Adios Señor Pig

The end of bacon? Thankfully, another cuisine craze fades into obscurity.

Which would you do: eat it or rush it to the vet for emergency dental surgery?

Hmmm, should we eat it or rush it to the vet for emergency dental surgery? Duh.

I was pleased, no thrilled actually, when I recently read a comment from some chef in one publication or another — my reading time frequently overlaps with cocktail hour, so my recollections tend to get a bit hazy — saying something to the effect of “I’m sick of pig.” Now given the context, I think we can assume she was referring to swine-flesh meat products rather than the dog-wheelchair thief, the Real Housewives or that ass hat who keeps ripping the Red Sox stickers off the bumper of my car. Long story.  Anyways . . . oh here, I found it.

Spotted Pig Owner Sick of Pig

God bless chef April Bloomfield is all I can say. Eh, who do I think I’m kidding? I have a great deal more to say on the subject, and when I’m done I believe I’ll don a red dress and stomp on the rapidly putrifying bones of bacon mania, because I don’t know about you, but if I have to excavate another goddamned hunk of thick cut bacon from between my crowns, I may do something I regret. And I’m not talking about making an uninsured dental visit.

rucola2See, I don’t want bacon flecks in my oatmeal cookie or pork scratchings instead of tortilla chips with my guacamole. What I’d really like is to find one freakin’ New York City eatery that offers a pork-free menu item, which immediately disqualifies any place with waiters sporting suspenders, ironic glasses and dirty beards. You know the joints I mean — rough communal tables, exposed retro light bulbs, shelves made of plumbing parts, artisanal every fucking thing and that unmistakable whiff of epicurean sanctimony that clings to  the “farm to table” shingle. At the moment, this would account for roughly 95% of restaurants in the metropolis.

And FYI, kale is no better served glistening with bacon grease than straight up, or God forbid, in a salad. It’s still kale, and it still tastes like something you’d pull from the depths of a 14 year-old boy’s gym locker. But if you must put bacon in the greens, why does it have to be inch-thick slabs with the flavor and consistency of salted linoleum squares? This stuff cannot possibly be digested by normal human beings and once impacted between the teeth, the chunks fester, causing the unsuspecting diner to awaken in the middle of the night with throbbing gums, cotton mouth, a screaming colon and the unmistakable bloat that follows a meal consisting of three courses of processed pork followed by tenderloin profiteroles and fat back shooters.

I can’t stand it anymore.

If you live near, or frequent, a settlement of any size you have no doubt encountered one of these pig-mad flesh pits that serves such taste sensations as maple-lardon ice cream, pork belly speckled greens, and fat back chili. I have even seen an offering for bacon chocolate martinis. Yeah, that’s right bacon in your vodka. With chocolate. What’s next, folks? A beard and pasties on The Pieta? Steven Seagal for pope? Birkenstocks as club wear? You see where this is going. Gastric armageddon followed by complete worldwide social collapse, and I for one am glad there is hope of averting a total implosion of all we hold dear.

I’m sure you’re a swell guy, but please get that thing away from my food.

So to all you aspiring restauranteurs, here’s a news flash. It’s over. Bacon does not improve anything but eggs. It belongs on club sandwiches and BLTs in thin, crispy slices. It doesn’t make ice cream better; hot fudge does, GrapeNuts do and so do little chunks of peppermint stick candy. How come no one serves peppermint stick ice cream anymore, huh? It was so refreshing, like brushing your teeth and eating dessert all at once, and I miss it. What I will not miss, however, is sitting down to an overpriced plate of pork ten ways accompanied by the obsequious smirk that I know is hiding behind that rat’s nest of a beard.

Is it too much to hope that waiters might eventually start shaving again?

About WSW

Writer, wife, mother. Toiler in the bottomless, black, soul-sucking coal mine of domestic life. Thank God for the portable bar.

Posted on July 2, 2013, in Commentary and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 77 Comments.

  1. I love bacon with my breakfast, but I draw the line there. I remember being horrified the first time Denny’s came out with the “bacon Sunday.” It seems like we’re going out of our way to clog the arteries these days.

  2. My husband’s birthday party was bacon-themed. There was a bacon explosion and bacon cupcakes that I made. I have more bacon in the freezer than I know what to do with. And there is bacon grease on every square inch of the stove. Do I like a few bites of it? sure! am I as hog-wild about it as him? not a chance. And don’t even mention pork chops or pork loin. barf.

  3. Bacon’s great and trying to ban it is anti-Canadian. Now I’m not saying that we should remove it from chocolate because it’s bacon, but I’m just fine with that based on the fact that bacon is not chocolate and everyone knows that only certain nuts, marshmallow, and maraschino cherries.

  4. Ack. I don’t even like bacon, so why in the well would I want it to contaminate a perfectly good martini or slab of chocolate. Yes, I like my chocolate large–even in slabs. Large martinis are better too. But bacon should be small. Or better yet, non-existent.

  5. Homemade bacon is pretty amazing. I don’t do the whole smoking thing, just the cure itself. You might wanna try that. You can control portion size, the cut, the flavoring..

    I am sick of chipotle-anything, and applewood smoked bacon. I feel like if they don’t know what to do to make something interesting, they add one or both of these things. Try acidity. Some sweetness. or basically anything else.

    And hey.. kale is not so bad!!

  6. In Los Angeles the restaurant you described serves deep fried vegan items and poorly crafted artisan beer. I have had a bacon topped maple donut that rocked my world but the bacon was thin and crispy and I had a coronary death wish at the time. Fat back, pork belly, lardon, thick cut…those can all fade into obscurity as far as I’m concerned.

  7. Hear hear on the artisinal overload. When I hear someone asking if the paper napkins are local I want to gag myself with an artisinal spoon. If you really want “local” meat there are rats in the alley–that doesn’t make it good. And not every place in the country can support livestock and farms year round right in the city. Last rant point: aren’t you supposed to wear a hairnet on a beard, even if it’s an ironic beard?

    • I believe hairnets are required for prep staff while wait staff are exempt, but there’s a cause worth fighting for. Are you listening Mayor Bloomberg?

  8. As Homer J. Simpson once said to Bart in a threatening voice, “Butter your bacon…!” Some people may think bacon just doesn’t cause enough damage by itself.

    And really, I’ve just seen this – Slattern wear? In the form of aprons, bumper stickers and mugs? Is there one with an optional bacon smell scratch ‘n sniff?

    • Infusing Slatternware with cooking odors is the job of the buyer, though in your case, I might be induced to splash a bit of vodka on a particular item before shipping. ;)

      • I’m just disappointed you didn’t ask me to be your exclusive supplier of bobble-head Slatterns, except in your case, judging from all the alcohol – a Slattern bobble head should turn 360 and not just bobble.

  9. I buy smoked bacon to make myself eggs Benedict for breakfast, so I am delighted to see that is still allowed. But I also have a beard, which probably means my opinion counts for nothing. I never realised blogging could be so culturally conflicting.

    • I can find nothing to object to in eggs benedict. A match made in heaven, a lily that can stand some gilding when you add hollandaise. As for your beard, well that’s between you and your dinner guests.

      Not so conflicting after all, no? So glad you came by!

  10. Love it. Thanks for making me smile, and happy 4th out in the Colonies. :)

  11. You should try living in Southern Spain. Here, the Spanish do not consider bacon/ham as meat. I am a veggie and always check for meat-free when ordering, but the number of times by salad or eggs arrive topped with a sprinkling of bacon. My complaint is always met with wide-eyes ‘but everyone eats ham.’
    http://www.notesonaspanishvalley.com

    • I cannot tell you how very much I would like to try living in Spain; however, I find the sight of whole pig haunches hanging virtually everywhere, trotters on, to be more than a little off-putting. And though I was prepared to love Spanish “jamon”, I found it a bit on the rare side for my liking. Same thing with proscuitto. I sympathize with your problem, but I envy it, too. Glad you stopped by!

  12. OMG. . .the voice of reason at last. Merci, and bon appetit.

    • Et merci a vous. I’ve been called many things in my day, and I can say confidently that “the voice of reason” has not, until now, been among them. Je vous remercie encore.

  13. Hey, don’t diss the Birkenstocks. But I’m with you on the bacon thing. Bacon scented candles? Kill me now!

  14. I have so many friends who are madly in love with bacon and have it on everything. I used to enjoy a little turkey bacon every once in a while, but I think after seeing everything my friends have their bacon with, looking at bacon makes me feel a bit sick.

  15. Surely, no one is happier about bacon falling out of fashion than the pig.

    • Of course one might argue that it would be better to end up in the smokehouse than in the oral surgeon’s office. Quicker anyway.

  16. Thank you for this! I too am sick of bacon and was disappointed when Southern Living recently had an all-bacon recipe section including some sort of molasses-covered bacon on a stick. Ugh. I’ve seen the bacon vodka. The bacon scented car-fresheners (gross). And my stepdaughters wanted the bacon earrings and keychain. It’s too much. I agree that bacon needs to stay on our BLT’s and with our eggs. And very nicely written!

    • Thank you so much! I saw a bacon scented candle on offer from Yankee Candles. Aren’t candles supposed to ELIMINATE cooking odors? Thanks for looking in!

  17. I fear you may get some backlash for this! I’ve never been a big fan of bacon and for the past 12 months have been afraid to admit it. So I am hoping you are right and both bacon and kale are on the way out. Just like cupcakes and goji berries before that.

  18. funny stuff. congratulations.

  19. Bluefish roasted with bacon fat and bread crumbs on top and a strip of (thin and crisp) bacon on top of that may just be better than eggs and bacon. It’s a close call, though. And the bluefish has to be caught that morning, in season. I’m not one to mix chocolate and bacon. I prefer a nice dark chocolate with port after dinner. As for beards, I don’t mind them as long as they are not serving my food. I agree that hairnets should be mandatory, or a nice ponytail holder to rein in the excess. :-)

  20. You’ll be happy to know that this craze seems not to have left North America. Bacon (as delicious as I find it) has it’s place: In a breakfast, a Carbonara, or possibly on occasion in a burger. Aside from seasonal food these are the only places Bacon belongs in my book!

  21. I am so grateful to FINALLY find a funny blog.

  22. I always thought the bacon-in-chocolate craze (and other unsuspecting culinary hiding places) just signaled our need for a salty slap and tickle with our sugar. Kind of like the current addiction to chocolate covered caramels with the Fleur de Sel all over them–insanely delicious! Anytime someone suggests adding bacon to a recipe that never saw bacon before in its life, I suggest smoked salt right back, and we usually find a sans porcine solution. Just my 0.02.

    • You’re a better person than I am. When confronted with such a situation, I’m likely to hurl the fat-back across the room and use language not suitable even for a seaport tavern. So happy you popped in!

  23. You think they should have a policy stating “any employee sporting a beard longer than 2 inches, male or female, must wear a hair net on their chin for sanitary purposes”?

  24. Bacon is like $6 a pound nowadays, so even having it with my eggs and BLT is an extravaganza now. It’s from a disgusting pig for god’s sake, it can’t take that much to raise ‘em. They eat everything. My 9 year old loves it though. Oh well, I’ll stop before I turn a comment into a senseless rant. Well stated post here is all I meant to say. But while I’m here, my donut had bacon sprinkled on it the other day and I found it ridiculous. It was a sweet cake with glaze and chocolate icing on it. It was already delicious, the bacon just made it harder to chew. Thanks!

  25. I was surprised to come across chocolate covered bacon recently…I don’t eat of any kind so I didn’t try it but other people have and told me they like it!

  26. I love bacon but I almost never eat it. There’s a little butcher shop in town that smokes its own and it ruined everything else for me.

    If you’re sick of bacon, try a kosher restaurant for breakfast sometime. I once had an eggs benedict that replaced the bacon with smoked salmon. I highly recommend it.

    • I love bacon with my eggs. It’s just finding it in my dessert that unhinges me. Thanks for dropping by! BTW depending on who’s counting and how, I believe you are my 700th follower! You have made my day.

      • If you like, I can unfollow and refollow again and again to make that feeling repeat itself…

        And have you heard about bacon vodka?

        • You’re too kind. Really, way too kind.

          As for bacon in the vodka, see my previous comments re chocolate bacon martinis. Abomination is the term that comes to mind — right before the retching begins.

  27. Moderation, Wendie is the key. You try to take the bacon out of my turkey, muenster, avacado, tomato, bacon on rye with mayo, you’ve got a fight on your hands. And I refuse to eliminate bacon lardons from my lentil soup. And a hot dog wrapped in bacon and quick roasted over an open fire is tasty. Onthe other hand, bacon and chocolate, bacon martinis are nasty.

    • I’m with you on the sandwich. Had to give up the dogs years ago after seeing a film on how Fenway franks are made. And let me tell you, Tom, I inhaled a fair number back in the day.

  28. My word, we are in a paddy aren’t we?
    This phenomenon has yet to hit the shores of the UK. I for one would walk out of anywhere offering chocolate in a vodka martini, let alone bacon.
    With eggs, yes. Other good uses for bacon are angels on horseback, as long as you don’t eat the oysters, just the bacon. Devils on horseback (bacon wrapped prunes) is a splendid invention.
    And i personally dislike bacon so crispy that it goes off like a fragmentation bomb when you try to stick a fork in it to cut it.
    I know what you mean about the fillingsin your teeth, though.

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