It's about time America start ending its culinary obsession with bacon. I am apparently in the very small minority of people who do not like bacon--and that is becoming a bigger problem--as more and more food items are "flavored" with bacon every day. It used to be that bacon was a rarity in the food world. Everybody was turned off by its greasiness and its fat content. It was considered a "cheap" piece of meat best served at diners. It was just "country folk" that ate bacon.
But somehow, bacon has become the hottest thing in the kitchen. All of the new fast-food burgers are topped with bacon, every steak is now served wrapped in bacon, every chicken entree has some bacon element in it as well. You can get bacon bits served in your salad topped with bacon-flavored dressing. And to finish it up, you can have bacon brownies served with a side of bacon ice cream. There are bacon sodas and coffees (the worst of two worlds right there) and I'm sure some craft brewery is working on bacon beer. I bet if you looked hard enough, you could probably even find a bacon martini at some trendy bar downtown.
Recently, my wife and I were dining at a local restaurant and I was all set to get their nightly special of Lobster Mac and Cheese. That is, until I found out that there was bacon in it. Now why would you ruin the delicious mix of fresh melted Wisconsin cheese, al dente pasta and succulent lobster with the taste of bacon? I mean, bacon-flavored lobster? Really? Yesterday, we had one of the "celebrity chefs" from Men Who Cook for Christine Ann at the radio ranch with fresh-made jalapeno poppers. And I was all set to indulge in a few--until he mentioned that he had added "bacon to make it even tastier". Uh, I'll be putting this back now.
And that is perhaps the biggest problem with bacon, as soon as you add it to something, that is all you taste--bacon. It would be fine if it was a subtle flavor--like coriander or cilantro--or if it complimented the main meat in a dish. But once you put bacon in there, even the most carefully constructed layers of taste get overpowered by fried pork fat.
It used to be that when trying new foods all I had to ask was "are there any peanuts, mayonnaise or mint in it?"--to make sure I wouldn't be spitting it out. Now I have to add "is there bacon in it?"
Hopefully this will prove to just be a fad, and the American palette will move on to something much more delicious (and less over-powering) as a main additive to every dish. Perhaps the report that 30% of all people in the world are now overweight (thanks in large part to bacon) might get the ball rolling.