Everything is coming up bacon

That intoxicating smell, the siren-call sizzle — looks like pop culture has gone hog wild
By MIKE MILIARD  |  February 22, 2008

VIDEO: How bacon is made

Canadian bacon: our neighbor to the north
You know it. You’ve eaten it. It’s round. Sometimes rubbery. Goes great on pizza. But it lacks, as the Québecois would say, a certain je ne sais quoi. Actually, je sais quoi: there’s no glistening, slippery fat. And the crisp factor, simply put, is just not the same. “Not to diss it, but Canadian bacon is made out of a pork loin that's really lean,” says KO Prime’s Jamie Bissonette. “Usually, it’s brined, then fried. It’s more like ham than it is bacon. It is delicious, and it’s great for Eggs Benedict. But I find that it’s really no substitute for bacon.” Few things are.
There was a discordant chorus of queasy squealing this past month, when the US Food and Drug Administration announced that “food from cattle, swine, and goat clones is as safe to eat as that from their more conventionally bred counterparts.”

Many carnivores, it seems, remain unwilling to munch on meat that’s been replicated with genetic legerdemain. Me? I say bring it on. How could anyone argue with more bacon?

Pigs are noble creatures, selflessly giving of their delectable flesh — and we need as many of them as we can get.

That’s because bacon is bigger than ever. Suddenly everyone, it seems, is talking about bacon, writing about bacon, craving bacon. Breaking fast with bacon and having some more for lunch. Everyone. Sometimes even vegans.

Search for “bacon” on a social-bookmarking site like del.icio.us and one is presented with a plethora of piggy goodness. Read about how to make bacon chocolate-chip cookies and deep-fried bacon-wrapped bananas. Watch molecular gastronomist Heston Blumenthal on YouTube making bacon-and-egg ice cream. Peruse bacon flow charts, meant to assist the peckish in deciding what to eat (hint: the answer is never not bacon). Purchase stylized bacon wallets and bacon scarves and bacon bandages and bacon air fresheners. Or learn how to salt and cure your own.

Visiting the pop-culture blog recidivism.org recently, I clicked on installment #017 of Oh, That Heavenly Bacon, the site’s continually updated compendium of cured-meat ephemera. I was greeted with a full-color advertisement for Italian salumeria Negroni, in which a bucolic tableau had been rendered with cured meat: mortadella hills, a babbling brook with whitecaps of marbled prosciutto, the sky streaked with luminous strips of raw, fatty bacon. It looked like . . . paradise.

Meanwhile, the Bacon Show boldly promises “One bacon recipe per day, every day, forever.” And, verily, for three years and counting, its proprietor has not faltered. I look forward to a steady diet of crispy, salt-cured repasts for something approaching perpetuity. (Until, of course, that inevitable cardiac episode — his or mine — puts an end to all the fun. But even that risk may well have been obviated by scientists’ cloning of piglets that are rich in heart-friendly Omega-3 fatty acids.)

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Related: ‘A wonderful, magical animal’, Embracing everything but the squeal in Porkland, Jews wrestle with pork, More more >
  Topics: Lifestyle Features , Dennis Kucinich, Jamie Bissonette, Anthony Bourdain,  More more >
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