You know how when one vampire movie (or zombie movie, or movie about Truman Capote) comes out, suddenly there are one or two others within the next 12 months? Like, everyone had this great idea right around the same time for some weird reason? Well, apparently bacon-scented soap is an idea whose time has come.

man-soapWe begin with a new product from Cindy at Soapourri. She has a variety 3-pack of Man Soap (scroll down a bit), including not only bacon, but also rum & lime (yum) and Dirty Boy, which includes coffee grounds, pumice and the scent of motor oil! Super inventive and exfoliating! Count my man in. And just so your guy doesn’t feel weird about getting soap in his stocking, it comes wrapped in manly camo paper, tied with minimalist twine.

bacon-soapAnd of course, never to be outdone by the little guy, and always excessively overboard on all things bacon-kitsch, Archie McPhee took it a step further by making soap that smells and kinda looks like bacon. This embossed bar comes in the ever popular McPhee tin, giving you somewhere to keep your collection of spent shell casings . You manly man, you.

If Taco Bell has it right, we ladies should be using this soap to draw men to our heavenly aroma. Wait, did I just suggest that women take dating advice from Taco Bell? I think I’m high on liquid smoke. Someone needs some coffee, STAT.

Bacon lovers in the Bellingham, Washington area, have I got a home for you. The historic Bacon Home has been standing for more than 100 years, and now it can be yours!

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Actually, it’s a gorgeous house in my second-favorite state. If only I had a million dollars to spare! Thanks, Mykie, for keeping us posted on all the lastest in Bacon real estate.

I’m sure you’ve all heard of chicharrones. Also known as pork rinds or cracklin’s and often sold in liquor stores with a small packet of hot sauce, these puffy pig fat treats are a mere shadow of the real thing. If you’re lucky, you’ve got a good authentic Mexican restaurant in your town where you can get a fresh fried chicharrone, possibly with some actual pork skin. If you’re brave, you might even try making them yourself.

While technically not bacon, this Latin American treat is closely related enough for me to justify talking about it here. Last week I made chile verde, using a pork shoulder (or butt) roast. There’s usually a thick layer of fat on one side, with a streak of meat running through the center, but not enough to try to salvage. I generally cut off all this fat and toss it, but for some reason I was struck with the idea of trying to make chicharrones this time. I’d never done it before, and didn’t know if this cut of fat even qualified, but still I charged forth.

chicharoneI started by placing the pieces into a skillet with a miniscule amount of olive oil, just to get the frying started. I sprinkled them lightly with salt and cooked them on the stove on low heat for nearly an hour, turning occassionally. After that amount of time, they weren’t anywhere near crispy, so I heated the oven to 300 degrees and cooked them for another hour. Still not crispy enough! Apparently it takes quite a while to cook all the moisture out of pork fat. So I let them go one more hour and finally felt they were done enough. Sadly, I’m an idiot and didn’t realize I would be blogging about this, so only took one crappy photo (on my phone, of course) toward the end of the process.

How can I describe these savory bites? They were so rich and fatty, at once wildly satisfying and horribly guilt-inducing. I’ve had other homemade chicharrones that were overcooked and had a burnt flavor, but the long, slow cooking time caused no burning, and made them crispy, slightly chewy toward the center and kind of melt-in-your-mouth delicious. They were so good, I promised myself I wouldn’t make them more than once a year. Clearly I am not a sweets person…for me this was like a chocoholic eating a whole box of See’s candy in a sitting.

If you’re a true bacon lover, I highly recommend trying this out for yourself. But I warn you, chicharrones may be habit forming. Do not attempt to operate heavy machinery with greasy fingers. If you feel you are at risk of pork fat overdose, eat a salad…and don’t forget the bacon bits.

A reader named Chrissie sent me a link to this recipe for Bacon Caramels, and I cannot thank her enough. Although I’ve never made candy, and I know it can be tricky, I think we’ll give these a try for Bacon Day 2009. They just look too divine.

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If you’re looking for a good recipe site, especially one with lots of lavish sweets and detailed techniques, Not Without Salt is a great resource.

Untitled-1Hi everybody! It’s been a while; We moved to a new house and I’ve been busy securing its borders, making the possums an offer they couldn’t refuse, if you know what I mean. I’m still swamped with trampling the flower beds and tasting the variety of greens around the house, but I just had to speak up about a new product.

first-i-tried-reasoningBoss Hogg’s Bacon Pet Treats are AMAZING! Basically, it’s small pieces of real bacon that have been jerkeyfied for a little extra chewiness. I could practically smell it through the packaging! Of course my roommates teased me relentlessly before letting me sample the product. First I tried reasoning with them.

 

 

 Then I resorted to force. Some people just won’t listen to reason.

then-i-used-forceFinally they open the bag, and the first thing Marianne does is take a bite. OF MY TREAT! She does this with almost everything she gives me, it is so weird. And rude. I don’t see her letting me sample everything she eats. Whatever. We finally get down to what it’s all about: tasting the bacon! Man was it delicious, exactly like eating a slice from the pan, but the thickness and chewiness made it much more fun to eat. I’m putting this at the top of my Christmas stocking wish list.tasting-bacon

I also tried Boss Hogg’s Bad to the Bone Dog Bones. These are country ham bones, full of marrowy goodness. The only problem is, my jaws are pretty strong and it didn’t take me long to break off a piece and choke on it. I guess pork bones have a tendency to shatter anyway, so you need to supervise your pet with this treat. Marianne took mine away. I was sad to see it go, but she quickly remedied my sorrow with another bacon treat. I instantly forgave her.

I know the 4th of July was almost a week ago, and that by posting a week late I seem deeply ungrateful for my many liberties, but that popcorn post was really important. Plus? I was too hungover on Sunday night to prepare a real post for Monday. Sue me.

bacon-raw-pileOur holiday was super fun-filled and friend-packed and started, appropriately, with a mountain of bacon. The soon-to-be-newlywed Therese and Murray threw a smashing brunch at their new house. Honestly, how two people can have just moved into a new house, be planning a wedding, and still host a party is beyond all human comprehension. They are super heroes of entertainment, and I think they know it.

bacon-on-bbqWhile guests brought fruit and champagne and the occassional breakfast bread pudding, Murese (their Hollywood name) anchored the meal with never-ending pancakes, scrambled eggs, tater tots, and pounds and pounds of Daily’s Hardwood Smoked Center Cut bacon. We served Daily’s pepper bacon at our first Bacon Day, and it’s a great, well-rounded brand that I would happily buy again, especially when cooking in bulk. Murray was on meat detail, and did a great job of cooking it just right, not too crispy, not too chewy. I wish I had a photo of the chef at work, but I was just so mesmerized by the bacon…

Let’s see, what else happened that day…I remember a beach, a boat, some fireworks. Lots of people were there. I’m going to go out on a limb and say I had a great time. I know one thing for sure: freedom has never been more delicious.

I have to start this post with two apologies. First, I apologize to the Paradise Island Gourmet Popcorn company. We were remiss in sampling your product. Second, I apologize to our readers, for not getting the word out sooner about this delicious treat! I hope this review will earn us a measure of forgiveness.

bacon-popcornNaseem and I were both pretty excited about Paradise Island popcorn when they first contacted us. They thought we might like to try their bacon popcorn, and a few other intriguing flavors, such as strawberry, pineapple and cinnamon. Last weekend we were finally able to get together with friends to get some varied and objective feedback. We purposely included one Doubting Thomas just to get all perspectives, but once we started tasting there could be no doubt. We all loved this popcorn! The ranking of flavors was almost unanimous.

#1 – MMMM…BACON. We think we liked this flavor best because it was salty, which is what you expect in popcorn. The aroma was smoky and reminiscent of really well-done bacon; some thought bacon bits. The flavor was salty, smoky, and almost cheesy. Once someone said “cheese” we all started to think of it as smoked cheese popcorn. This bag was gone long before we had finished discussing its nuances.

#2 – CINNAMON TWIST. This was a totally surprise favorite. The aroma reminded us of a warm, fresh churro, and the flavor backed that up. Sweet, but not overwhelming. Yum.

#3 – PINEAPPLE DELIGHT. This was the sweetest of the flavors. It reminded me of pineapple upside-down cake; others tasted notes of other tropical fruits like mango.

frankenberry#4 STRAWBERRY FIELDS. Although this flavor ranked number 4, the margin was very slight. This one reminded us of Frankenberry cereal, and I mean that in the best way possible.

Paradise’s CEO, Steve Cantin, tells me that everyone (including lovers of bacon) is really excited about their new flavor, Jamaican BBQ, which I’m sure to be trying soon.

We were all thrilled to discover how much we enjoyed this popcorn. We hadn’t actually planned to try all four flavors in one go, but once we got started we just couldn’t stop. (See the stack of empty bags above.) The most exciting thing about these microwaveable wonders is that they’re sugar free (except Strawberry Fields, which has a small amount), contain no trans-fats and are made without hydrogenated oils. They would make a great sweet snack for someone trying to cut sugar and fat out of their diets…and with this in mind my parents will be receiving a variety pack in the very near future.

And now for the best news of all: RBS readers can get this funfood for 15% off! Just click through from the RBS Bacon Store, and use the coupon code RBS15 at check-out. Happy Snacking!

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Bacon pirates? Anyone? Bueller?

Can’t wait to find out what this is all about…