January 28, 2009

Bacon Salt, Bacon Mayo Saving Restaurants' Bacon

Bacon%20Salt%20creators%20Justin%20and%20Dave.JPGBacon is a $2 billion industry in America. Jimmy Dean lives in half of all home refrigerators; rashers of Swift are consumed in astounding quantities, and never more than in these tough times. Bacon consumption is up, over the past ten years, by a pound per person (to 17.9 pounds for every man, woman and child in the country). And how are restaurants responding? Duh, pass the bacon! Bacon on burgers, steaks, pancakes, in sandwiches, even woven into a tapestry upon which more bacon-laden foods can be served.

This is good news for Dave Lefkow and Justin Esch, the Seattle guys behind Bacon Salt (now in nine flavors) and their newest product, Baconnaise (regular and lite). They launched their patented chemical concoction in August of 2007, quickly got national distribution and, of couse, started an official blog. Press reports have been enthusiastic, as one might expect. Megan Woo of I Heart Bacon (a Seattle blog) was an early convert. More recently, AOL Food and Restaurants & Institutions have come aboard the bandwagon. Helps, too, that the stuff is kosher.

Cornichon, alas, finds the product more medicinal than bacon-y, with a bitter, chemical aftertaste. The list of ingredients is downright frightening, including corn syrup, MSG, hydrolized vegetable protein, autolyzed yeast extract, palm oil, flour, and "smoke flavor." No doubt similar to the flavoring ingredients used in "real" bacon, but that doesn't make it any healthier or tastier. We live in a bacon nation, it seems, with only a few voices raised in protest.

Posted by Ronald Holden at January 28, 2009 10:00 AM | TrackBack

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