Bacon & Lox: The Joy of Bacon
Almost everyone loves a little bacon now and again. For those of us that grew up in a Jewish household, bacon has always had a forbidden fruit feel. As for me, no matter how hard I might try to stay away, I always seem to come back for more of its salty goodness.
For the past few months, I have been loyal to turkey bacon (or do I mean turkey Bacon), my lips never touching Canadian bacon, thick sliced bacon, or any other fabulous variety. And it was good. But, sometimes even by forces outside your control, you need to move on to another kind of bacon, or consider moving a couple aisles over to the kosher pastrami and brisket.
Why We Love Bacon
Let me tell you a few of my favorite things about bacon (as a general group, not a specific type of bacon), and if I missed any, feel free to add your comments below.
Any Where – Bacon can be found at fancy parties, wrapped around a marinated scallop. But you’re just as likely to find bacon at Denny’s next to a runny egg. I’ve noticed that that while there is always plenty of bacon at Denny’s and the Old Country Buffet, sometimes it can be harder to find at the St. Louis Park restaurants and bars. Interesting.
Any Place – Bacon is pleasantly adaptable and flexible. Sometimes I enjoy it on its own for its simple goodness, either at home or out on the town. Other times it can accompany and get along well with the other foods I’m enjoying a meal with.
Any Time – Of course bacon is often regarded as a morning treat, though I personally enjoy bacon any time of the day, including as a late night snack. But, seriously, there is nothing better than a little bacon first thing in the morning – always a great way to start the day.
The Dangers of Bacon
As wonderful as bacon is, we do need to remember that not everyone approves of it being a staple in one’s diet. For example… mom.
Sometimes you have to be careful about having it at family gatherings. If you’re hosting a brunch for your parents, they may not want to see bacon at the table. In extreme cases, your mother may take your perfectly nice slices of bacon right off your plate and throw them out the door (it’s happened I’m sure).
I’ve also heard reports that proclaiming your love for certain varieties of bacon can send shockwaves through the community, particularly that chocolate-covered bacon they’ve been serving at the State Fair (I’ve never tried that variety of bacon, but it sounds exotic).
And maybe our rabbinic ancestors were on to something when they made bacon a forbidden food for our people. After all, sometimes bacon (or do I mean Bacon) can be fun for a while, but not ideal for your long term dietary needs. And sometimes, the kosher deli spread looks pretty good.
To bring this column back to where it started, we wish Stephanie well in her future endeavors. Her insights and contributions will be missed, but the blog entries will continue with a new, occasional, contributing writer. Thanks for reading.
What’s good about bacon? It’s bad for your body (pure fat and salt), it’s bad for your soul (not kosher), and it stinks so horribly while cooked that it makes me feel nauseous.
Next time you want to break the rules, Jason, at least go with a lobster :).
In reference to bacon, your mother says no and your father says, “Aww, what the hell!” Think about this: Your mother is a good long-term planner and your father lives in the moment. Your mother has happily remarried and your father moved to Florida and was remarried for four and a half months to the Wicked Witch of the East. Your mother is very generous with your children and your father tells them Mr. Duck stories.
So, in reference to bacon, who should you be listening to?
I love you unconditionally, my son, but this time listen to your mother.
What is it with “hipsters” and bacon nowadays? Yep, humans seem to like salt and fat with smoke. On the other hand, if you get a little creative, you can come up with lots of ways to get those sorts of flavors without killing something that has thoughts, dreams, and hopes. (Seriously. Read about pigs some time. In terms of intellectual and social development, it’s pretty close to eating humans.) Why don’t you get a good vegan cookbook already? Vegan = kosher, and it’s also a lot better for the environment, your bank account, your health. And, really, when you think about it, your soul. Try it before you knock it, OK?
To my friend Olga… I can only say that Bacon misses you too. 🙂
And to my father… Your reference to “this time listen to your mother” would indicate that on other topics I should listen to my alter cocker totty. If we ever come across one of those topics, let me know. And P.S., look forward to coming to see you in a couple weeks, when I’m in town will be going out for bacon or brisket?
And to oh, please… First of all, thank you, I’ve been trying to be hip for years, it’s nice to know my enjoyment of bacon (or Bacon) put me over the top. And assuming your comments was a brilliant extension of the metaphor in the article, I can proudly say I have taken your advice. Call her “tofu bacon” (or Tofu Bacon) if you like, as I was married to a mostly vegan vegetarian for ten years, but I don’t think she was kosher or good for my bank account, though her affect on my soul is up for debate (hey, dad or Olga, any comments you want to add here, I’m kidding, please don’t). If I should instead take your comments more literally, then I can say that I totally agree, completely admire anyone who chooses that alternative diet, and you’ll be happy to know both my children are Vegans (hey, dad or Olga, any comments you want to add here). I (and my father) may be hopeless (whether we’re talking about bacon or Bacon), but at least there’s still hope for my children.
Thanks for all your comments.
I feel better now – I am not the only one who “didn’t get it”; who took the article too literally. I didn’t realize Jason was talking about dating a shiksa (Bacon with a capital B), not about a nasty, stinky, disgusting piece of salty pig fat.
I guess I don’t have as much antipathy towards Bacon as I do towards bacon, seeing how I am engaged to a nice Goy boy myself. And, of course, it’s impossible to disagree that meeting a potential non-Jewish partner is much easier than meeting a Jewish one, especially for those of us in the “secondary” market, since there are very few Jews around to begin with, and only negligible percent of them become available for the second time. As long as one’s kids are guaranteed to be raised Jewish, I don’t see a reason to limit oneself to only dating Jews. And it’s that much more true in cases where you are not looking for a life partner, but rather someone to date and have fun with.
As far as vegan/vegetarian idea… Say what you will, but I firmly believe that a meal without a healthy portion of meat/poultry/fish is not a meal, it’s a side dish!
I don’t know, Jason. Maybe you would do better with women if you didn’t objectify them? I’m Jewish, but I don’t feel that interested in someone who compares women of any creed to slabs of dead pig. Just a thought.
A month ago, when I first read Jason’s article, I had no clue as to the hidden double meanings of bacon and/or Bacon. Maybe the Florida sun and advancing years are dulling my hipsterness(?), “oh please!” Like Olga, I thought the kid was talking about food throughout the entire article. Here it is a month later and rereading the article and the comments following mine, the proverbial light bulb (dim as it is sometimes) went on over my head. So, from the now enlightened senior totteh point of view – To each his own. Chew on whatever makes you happy.