Bacon recovers its sizzle

Friday, May 27, 2011

At the risk of sounding way too much like Jerry Seinfeld, what is the deal with bacon?

It suddenly seems as though every other television commercial is touting some new bacon-added delicacy. It's the hot (and crispy) trend of the year apparently.

The restaurant chain Denny's is even celebrating a fictitious bacon-worshipping holiday, Baconalia. Great shades of Seinfeld's Festivus for the rest of us!

Denny's limited-time special (the short duration due, I'm sure, to the cholesterol infusion) is featuring seven "bacon-centric" specials, including a triple-decker BLT with eight (no, eight isn't enough) strips of bacon, bacon-flavored flapjacks and something advertised as a "three-bacon sampler."

But the piece de' resistance at Denny's is its new Maple Bacon Sundae with layers of vanilla ice cream, maple syrup and diced hickory-smoked bacon.

The Jones Soda people -- yes, the same folks who have brought us the individual tastes of a Thanksgiving dinner (including gravy) in a soda bottle -- have Bacon soda. It sizzles, they claim.

What's next? Bacon blizzards at Dairy Queen?

But really, who can resist bacon? That uniquely marvelous smell. That sensuous sizzle. One juicy, crispy crunch of an experience.

Quick, somebody get me a homegrown tomato, a little lettuce, a couple slices of toast and some Miracle Whip. I could eat BLTs for breakfast.

Seriously, I even googled bacon (or as one of my older acquaintances likes to say, "did the Google"), and among the results was a list of bacon products already on the market in some shape or form. We've apparently moved way beyond the bacon cheeseburger.

Consider these: Baconnaise (bacon-flavored mayonnaise, of course), bacon coffee, bacon chapstick, bacon gumballs, bacon cupcakes, bacon lollipops and bacon ice cream. And then there's Bakon -- described as a premium bacon-flavored vodka made from potatoes. That has to taste like a liquid loaded baked potato, doesn't it?

Bacon hasn't commanded this much attention since six degrees of that ham Kevin Bacon went viral (and wouldn't he be a great spokesman for our favorite meat candy?!).

There's even a Bacon Freak website that urges you to "give dad the gift of bacon this Father's Day!" And may I suggest a gift dad might truly embrace -- a bacon tie.

Honestly, I'm not sure how our smoky, salty, crunchy friend has managed to escape its exile from the breakfast and dinner table to be reborn as trendy and politically correct, but I like it!

Of course, at our house we have only Butterball turkey bacon in the meat drawer. Wife Ruth, you might remember, is a nurse. And she wouldn't want to see me clog my arteries with unnecessary bacon grease.

She just doesn't get the difference.

Turkey doesn't crunch. Turkey doesn't sizzle. Even dogs know it's not bacon.

And who in their right mind would eat a turkey bacon maple sundae?