One of the things I inherited from my father is a culturally-inappropriate love of bacon. In his case, he was raised in a kosher home and didn’t even taste bacon until he joined the army at age 18. Generally army food isn’t something one raves about, but apparently his first taste of bacon was something of, ahem, a religious experience.
Later in life he was afflicted with high blood pressure and heart disease, so ironically his ability to eat bacon was curtailed. He’d have it once or twice a year, and due to this infrequency would always get the best.
Recently a house guest purchased some nitrate-free, turkey bacon and left it behind in our fridge. Not one to pass up bacon, even simulated bacon, I decided to cook it up and try it.
Notes from the experience: Fake bacon doesn’t smell anything like real bacon when it’s cooking. If you love bacon, the smell of it cooking is part of the experience. Fake bacon’s smell requires you to turn on an exhaust fan or open a window. Fake bacon doesn’t have the texture of real bacon when it’s cooked; its texture is somewhere between jerky and cardboard. And while real bacon has a smoky, meaty flavor, fake bacon tastes like salt with a hint of liquid smoke.
After a couple of pieces I decided that the fake bacon would be suitable only for BLTs. And it almost was, as long as I overweighted the L and the T.
Moral of the story: Listen to your father. At least about pork products.
Final thought: What would you call a bacon lover who travels through Muslim countries and tries to win the populace over to the joys of bacon? Johnny Baconbit?