The Great Bacon Odyssey: Does It Really Make Everything Better?

Geek Culture

bacon productsbacon products

Photo: Matt Blum

Ah, bacon: the world’s greatest guilty pleasure, at least where food is concerned. I do so very much love bacon, in all things in which I’ve tried it. I’ve had it with eggs, on a burger, crumbled up in pancakes, wrapped around a scallop: the usual suspects.

But I haven’t tried it in everything possible — yet. I’ve been aware for some time of the various commercial products and recipes out there that use bacon in … let’s call them “unconventional” ways. Since we at GeekDad have publicly agreed with the generally accepted rule that bacon makes everything better, I have decided to follow in the footsteps of one of our favorite TV shows and put that myth to the test!

I have therefore embarked on The Great Bacon Odyssey. Starting now, for however long it takes, I will be trying anything and everything with bacon or bacon flavoring that I can lay my hands on. I will be trying the questionable bacon products as a public service, so you don’t have to. (I suppose I should add, just in case, an apology to my ancestors, as I am Jewish by heritage, even though I’ve never kept Kosher.)

For this inaugural post, I tried two bacon-flavored sweets: bacon-flavored jellybeans and a chocolate bar with bacon in it. How did they fare? Read on.

chocolate with baconchocolate with bacon

Photo: Matt Blum

First up, Mo’s Bacon Bar by Vosges Haut Chocolat: I’d had normally savory food items mixed with chocolate before: salt and hot peppers. And, as I mentioned above, I’d had bacon in pancakes, so the notion of bacon in something sweet was not that extraordinary to me. But how would chocolate with bacon really taste?

Ingredients: Impressive — chocolate, bacon and salt. Nice and simple.

Appearance: Looks like a regular, if thin, chocolate bar.

Smell: Like good-quality chocolate. No detectable bacon smell at all.

Taste: Good! Not delicious, but really quite good. Only a little bacon flavor came through the rich taste of the chocolate, mostly lending the bar a nice smoky quality.

Worth the Money?: Not really. The small bar I tried cost about $2.00 (at Whole Foods), and weighed in at 0.5 ounces. It was good, but not $4-per-ounce good.

bacon beansbacon beans

Photo: Matt Blum

Next up, Bacon Beans: In the interest of full disclosure, I must admit that I have never been a fan of savory-flavored jellybeans. I love regular jellybeans, and have a huge weakness for Jelly Belly sours in particular, but flavors like “buttered popcorn” have always tasted off to me. But how would Bacon Beans taste?

Ingredients: Troubling. “Artificial Bacon Flavor” included on the list, with no other flavor mentioned. Instead of the nutritional information (which is available on ThinkGeek), the label simply provides a phone number you can call to get it, and the number isn’t even toll-free.

Appearance: Orangish-brown, slightly larger than Jelly Belly jellybeans. Not particularly appealing, but not particularly off-putting, either.


My actual reaction to the Bacon Beans. Photo: Jen Blum

Smell: Very pungent, best described as a mixture of liquid smoke and sugar. Way more smoky than bacon-y. Did nothing to whet my appetite for the beans.

Taste: Right up (down?) there with the very worst things I have ever eaten in my life. I drank a whole glass of limeade after eating just one jellybean and the taste was still in my mouth. If evil ever needed a flavor, this would be a strong candidate. My children wanted to try this, too; each of them spat it out upon tasting it.

Worth the Money?: Depends on what you intend to use them for. If you have enemies, and plan to sneak some of the beans into their jellybean mix, $5.99 for a tin might be worth it. If you’re thinking about eating some yourself, save your money and eat some month-old fruit — it’ll taste better.

Know of any — any — bacon products or recipes out there that you can’t quite bring yourself to try? Let me know about it in a comment, an e-mail, or a tweet.

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