BACON is to a vegetarian as a whiff of cigarette smoke is to an ex-smoker.
Being, as I am, the most lackadaisical of vegetarians, I was perturbed to find my email targeted by J&D's, the unique souls behind such pig-based products as Baconnaise (everything should taste like bacon!) and BaconSalt.
But these new press releases weren't just peddling bacon-flavoured foods. No, sir. They were taking bacon to a rasher level: for those truly dedicated, luxury bacon coffins, which, I suppose, are the funereal version of a silk purse out of a sow's ear.
To the internet, and we discover these offerings are but a small part of a trend called baconalia. Designed not just to torture drooling vegetarians such as myself, baconalia is the appreciation of bacon on a worrying level, celebrated with dubious pig belly-themed tat. Should you be a fool ready to part with your money, there exists bacon toothpaste and lipgloss, dental floss, plasters, diet cola, coffee, candles, vodka and soap, to name a few.
For cuisine one must turn one's eyes to America, where Burger King is to introduce a bacon sundae: ice cream, fudge, caramel, bacon crumbles and a piece of bacon. At burger chain Jack in the Box you can already buy a 1081 calorie bacon milkshake.
My friend Denise bakes the most amazing cupcakes and recently she posted photos to Facebook of some chocolate, maple syrup and bacon creations. The bacon was sprayed with edible glitter. It was then I realised there's no escape. None. The snout of baconalia is being snuffled in the UK trough. In London, the restaurant Shaka Zula has opened a "meat bar" selling bacon-based cocktails. Nigella Lawson has released a recipe for bacon and chocolate brownies.
What a waste. Sometimes I'll sneak along the bacon aisle in Tesco and stare for a little while, admiring the ribboned white fat through the pink belly flesh, imagining it as my grandmother cooked it, paired with potato scones. I don't buy it because I have built it up in my head to such levels of deliciousness that it would only ever disappoint.
I thought this was a personal madness borne of 15 years of denial. I thought it was batty. No, batty is being buried in a bacon coffin. This makes me feel a little better. But not much.
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