Ode to Bacon

Ode to baconWhen I was in high school, I unwittingly set myself up in a dangerous trap. First, I went on the Atkins Diet. Then, the very next day, I visited a breakfast buffet with an endless quantity of perfectly prepared bacon. I made myself very sick. Bacon is trouble, from the moment it hits the pan. Whenever I fry it — and there is no other way to cook it — delicious bacon grease bubbles up and sears my arm.

That's just the beginning. Bacon is bad for you, but there are myriad ways to convince yourself to partake. It can appear in all three daily meals. At dinner, for example, it might be wrapped around a scallop or chicken Cordon Bleu. It can be a side at breakfast, or a sandwich condiment atop egg and cheese. At lunch, bacon stars in a sandwich all its own, the ubiquitous BLT.

I make mine with whole wheat bread and light mayo. This is ridiculous, of course, but it speaks to a wide-spread crisis of bacon-loving guilt. There is turkey bacon, presumably served with egg whites. Reduced-fat bacon, which is nonetheless cooked in puddles of its self-secreted grease.

Thankfully, there's now an array of products celebrating bacon for the fatty goodness that makes it a staple of American cuisine. There is bacon Spam, bacon chocolate, bacon ice cream, and bacon mayo. Which leads me to a modest proposal: the Bacon Diet. —M. G.

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