bourdain1On Monday night my husband and I were feeling a bit lazy and uninspired, so much so that we ended up watching a veritable marathon of Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations. Which is not to say we don’t enjoy the show; indeed, we applaud his fervent championing of all things pork. But when we’re feeling feistier, his arrogance can drive us up the wall. One episode is usually enough to send my husband channel surfing, mumbling with disdain about chef’s who can’t stomach seeing where their meat comes from.

On the evening in question, the Travel Channel re-aired Anthony’s trip to San Francisco, one of the few big cities we enjoy. I was anxious to see which of the plethora of amazing restaurants he’d hit up, and how many different types of cuisine he’d highlight. I was delighted when he started with a totally fresh and unique place, the Pirate Cat Radio Cafe.

pirate-cat-radio

It’s an actual radio station/coffee shop, and most of the items on the menu are vegan, with one outstanding exception: The Maple Bacon Latte. This beauty of a beverage is made with actual maple syrup and the mysterious sounding “refined” bacon. According to DJ monkey, it takes 10 pounds of bacon to make 4 ounces of this condensed meat product, and it sounds like it makes one hell of a coffee. I still don’t understand how a vegan cafe can justify it, but I’m not going to complain. I just hope they’re still serving them next time I make my way up North. As of this writing, you can watch the clip in question at the Pirate Cat’s website.

Bourdain’s very next stop on this magical munchery tour was at the Tadich Grill, where he ate something that sounded absolutely revolting to me. It was called a Hangtown Fry, and it was basically an oyster and bacon omelet. Mind you, this wasn’t breakfast time, this was more like a happy hour snack. I don’t know about you, but oysters almost never sound good to me (with the notable exception of the Oysters Palace here in Santa Barbara). Even bacon doesn’t really make this dish sound any better, but if I was drinking the sizable Martinis that he was, you might just get me to try it. Omelets and martinis…a combination that may hold a place in my future.

I have to admit, I lost interest when he stopped talking about bacon and Brutus started begging for a walk. But it was enough to make me crave a trip to the Bay, and start planning an eating agenda for that eventuality. That latte is SO mine.

Sometimes I’m sitting in my office, window open to allow in a cool breeze, and what wafts in instead? The smell of cooking bacon. I work downtown, and fairly close to several restaurants. This sensory distraction drives me insane and creates a false sense of starvation, even for the vegetarians in the office.

ibacon

If this weren’t enough, G-Monkey Productions has come up with iBacon, an iPhone application that allows you to cook four sizzling strips of bacon, right on your phone. You can use the tongs to flip individual slices or all four at the same time. You can get grease splatters on your screen and remove them with a swipe of your finger. Drain your bacon grease, set off the smoke alarm…yep, sounds like a typical Saturday morning at my house. Finally, when the bacon is done to your liking, tip your phone up and chomp ‘em down! Mmm…virtual bacon.

So this little game is totally amusing, and made just for me. Like iBeer was made for my husband. Problem is, even after watching the demo, I’m famished! Oh well, for just 99 cents, I’ll deal with the hunger to have a laugh.

Thanks, Mark, for sharing your product with the world!

This is perfect for a Friday. So this hilarious site, Color Wars 2008, held a contest for the best nerd rap. The only stipulation was that the rapper use the word “bacon” and their team name in the rhyme. And man, the Gold and Silver medalist were particularly awesome. Here’s the Gold, who won two Jet Blue tickets, Chris from Orange Team:

And the Silver from a female rapper called Hits Her Mark, Team Pants. She totally talks about bacon chocolate chip cookies!

For the rest of the rhymes, go here. Gotta give props to Bronze winner SunnyBunny for her “don’t get fresh now” aside.

As always, big thanks to Chrissy for always being on the lookout for bacony goodness. Have a nice weekend, fools!

bacon-shotI don’t speak German, but I’m an instant fan of this very simple website with a singular purpose: to teach you how to make a bacon vodka shot. It’s baconshot.net, and it’s beautiful. Considering that bacon vodka (and Bakon Vodka) will be featured at Bacon Day this year, this site is particularly timely.

bacon-shot-baconJust look at that gorgeous bacon. Doesn’t it make you thirsty??

 

 

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Wait. What did he do with this tiny glass of bacon grease? Anyone? Beuller?

I wanted to post every photo from this site, but you can go check it out yourselves. It’s a German masterpiece, much like a Durer painting, but without all the religious iconography. And much, MUCH more bacony.

Editor’s note: So I’m an idiot? Who doesn’t know how to do research before writing? Naseem tells me this site is actually Danish and not German…and that there’s a translation available here. Tilgive mig, Nordisk.

bacon-world-3DUDES! Have you seen this?! I am often overwhelmed by what people are able to capture with a good camera and lenses, but this absolutely takes the cake. London photographer Carl Warner captured these amazing landscapes, made entirely of cold cuts and bread products. I adore the bacon trees and prosciutto river…I can’t stop looking at this!

bacon-world-1You have to check out this site for a quick rundown of some more incredible foodscapes by Carl, including plenty for you vegetarians out there. There’s a gourd boat afloat on a wild sea of cabbage, an arid plane of alien-looking mushrooms, and a brocolli forest just waiting for a troop of Keebler elves. And that’s just the beginning. Most of the images I could stare at for an hour and keep finding new food elements.

Thanks to Maurie and Unusual Life for bringing this art to our attention.

Well, it’s Fiesta time in Santa Barbara. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this annual festival, it’s also called Old Spanish Days and it started in 1924 as a celebration of the Spanish way of life that the town’s settlers had once enjoyed. At this time of year, I try really hard not to dwell on the conquistadors and missionaries who came and enslaved the Chumash Indians to build this beautiful city. Instead, I focus on things that matter. Like the tacos.

I work just one block from the epicenter of all Fiesta activity, De La Guerra Plaza, where they set up the grandstand for flamenco dance troupes and local bands. Surrounding the stage are booths manned by local restaurants and nonprofit organizations, selling all kinds of food and beverages. It’s almost impossible not to walk over and get carnitas tacos every 5 minutes day. But it got me thinking…does anyone ever use bacon in their tacos? Besides Taco Bell, I mean.

bacon-tacoSo I went searching. I wasn’t surprised that I wasn’t the first to think of this…I don’t think I’ve EVER been first with a bacon idea. I found that at SXSW you could get a plain taco with bacon for the meat. Boo! Boring! I was looking for something more interesting, so I was thrilled to find that over at Bacon Today they one-upped the idea entirely and made a bacon taco shell! Using the ever popular and highly versatile bacon mat, they shaped and baked a shell for filling with eggs and other breakfast goodies. You can find step-by-step instructions at SnarkyBytes. I’m definitely going to have to try this soon.

bacon-cheeseburger-rollAnd speaking of totally non-traditional uses of bacon in ethnic cuisine, check out this recipe for a bacon cheeseburger egg roll. Naseem and I were both pretty grossed out when we heard about it, but then when we saw the photo, it didn’t seem like such a terrible idea. I mean, it’s not the kind of thing I’d tell my husband about? But some night when he’s out of town…look out egg roll wraps. I’m bringing the love, American style.

Most days my posts have to do with some great bacon find, or a cool recipe, or a weird product. Today I just want to talk about eating bacon, the way we did on Sunday morning.

mmm-baconSaturday evening Naseem and her crew threw a big backyard BBQ. Something like 40 people were there, people from all different circles and spheres of her life, brought together for one big event. It was super fun, and my husband and I got to catch up with some of Naseem’s long-time friends that we don’t see very often. She attracts a great crowd.

bacon-potatoesThe coolest thing about a big Naseem event is that a bunch of folks end up spending the night, sitting around a bonfire until 3 am and camping on the lawn. We never make it that late, but the campout always leads to my favorite part of the event: Sunday morning breakfast! Before we cabbed it home Saturday night, we told Cory and Mike to text us in the morning when the bacon was cooking. Thank goodness they did or we would have slept right through it.

bacon-in-motionBy the time we arrived, there was already a giant pan of potatoes frying, and Naseem was in the middle of cooking FOUR POUNDS of bacon! Because there were 13 people planning to eat, so…right. That equals about 4 pounds. (Note this photo of the fastest bacon flipper in the West!) There was the “before” bacon (everyone’s allowed a slice while breakfast cooks) and the “during” bacon, not to mention the bacon grease which was used to cook the scrambled eggs.

bacon-pileA big topic of conversation was how gross it might really be to chug a cup of bacon grease, and whether it should be an activity at this year’s Bacon Day. I contend that it’s basically liquid bacon, so it can’t be that bad. Everyone else contends that I’m an idiot and they’d like to see me put my money where my mouth is. We’ll see how that one plays out…

muffin-topOne of my least favorite fashion trends in the U.S. is the muffin top. You know, when your jeans get a little too tight, but instead of giving them to Goodwill you just keep rocking them and add a slightly-too-short t-shirt to emphasize your tummy’s accomplishment? I see it less and less, but a couple of years ago I could have sworn someone was actually selling the concept to teens. Half the girls on State Street were sporting muffin tops, and I spent a lot of time shaking my head. I’m not saying I’ve never spilled over the top of my jeans, I’m just saying I wore a long, flowy shirt to fool myself. Probably didn’t fool anyone else.

“Why is she rambling about this?” you’re wondering. Well in England they call this look the Bacon Belt. Which I find far more descriptive and less flattering than the American term. But, I guess you gotta call a spade a spade, and the English are pretty blunt people.

bacon-beltNow, to redeem the term altogether, Archie McPhee has given us something more literal. The Bacon Belt, seen here looking extra rock-star with a Slayer t-shirt, is made of vinyl and runs $24.95.

If you’ve got a little more cash to spare, you can get this custom bacon and eggs belt from the Etsy Belt shop. The buckle is made of pewter, and at $460, this would be a serious sign of your devotion to the pork belly. Totally worth it, right? bacon-eggs-belt