A dispatch from Bacon Bash 2012, by a bacon convert
So here’s an interesting fact for you: I hate bacon. Or at least, I hated the concept of it until New York’s First Annual Bacon Bash last Saturday. Possibly a lot of it has to do with how I “got to know” bacon. Dairy Queen’s commercials were my first exposure to the sight of it. Wendy’s Baconator was my first smell of it, and American Airlines’ “hot dinners” were my first taste of it. I had no preconditions to like bacon.
Second interesting fact: I’m a bit of a masochist and like to make myself do things I will not like, which is why I signed up to go to the Bacon Bash. Four bacon tastes, one craft beer taste, and free admission. What would I get myself into?
When I entered the Arena Event Space at 135 W. 41st St, I chose my four tastes carefully. Bacon chili was the first on my list, courtesy of Lucky 777 Chili. I expected to clinch my nose as I chewed it but ended up downing the cup in less than a minute The double meatiness had meant double the flavor. I dared myself to follow it with Baconery’s mini cheddar jalapeño cornbread, which turned out to be a not so spicy, pleasant injection of carbs into my system.
It wasn’t until I encountered Little Town NYC’s bacon stand that I noted just how radical these people might take it with their bacon. In the middle of a plate lay bacon melon balls—no exaggeration. What looked like parmesan cheese on top was actually powdered bacon.
Third interesting fact: I hate melon. This isn’t the result of traumatic melon memories. I just hate it. So of course I tried it. And of course, I loved it. The half-sweet tartness was masked by the intense salty powder, creating a fusion of flavors that eclipsed anything I might have disliked about melons.
By the end of the first hour and a half, I had a bittersweet chocolate toffee bacon cupcake in my hand from Prohibition Bakery. Now all I needed was a craft beer. I asked the bartender for a Rogue Voodoo Doughnut Bacon Maple Ale. To my chagrin, she didn’t lay a strip of bacon across my drink like she had for two men before me.
Then I took a sip and that chagrin was gone. The taste of alcohol was smoothened by the more prevalent taste of bacon. I sat in a corner overlooking the main area and alternated between licking the bacon-sprinkled chocolate toffee and sipping my bacon beer. From my perch, I saw two types of people in the room: the stereotypical one, with balding and head-shaved men with hanging potbellies donning Harley Davidson t-shirts, who were likely to switch them for the “I <3 Bacon t-shirts” being sold. Then, the crowd that deviated from the norm of the bacon-lover I envisioned: skinny girls in fitted cocktail shorts, men in polos, and of course, me, the bacon-hater.
I was so amazed by the bacon that three days later, I talked on and on about it to my bacon-loving friends to win their envy (which I did) and hoped to bask in their “I’m so jealous” statements (I did). I even blabbered to my Orthodox Jewish friend about it, and was confused for about a minute when he expressed no jealousy in return.
Next year, during round two, I hope to do a bacon vodka shot and hope for more opportunities to try all craft beers. Until then, though, bye, bacon: beyond Bacon Bash, I’m going to be discerning with your kind until you regain my trust in bacon.
Leave a Comment
Be nice. Don't use HTML tags. And consider reading our full comment policy.