Bacon is the most versatile meat there is. Period. It lies nicely on our breakfast plates, allows lettuce and tomato to join with it in a satisfying sandwich, and proves paramount in a Caesar salad. Bacon is simple and unapologetic.
Many people who don’t like pork like bacon. Even my vegetarian friends love bacon – even if just for the aroma of cooking it alone. Bacon is the most simulated flavour in processed foods, and one can readily find bacon-flavoured tofu in most grocery stores.
Bacon is the “bad boy” of cuisine. We all know that it’s mostly fat, but we simply don’t care – we eat it with fervor and reverence, enjoying every savory bite as if it might well be our last.
Bacon spits and hisses in the pan as you cook it, but we forgive the occasional smatter that stains our aprons and singes our skin. Some people like bacon chewy, others, crisp and crunchy. Regardless of how you like it cooked (even burned bacon tastes fantastic), it is always guaranteed to please.
You can put small chunks of bacon into a pasta sauce – it’s perfect in white sauce (to make a carbonara) or red. We sprinkle the smallest flecks onto our baked potatoes, some larger crumbs into our chowders. We even go as far as to wrap bacon around seafood, such as scallops and oysters.
Bacon is welcome in our burgers, our meatloaves, and never seems to encroach on our pancake syrup as it transforms it into the ultimate sweet-savory marriage of two seemingly separate entities that, by logic, should never ever mingle. My Grandmother would cook entire packages of bacon in one go. I remember her donning the most garish pink oven mitts to avoid any burns as she sizzled each rasher to perfection.
Lastly, she would pour the rendered fat into another jar – no doubt a dollop here and a spoonful there would be added to future gravies and stocks and, in the winter, would be the coagulant for homemade suet for the starlings.
Always have some bacon on hand. Rest assured, regardless of which meal of the day you are preparing, bacon can inspire, enhance and top off almost any dish with a hearty, homespun taste that only bacon can deliver. No other meat or meat substitute even comes close – not even bacon-flavoured tofu.
“Bacon Martinis” My Modern Met
“Bacon Sushi” Mshades@flickr.com. Creative Commons. Some Rights Reserved.
“Bacon Cooked in Oven” Good N Crazy @ Flickr.com. Creative Commons. Some Rights Reserved.