The Hidden Underbelly of Bacon

Bacon has enjoyed a resurgence in popularity in recent years. No longer relegated to the breakfast plate, it has reinvented itself as an intricate part of lunch and dinner menus and even made its way into some deserts. For a while, bacon was everywhere. The bacon people started making chocolate-covered bacon, bacon ice cream, bacon jam, bacon vodka, bacon massage oil, and bacon mouthwash – just to name a few! You can even put your money in a bacon wallet and hold your pants up with a bacon belt.

To us average joes who just want a slice or two with their eggs and occasionally on a burger, this run on bacon created quite a problem. The price of bacon skyrocketed.

 

Pork Bellies are up!

pork bellies

Of course, every dog has its day… or pig, in this case. It seems that the public’s fascination with bacon has waned some and prices have returned to normal. But the trend – I’m fascinated with trends like that. I mean, when has a basic food that has been around since the dawn of time become a cultural phenomenon? And why bacon in the first place? Why not sausage or liver? And what’s next? I have a mental picture of two truckers hitting the truck stop for Lima Bean Beer and Lima Beer Nuts. You heard it here first.

What took the sizzle out of the bacon craze?

Maybe someone saw the hidden underbelly of bacon.

We recently saw that underbelly at our house. Or rather, we smelled it. You know what it is – it’s the grease produced in making the bacon. Yuck! It just oozes out because the best bacon doesn’t come from the leanest pigs. No, to make it tasty there has to be fat. Seeing the amount of fat produced in cooking bacon and knowing that you didn’t get all of it off no matter how many times you dabbed it with a paper towel is a little stomach-turning. I love bacon like the next guy, but man that’s a lot of fat.

Has this ever happened to you? You cook bacon and see all the fat. Then you pour it off into a jar and marvel at what you’ve just consumed. You let it cool and maybe you collect drippings over a period of time in the same jar so you don’t have to keep saving other jars. And that jar might be stored under the sink next to the garbage with the lid on tightly so that it won’t spill. Except some nameless grease-collector forgets to tighten the lid and the jar spills, emptying the smelliest, nastiest substance all over the bottom of your cabinet where seeps into the wood and plots its evil revenge.

Bacon’s Last Stand!

Yes, we fought the bacon, and the bacon won. It nearly drove us from our home. No amount of scrubbing or chemicals would remove its stench…

We considered selling the house, but no potential buyer would stay ten seconds at an open house with that odor. No, we were stuck to dwell in the temple of our shame. Only time and remorse brought our house back to livability along with our new motto:

Less bacon, more jars.

 

 

Photo credit: By Toyulaewww44 via Wikimedia Commons

 

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20 thoughts on “The Hidden Underbelly of Bacon

  1. I remember when they said a bacon shortage was imminent.
    That started the bacon craze, but the lie eventually wore thin.
    But I’ll always worship at the bacon altar.
    Until I can’t fit in the church any longer….

  2. This was so good, Mark!
    I love your writing style-it has such smooth, yet somewhat lilting cadence to it.
    As for the more jars and less bacon. Well, we will just have to agree to disagree 🙂

  3. My family thinks I’m nuts because I now leave the house or will not visit if I know bacon has been cooked. The smell turns my stomach and so does eating it sometimes. In the phase-out period I preferred to cook only newly opened bacon; so that became cooking the entire pack and saving some for later in order to not have that stench. Thanks for this post and letting me know that I’m not bonkers!

    1. To each his own. I love bacon, but just the sight of all the grease has distanced me some. And then the smell – that was bad. Welcome back to blogging Friend! Hope your hiatus was productive.

      1. Thank you but I don’t see how you do it so consistently having so much else on your plate. But I absolutely love writing. Cheers, friend.

  4. A little tip- keep your jar in the freezer and there won’t be any spills- that is what we do:-) And you can keep on eating all that bacon!

  5. Yes, that was going to be my suggestion. Or even in the freezer, if you render too much before using it. Yes, I said USING IT! Any fresh peas, green beans, baby limas, etc. can taste their most delectable with bacon drippings seasoning. And don’t forget the amount needed to season that Thanksgiving Turkey Cornbread Dressing. Additionally, at Christmas time, there are also possibilities ~ but if you bake a ham, that is even better for the vegetable(s) seasoning. When you bake potatoes, lather on the cold bacon drippings on the potatoes, then cover them in foil, punch a few holes in the potatoes and place in a shallow pan before placing in a 400 degree oven. It makes the skin soft and edible. For baked beans, first fry the bacon, and transfer to paper towel to drain (every time you make bacon, do this). Sautee’ onions in two to three tablespoons of drippings. The other amount goes to the jar. Put some mustard and brown sugar in the beans. When warmed appropriately, put in dish and sprinkle bacon pieces across the top. Keep warm in oven until needed. The best breakfast potatoes in the world are cubed and cooked in bacon pan with drippings~salt, pepper, vidalia (chopped) is out of this world. Well, I can go on and on. If you think there is a need, I might Co-Author the Bacon Diet (not low calorie diet) Cookbook with you. There is a whole world of recipes in my head and out in the “ether.” My grandmother cooked like this and lived to be 93 with not a cavity or missing tooth in her mouth. The trick is working hard in the garden and walking every single day. My family eats similarly and not over weight or high cholesterol. Rest up and think more clearly about the bacon “washout.”

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