The Bacon Chronicles (with and without a Brazilian)Posted: September 17, 2011
Disclaimer: this post includes no life lessons, however, it is really delicious.
I have never had a pet pig and I am in no way a vegetarian. But, with all of my body and soul, bacon is bliss.
Meat, in general, and bacon, to be precise, play a central role in my culinary life. I have also convinced my children about the mythical qualities of this blessed pork product, however, my husband is a work in progress. Oh, and I learned recently that when pig belly is presented to middle-aged women by a hot Brazilian chef, it can indeed induce serious carnal feelings.
This smoked protein goodness stands apart. At this exact moment, there are at least 2-3lbs of it in my possession – either in frozen or refrigerated state for both long and short term requirements. Here is an example of what bacon looks like in my weekly shopping cart.
And here is me looking for bacon at a store in Canada.
This is a recent episode of bacon preparation. Out of frame is a cup of coffee and me looking super sfelt in an extra fuzzy bathrobe. My brood is sitting anxiously across the counter waiting to steal a taste of this salty, smoky goodness.
As a kid, bacon grease was our butter. Not literally, we had butter of course, but you get the point. Captured into a coffee can, cooled and then its goodness was used in and on everything – like on biscuits to brown them and to lend flavor to any and all vegetables. When I grew older I learned that this practice is, how do you say, a tad bit unhealthy?
Have you ever eaten green beans cooked in bacon grease? No? D-I-V-I-N-E. The ultimate in Southern cooking, ya’ll.
Then a few years back there was a mythical banana cupcake with bacon icing that I consumed at my friend Danael’s birthday party. Yes, that’s right BACON ICING. Who dreams up this madness? When I put this devilish pastry into my mouth, it was like chewing the gum given by Mr. Wonka to Violet Beauregard, the girl who turned into a blueberry. Akin to eating a complete breakfast in one bite. Simple, salty and sublime.
Another bacon memory includes a cold winter’s night in Manhattan. It was 2am and my Canadian (yes, I have more than one, so I should probably leave this adjective out) friend and I were seated at a cozy bar in the West Village. It was closing time and the kitchen staff declares it’s high time for an Iron Chef-esk challenge. And with which central ingredient? You guessed it, bacon. Let the sizzling begin! Five minutes later, we are drinking homemade, off-the-record liquid concoctions and testing the limits of New York hospitality. My extraordinarily seductive (Canadian) friend convinces the boys to let her play around in the kitchen (nothing dirty here, sheez). Lots of laughing, a few uncomfortable moments et voila, I’m eating FREE bacon.
Ok, here comes the carnal part. A few months back, I was at the CIA in San Antonio and Rodrigo Oliveira from Mocotó in São Paulo was a guest chef. Let me just say, this guy knows his way around the soft underside of a pig. In front of a room full of people, he fried up some fresh chicharron out of a 2″ slab of fresh pork belly (I realize this is a slight bacon departure, but it was still sublime). He browned it just right. Then, he fed it to most of the middle-aged women in the room. This is precisely the moment when everything went into slow motion.
Did I mention this guy really loves pork belly?
“Taste it,” he said as he slowly and seductively served his pork to these ladies. “Taste it, isn’t it magnificent?” Did I mention that Rodrigo is a devilishly handsome, young and passionate Brazilian who really loves pork belly?
At this moment, women began to swoon and hope they would be chosen to try the Brazilian-enhanced pork creation. Alas, I was not one of the chosen ones, but I did swoon in silence in his midst – mostly cause I wanted that pork! Um, I meant to say, the pork belly.
Bacon in the Morning
Bacon at Night
Bacon in Canada
Bacon on a Cupcake
Bacon in The Village
Bacon with a Brazilian
So many bacon memories, so many more to come. Perhaps some with Brazilians, most without. Either way, bacon is culinary genius.
Taste it, isn’t it magnificent.