Teaching Tuesdays: Bacon, highest form of pork

A serving of bacon cooking in my beloved Calphalon skillet.
A serving of bacon cooking in my beloved Calphalon skillet.

Bacon temptation
brings instant salivation
and satiation.

Bacon is one of those foods that to me transcends food groups. Ask me to list cravings, and bacon is at the top of the savory list, with sharp cheddar sniffing at its heels.

So today, a brief homage to bacon via some musings about its varied uses and history. Expect a sequel at some point.

Do you buy bacon bits? Stop. Just like an actual wedge of Parmesan brings so much more to pasta than that powdered stuff, it is worthwhile to make some bacon, crumble it and refrigerate it.

The problem, of course, being that enough bacon has to survive the process. This is why I have come to buy bacon in quantities of no less than 2 pounds at Jack’s, my local meat market. Their slices also are thicker than what you find in most prepackaged units.

• Of course, after you make bacon, you have bacon fat. What to do with it? Make caramels, of course, with this nommy recipe.  Essentially, you’ll be swapping in 5 tablespoons of bacon fat for the usual butter.

• Want to give candy and flowers? Why ask here? Because I found out how to make a bouquet of bacon roses. As the folks at Bacon Today say, “Because they want romance and you want a snack. Problem solved.”

• Bacon’s cousin, pancetta, is similar in that both are made from pork belly and cured. Bacon is set apart by being cold-smoked. Prosciutto is a different thing altogether but gets lumped in sometimes anyway, according to theKitchn.

• The creators of Bakon vodka say they spent two years perfecting their recipe for use in the “carnivorous cocktails” that had become popular: “These bartenders have found that the savory aspect of bacon makes a great dominant profile in a cocktail like a Bakon martini with a blue cheese-stuffed olive. But it can also take the back seat, with bacon’s smoky flavor subtly enhancing the taste in a concoction like a Chocolate Martini.”

• The phrase “bringing home the bacon” dates to the 12th century, according to Who Invented It’s bacon entry: “Legend says that a church in Dunmow, England promised to give bacon to any man who could swear to the church and God he hadn’t argued with his wife for a year.”

Not gold, frankincense or myrrh. BACON.

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