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Bacon Backlash

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I should have applied for a trademark that night, a few years back, when I poured some bacon drippings over a dish of Maldon sea salt and declared my “bacon salt” the supreme ultimate seasoning. I was recently made aware of the other Bacon Salt™ on Grub Street, in a post entitled “Bacon Has Jumped the Shark.” For the record—and I type this with reluctant fingers—I agree. It wasn't too long ago that a bacon-scented air freshener was the most hilarious thing ever; now, my desk drawer is full of bacon-themed tchotchkes, gifts from well-meaning friends who know, but don’t fully understand, my love for strips of cured pork. I have bacon Band-Aids, bacon candy, bacon T-shirts (“Bacon Is a Vegetable,” “Kiss Me I’m Bacon”), bacon wrapping paper, bacon breath mints—even a bacon wallet. What I really need is a bacon garbage can. Although bacon will always be cool—like Neil Diamond, or poker—expressing your love for it no longer is. The bacon backlash has begun.

And Bacon Salt™ is only making it worse. To their credit, the guys behind the product, two self-proclaimed “bacontrepreneurs” named Justin and Dave, happily sent me samples of their product even after I warned them of my red-hot skepticism. The problem with Bacon Salt™ is this: It’s bacon-free. Its ingredient list includes MSG, corn syrup, hickory smoke flavor and something called “autolyzed yeast extract,” but eating an entire jar of the stuff will give me zero percent of my daily dose of bacon—and it tastes nothing like the real thing. The label touts the product as a “zero calorie, zero fat, vegetarian, kosher-certified” seasoning. (To all the bacon-lusting vegetarians and kosher Jews out there: Sorry, this isn’t even close. Ever had a nonalcoholic beer?)

“Everything Should Taste Like Bacon” is their motto. Sprinkle it on “vegetables and salads, french fries, mashed potatoes and, of course, scrambled eggs.” I disagree. Not everything should taste like bacon, just like not everything goes better with chocolate. If you must combine bacon and salt together in one convenient, sprinkleable seasoning, use this:

Bacon Salt
1/4 cup flaky sea salt, such as Maldon
1 tablespoon warm (but not hot) bacon drippings
Scatter the sea salt in a large bowl. Pour the bacon drippings over the top and toss well. Use within two days.

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