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How to Survive the Bacon Apocalypse

20 August 2009 One Million Watts 6,554 views 3 CommentsPrint This Post Print This Post Email This Post Email This Post

Bacon is fallen.  The salty paragon has enjoyed a terrific burst of stardom these past few years — bacon martinis, bacon-filled chocolates, bacon-flavored mayonnaise and other culinary landmarks almost too wondrous to describe — but the recent outbreak of Swine Flu has taken the sizzle off the strip. Baconnaise has become a favorite Jon Stewart punchline (despite the fact that it contains no actual bacon), and in a May 2009 Stranger article titled “The End of Baconmania,” writer Erica C. Barnett  declared, “(I’ll take a) fresh radish dipped in butter … over a fatty, greasy hunk of bacon any day.”

Thus are the fatty excesses of Baconmania condemned to the freezer-can of history. Radishes. Wow.

I could never give up on bacon. It occupies a dedicated place in my heart that’s both spiritual and potentially life-threatening. Granted, I didn’t jump into the frying pan with the rest of the baconistas – I consider bacon “martinis” to be an abomination of both the breakfast and cocktail hours – but I can’t imagine a hearty breakfast without bacon, and I don’t want to. I love it lean or streaky, smoked or peppered, chewy or crispy. I enjoy simply looking at it – one long, gently bowing strip on either side of my eggs and toast, like edible parenthesis.

However, I completely understand if you’d like to keep your own passion for bacon in check until this plague of Hamthrax has passed. Perhaps you’re leery of blurting out “Hey, howzabout that bacon?” at social functions, where the mere mention of pork-barrel politics could render you suspect as a motorboat riding the wake of a supertanker — a possible baconeer.

It is at that moment, when the eyes of your peers are upon you, that you should burst forth with “Hey, howzabout that mac ‘n’ cheese?”

An electric pause will hang in the air as heads swim and eyes roll in expressions of naked ecstasy. Yes, of course! What better to replace one cholesterol-heavy dish than another, even more cholesterol-heavy dish? A dish that evokes childhood happiness as well as adult rebellion? A dish that could be made at home with store-bought ingredients, or enjoyed in hoity-toity restaurants with the same ingredients at three times the price? What indeed?

And like bacon, thee possibilities for hybrid mac ‘n’ cheese creations are virtually limitless in number. I’ve already seen deep-fried mac ‘n’ cheese balls in some of the finer establishments, and it’s only a matter of time before mac ‘n’ cheese salads, mac ‘c’cheese ice cream and even mac ‘n’ cheese martinis make their appearances. And through it all, we can continue to live the bacon adventure in what will become a judgment-free environment, while also enjoying what a mac ‘n’ cheese renaissance has to offer.

Not convinced? Then consider this: Late at night, behind locked doors and drawn curtains, we can even put bacon into our mac ‘n’ cheese. It’s as perfect an expression of Yankee ingenuity as you’ll ever taste.

Hmm. Now that I’ve said that, it seems like an awful lot of fat and calories to put down in one sitting. You may want to eat a vegetable of some kind afterward to keep yourself from going into shock. A radish, maybe.

Geoff Carter

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3 Comments »

  1. Bacon, bacon, the taste of all evil. It’s a must have for the morning, egg, cheese on a buttered roll. Bacon Martinis, don’t think so. Bacon (without the swineflu) is the best tasting meat product ever made. Keep makin; the bacon!

  2. Don’t get me wrong – I love me some bacon too – but can we *please* get over the whole bacon-as-a-fad thing? It was cute for the first, oh YEAR or so, but it has gotten very old. So old, I avoid eating the stuff now out of some odd internal sense of rejecting pork peer pressure.

    I for one welcome our new mac and cheese overlords.

  3. I have made the from-scratch Bacon-Mac-‘n’-Cheese, and I am here to tell you that it was incredible. I ate it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner until the whole 9×12 baking dish was empty, and then I contemplated making it again. I will be doubling the bacon next time, but otherwise, I would happily recommend the recipe to absolutely anyone.

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