The world is filled with crappy bacon products. I know. I own most of them. That’s the problem with loving bacon. Every time a birthday or Christmas or International Bacon Day (Sep. 4) rolls around, you’re inundated with awful bacon-themed gag gifts. I mean “gag” in every sense of the word: bad-joke-stupid and in some cases, so awful they make me want to retch.
Vosges’ Mo’s Bacon Bar isn’t making chocolate better; it’s only making bacon worse. Bacon mints, bacon floss, bacon toothpicks and bacon gummy candy all forced me to suppress my gag-reflex (especially the bacon mints). That bacon martini my editor once bought my in Las Vegas made my stomach churn for the rest of the night. Bacon air-freshener made my car smell more like a chemical factory than a smokehouse. The bacon wallet doesn’t hold much and bacon bandages don’t stick for long.
Worst of all is J&D’s Bacon Salt. I raced to my computer and bought a three-pack of this “gourmet seasoning” as soon as the product hit the market. Here’s what they don’t advertise: One of its main flavoring agents is MSG. While real bacon is a mouthwatering melange of smoky, salty and meaty flavors. Bacon Salt tastes like a heavy-handed mix of liquid smoke and neutered, crushed Bac-Os.
Toque’s Bacon Must-Haves
If you love someone and they love bacon, avoid the gag gifts and just buy them bacon. A few ideas…
- Skillet Bacon Jam
- Bacon Peanut Brittle
- Maple Bacon Potato Chips
2. Bacon Of The Month, the gift that keeps on sizzling.
3. Husband-and-wife team Neil and Phyllis Strawder, a.k.a. Bigmista’s BBQ, are well-known around LA farmers markets for their smoky, delicious barbecue. But Bigmista’s also makes bacon candy: strips of smoked bacon glazed in a sweet-and-spicy sauce. If that’s not enough, try their recipe for Bacon Monkey Muffins with Butter-Brandy Glaze. (Similar to Lou’s pig candy.)
5. Sir Francis Bacon Peanut Brittle from Dean & Deluca. ($6-16)
6. Bacon Lollipops:
7. Marketed as a diet aid, Flavor Spray seems completely terrifying, especially when it comes in Smoked Bacon Flavor, but I had to throw it in. ($5.95)
8. Meatcards, business cards made of meat. ($29.95)
9. The Bacon Tuxedo ($99.95)
10. Keep Calm & Eat Some Bacon note card ($2.99)
11. Shaky Bacon plush doll ($7)
12. Bacon Lunchbox ($19.95)
13. Bacon Placemat ($2.95)
14. Bacon Skateboard (starts at $67.95)