Bacon dreams

One of the most uninhibited people I ever met was a scientist who happened to come from Italy. He was so irrepressible that he freely admitted that his fellow countrymen found him difficult to take, which is going some.

Although I had spoken and emailed with him many times, I was taken aback and delighted by his amiably room-filling personality when he came to visit my workplace for a week.

One of these mornings, he came into the office, straightened his back, and proclaimed to nobody in particular,

“I have discovered one of the great joys of life!” He paused, and pronounced solemnly: “Bacon.”

Bright man, he. He went on to describe how he had licked each of his fingers at breakfast at his hotel. (I told you he had no inhibitions.)

It turns out, according to him, that Italy does not have anything resembling American bacon. I explained to him that Americans make a fuss about prosciutto, which mystified him greatly.

Bacon SaltI have to agree with him that crisp and aromatic bacon is one of America’s great gifts to world cuisine.

Americans overseas grow so nostalgic for the flavor that a product has arisen called “Bacon Salt.” Bacon Salt is not only zero calorie and zero fat, but, conveniently for troops serving in majority Islamic or Jewish areas, is vegetarian and kosher. The Bacon Salt people also sell an enormous range of auxiliary products from baconnaise to bacon croutons.

Americans love the flavor of bacon so much that the Bacon Salt website delightedly sells bacon-flavored lip balm and bacon-flavored sex lube. There is actually a program to send Bacon Salt to American troops overseas.

But with Bacon Salt, as with sex lube, nothing matches the real thing, nor does it claim to. Nothing matches the salty, fragrant, finger-coating, mouth-filling… hmm, what was I talking about? Oh, bacon.

I love the breakfasts at the diner across the street, but I never order their bacon, because it manages to be simultaneously limp and gristly.

At work, when someone retires, amidst the smorgasbord at the party is a chafing dish filled with scallops wrapped in bacon. It’s delicious, and I always eat far more than my fair share, but in this economy, people aren’t retiring.

And as the inhabitant of a very tiny SRO, I never get to make bacon, let alone in all the ways I want. I can only dream of crispy bacon slices, and pea soup with chopped browned bacon, gravy made with bacon drippings served over tender biscuits, and BLT sandwiches.

If the American media is to be believed, which is a very dubitable assumption, Benton’s Hickory Smoked Country Bacon is the pinnacle of real American bacon.

Benton's baconEveryone from Esquire Magazine to the Huffington Post sings the praises of thick and smoky Benton’s bacon, which, the website warns, has a delivery lag of five weeks or more, which is understandable, given that they are only charging $26 for four pounds, and one can have it as an everyday luxury until the Grim Reaper appears in the form of heart disease or colon cancer.

Still and all, I am desperately curious about how delicious Benton’s bacon is. Can you help me out, please?

Please be patient with the delivery time and try some Benton’s bacon, come back to this blog, and let me know. Hype or heaven? Okay? Okay. Thank you very much.

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