Everything's Better with Bacon!
Well, maybe not everything. Bacon desserts have been popping up for a while now, but I wonder if the appearance of the Vosges Bacon Exotic candy bar is the official indicator that bacon craze has reached its peak. If you feel like celebrating the fact that during this Year of the Pig, the pig is still big (over a year ago Josh Friedland declared that "the other white meat is the new black."), check out the following:
- Chocolate Covered Bacon, a recipe to make it yourself if the Vosges is just too expensive (or if you just want to add sprinkles).
- Memphis Barbecue and Bacon Ice Cream from Delaware-based Udder Delight Ice Cream House (sounds kind of icky, but the peanut butter and jelly ice creams sounds delish).
- Bacon Brittle, which doesn't sound so bad. It's reminiscent of Pig Candy, and I literally laughed out loud when I read Jonathan Gold's description of Pig Candy on the LA Weekly site:
"Pig candy has been a secret dinner-party hors d’oeuvre for years, and there has been a bit of an underground craze for the dish started in Washington, D.C. The only place I know to get it in Los Angeles is at Lou, a tiny, wonderful wine bar that just opened at the south end of Vine. Lou serves a pretty decent range of artisanal cheeses, the garlic-laced salamis of Seattle’s Armandino Batali, and slivers of Colonel Newsom’s legendary Kentucky ham, but on cool nights there may be nothing better than a plateful of pig candy and a glass of organic Cotes du Rhone."
Huh. Secret dinner-party horsd'oeuvre? The only place he knows to get it is a wine bar? Here I thought you just put a bunch of bacon on a pan, cover it with brown sugar, throw it in the oven, and munch on it with a Diet Coke at 2am (I think the Bacon Cheese Baconburger may be the male equivalent of this scenario). And I bet it was invented by a southern woman with PMS, not a fancy chef in D.C. Anyway, it's got to be good because the Sweet Potato Queens say it is.
- Bacon Salt from J&D's (Justin and Dave, “bacontrepeneurs”), which is vegetarian. I haven't tasted it, but the concept seems similar to smoked salt and smoky paprika, both of which I love. These are great additions to anything you want to add a smoky depth to, and make great substitutes for bacon or ham hocks when you want to make a vegetarian (or just lighter) version of a dish that really needs that flavor. Amusingly, Justin Ozersky and Daniel Maurer of Grub Street feel that the bacon salt is the point where this bacon fervor jumped the shark (and I loved J&D's response), but they're all about the bacon chocolate. I bet they eat their pig candy at wine bars, too.
- Bacon of the Month Club from the Grateful Palate, where you receive a different artisanal bacon each month, along with a variety of bacon tchotskys. They also have a Bacon Geek T-shirt. Fun!
- Bacon Scarf from Shopsin's General Store, one side marbled, one side lean. Show your piggy pride with flair!
Thanks to my friend Heather's bacon-link email, the original inspiration for this post.
In a piggy-related Bleu factoid, I met many of my current circle of friends (including Heather) through a Yahoo Group of Chicago goths called Black Porkchop. Here's a photo from the Black Porkchop Goth Pool Night at Sheffield's [edit: oops, that's Philosophur's—Sheffield's is down the street] (now Cherry Red) from back in the day:
Ah, memories! Photo swiped from Tarik Dozier.