Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

The bacon-bash concept may just have some sizzle

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I assumed I would be able to get through the rest of this month without writing another heart-tugging column about my passionate love affair with bacon.

I can see now I was a fool.

The problem is, whenever I wax poetic about bacon, I am deluged with emails from readers and editors who want to ensure I am up to date on the latest breaking news about the world's most outstanding breakfast food.

In the last week alone, for example, the following urgent bacon-related developments have been drawn to my attention:

1) The West Michigan Whitecaps, a minor-league baseball team, this summer will be letting fans chow down on the Baco, a taco with a shell made entirely from bacon. It was the top vote-getter in a contest wherein fans pick culinary delights to be served at the ballpark. Second place was the Bad Joke, a corn dog covered in cheese with two strips of duck bacon on a bun.

2) A website (instructables.com) featuring a recipe for -- please put your gag reflex on hold -- a bacon-flavoured Jell-O that looks just like you're slicing into a thick slab of home-cured bacon. "Think of it less as a dessert and more as a surprisingly edible piece of concept art," it boasts of the gelatinous creation, which includes a generous helping of actual bacon

3) Another website (outsideonline.com) urging outdoorsy readers to try its artery-hardening recipe for maple-bacon chocolate-chip cookies, which features 12 strips of maple-cured bacon.

But the big bacon news I need to unwrap today is something I learned about during a casual chat with my two children. It began when my son spotted a suitcase-sized cardboard box poking out of the garbage can in our kitchen.

"What was in that?" the Boy wondered aloud.

"Bacon," I sniffed proudly. "Eleven (bad word) pounds of bacon."

I told him the bacon had been presented to me recently by the folks at Sysco Foods as I hosted a gala dinner for charity.

"Sweet!" the young meat-eater muttered, giving me the kind of look that swells a father's heart.

At this point, my daughter, not even looking up from her iPhone, decided to share her thoughts.

"You should have a bacon party," she declared.

I tried not to look confused. "A bacon party?" I whispered. "OK... um, what's a bacon party?"

Glancing up, my daughter fixed me with her own special look, one mixed with equal parts contempt and pity.

"Duh!" she snorted, rolling her eyeballs. "It's a party where all the guests have to bring foods that are made from bacon."

I didn't want to betray my ignorance of an important new social trend among modern youths, but I couldn't help myself. "A bacon party?" I asked. "That's an actual thing?"

"Uh, yes," my daughter sniffed. "It's a thing."

"How do you even know about it?" I demanded, using my most dad-like tone.

"Because WE went to one at a friend's house," she groaned, and by "we," she meant herself and her boyfriend.

As a journalist and pork buff, I had a need to know more. "So," I continued, "what food did you guys bring?"

My daughter shrugged. "Meatballs wrapped with bacon," she said. "Somebody else made bacon dipped in chocolate, but the best thing was the bacon butter tarts. They were delicious."

Drool glands in overdrive at the thought of bacon in tart form, I looked to my son for moral support. "Forget it, Dad," he barked coldly, "Guys like you should stick to quinoa parties instead."

The Boy's right about the quinoa, but that's not the point. The point is I have a lot more bacon bits to share with you... but for some reason my fingers keep slipping off the keyboard.

doug.speirs@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition March 25, 2013 A2

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