Bacon has become quite passe after a few solid years of being everyone's favorite breakfast meat. Much like a gaggle of Weeaboos, the Internet cultures over indulged and over exposed the pork product, making the rallying cries of Bacon! cause cringing and embarrasment. It has certainly become mainstream-uncool, like your parents on Facebook, with Stop and Shop declaring it, along with Maple as the current Flavor they're marketing. When did this excess start? Were the Bacon Weaves of Epic Meal Time to blame? Or was it the influx of bacon flavored popcorns, sauces and air fresheners that were all pretty terrible?
I've never been a Bacon Fadist. Ever since working in a breakfast restaurant in high school, it's been my favorite thing to have with french toast, or on an egg sandwich. I still believe in Bacon. Even David Chang uses it to flavor his stocks for Momofuku Noodle Bar. It has a place in cuisine. It's smokiness, saltiness, and the unctuous yet crispy texture of the fat are hard to replace. But rather than add it to literally everything, it needs a reason to be there.
I love Magic Bars. Layers of graham cracker, coconut, pecans and chocolate all bound by sweetened condensed milk make for quite the treat. But none of the recipes I browsed addressed the one flavor that was missing. Salt! I could probably have finished the bars while the chocolate cooled with some Fleur de Sel, but bacon has proven itself in previous desserts I've made. So, as one of my Superb Owl treats, I made a basic Magic Bar recipe, and added to it a pound of quality thick cut bacon, cooked until crisp and chopped finely. Cooking the pound of bacon also helped restore my bacon drippings stock, as I had tossed a lot of stuff when I moved a few months back.
The resulting bar is pretty much on point. I could tweak it some more, possibly replacing the graham crust with almond meal for a different texture and taste, but they are very rich and I don't think I can on good conscience make it too often.
This new year brought a lot of lists discussing what's Hot for 2016 in the food world. Stop it. Let's not find the new Kale, or the new Bacon. Let's enjoy new foods, and not ruin it for ourselves. Too much of anything is not just bad for health, but bad taste.