail, Tacos al Pastor (bacon tacos… yum), Bacon Mac and Cheese, and Chocolate-Bacon Cupcakes. The recipes and quality photography are the work some of the top chefs, such as Jasper White, John Besh, Bradford Thompson, Rick Tramonto, Pichet Ong, Joe Yonan, Cat Cora, Ming Tsai, and Andy Husbands. You’ll learn how to incorporate America’s favorite meat into each and every meal including: breakfast, lunch, salads, sides, soups, entrees, brunch dishes, even desserts and cocktails! And yes, there is even a recipe demonstrating how to create your very own bacon… from scratch.
Skillet Bacon Spread
Niman Ranch bacon is the main ingredient in this "bacon jam." The baconis cooked with onions and balsamic vinegar until it resembles chutney. This spread is great on hamburgers, brussel sprouts, or grilled cheese. You can even use it in a salad dressing, inside rolls, or come up with any number of great substitutions. Best of all, it’s a steal at only $14 for 11 oz.
Owner Algrid Mackevicius at The Lithuanian Bakery & Kafe in Omaha, Nebraska sells Bacon Buns. You’ll find the recipe on plateonline.com. Bacon Buns are a yeast bun with ground bacon and pork with onion and seasonings. At only $1 each, you can get a couple for the whole family.
Vibrant Flavors Pretzels
This spin on traditional salty snack takes pretzel and bacon lovers to a whole new level. Vibrant Flavors Pretzels makes a Maple Bacon flavor that is a dream come true for bacon lovers. There are many other available flavors, such as Beerzels (beer flavored), Italian Herb, Sweet Onion, Roasted Garlic, and Barbecue. You might want to try a mixture of these quality products. You can purchase these at $7.29 for 2 pretzels pouches or go for a dozen at $43.69.
Chocolate Bacon Pretzels
These pretzels use applewood smoked bacon flavored chocolate to coat the pretzels. Each pretzel is individually wrapped in clear cello bags. At just $9 a dozen, these pretzels are hand dipped, hand rolled, and hand sculpted. If sugar-free chocolate is what you want or need, just ask, as that is also available.
Accoutrements Mr. Bacon's Bacon Flavored Toothpaste, Bacon Flavored Toothpicks and even a Bacon Wallet can all be found on Amazon. And don’t miss the many “Bacon of the Month” clubs that bring a different gourmet smoked pork product to your door each month. BaconFreak and ThePigNextDoor are two of the choices.
On my website, Sally’s Place, we have a fun chocolate and bacon article by our chocolate expert, Stephanie Zonis, called, Knife and Pork: The Chocolate and Bacon Craze. Even Stephanie was somewhat skeptic of this odd, but tantalizing mixture of sweet and creamy and salt and crunchy. However, she has come to learn that a well-executed combination of the two can produce great results. In this article, she features nine chocolate companies that work with bacon.
Sally’s Place also showcases bacon recipes in our extensive recipe section. Here is a sampling:
Artichoke and Bacon Spread
Bacon and Cheddar Muffins
Dates Stuffed with Almonds & Blue Cheese
For more recipes and food tips from Sally, check out SallyBernstein.com.