For most people, this word brings up images, remembered smells and tastes of a delicious, crispy party in your mouth. Some have argued that if you do not like bacon... then you are not alive.
I love bacon.
But I have to be careful when purchasing it, because somewhere, sometime in the past some demented individual altered the course of bacon forever. My brother describes it as a glorious accident: maple syrup left over from pancakes seeped over onto some unsuspecting bacon. The owner of the plate, a somewhat questionable person (being that there was maple syrup there in the first place), nevertheless did not want to waste the glorious experience of bacon, and so ate it anyway, maple syrup and all.
The true horror of this story is not that the disgusting maple syrup was allowed to touch the hallowed bacon in the first place. It’s not even that no one caught this individual and locked them up in a padded room before the idea could be pitched to some food company to sell it to unsuspecting consumers. No, the true horror of this story is that a large portion of the population of the previously mentioned unsuspecting consumers think that it’s a great idea and actually buy it on purpose.
Recently I purchased some bacon for the eating enjoyment of my family, as I am wont to do. I am always careful when selecting my future deliciousness that I differentiate between those packages of bacon that say “MAPLE SMOKED!!!” and those that do not. The former has no place in my grocery cart (or in my mouth. Because it is gross). I had made my selection (it was on sale!) and given myself a high five, because, as we all know, bacon + discount = high five. This particular bacon was “hardwood smoked,” and I was all, “cool, as long as it’s not maple.” There are several kinds of wood that are considered “hardwood,” such as oak, cherry, or birch. But apparently the hardwood that was used to smoke this particular bacon was (you guessed it!) maple.
Thankfully, the bacon only smelled disgusting while being cooked and tasted fine (translation: not mapley). So a disaster was narrowly averted. Although my house did smell like maple bacon for the next several hours instead of just normal delicious bacon.
Something must be done about this. I propose separating the bacon section so that this never happens again. Perhaps the maple bacon could be put on one side of the meat department and the normal bacon on the other, with large signs letting people know about the change. It would be sad if people who want normal bacon were to find the maple section and then think there was no alternative.
A less confusing solution would be to stop making maple bacon entirely and then just put a selection of syrups next to the bacon section. There’s usually a side or end cap on the ice cream aisle for people who for unknowable reasons like butterscotch on their ice cream. I don’t judge, I just don’t buy that kind of sauce. Why shouldn’t purchasers of bacon have the same choice?
Or, maybe, they should stop trying to disguise their yucky maple bacon as regular normal delicious bacon to try to trick those of us who would prefer to enjoy their bacon instead of having to toss it out. Not cool, bacon packaging designers. Not cool.
I have a dream that all people who enjoy eating bacon can be free to enjoy whatever kind they want without having to freak out because one of their favorite foods smells/tastes like one of their least favorite foods.
So enjoy your bacon, whatever kind it is that you like.