Bacon, Sweet Mystery of Life

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francisnbacon.jpgBy Deirdre Bourdet

Sweet-savory desserts are now a way of life, it seems.  But for many, the most exciting (if borderline disturbing) sweet creations are those that incorporate the incomparable flavor of pork.  Bacony sweets were once the exclusive realm of the molecular gastronomists, who put bacon ice cream in soup with a slow poached egg in preparations designed as much to shock as to delight the taste buds.  The current generation of porked out sweets, though, seem to be taking a more natural approach that I think will be better received than the chocolate-bacon truffles of yesteryear. One of my favorite gifts this Christmas was a box of peanut brittle from the delightfully, dorkus-ly named Sir Francis Bacon ( ). The manufacturer’s logo alone makes this stuff worth gifting, but the product inside the box is just as fabulous. It looks and acts deceptively like normal peanut brittle–whole peanuts roasted to crunchy perfection, suspended in a shattering world of crispness that also somehow melts in your mouth. But a single sniff reveals its deeper, darker, smokier secret: real artisan smoked bacon, infused throughout the sugary brittle without a single stray meat or fat chunk to ruin the experience. It’s perfect bacon flavor and perfect peanut brittle, united at last in a paradigm-shifting candy that I cannot wait to crumble over salted caramel ice cream sundaes.  And/or my breakfast cereal. Beer-drinkers would also be well advised to stock up on this stuff by the truckload, as it makes a divine happy hour snack.

Closer to home, but not yet available on the Internet (at least not that I found in my Christmas shopping), San Francisco’s Humphrey Slocombe borrowed some of Boccalone’s “tasty salted pig parts” to create lard caramels… just like the ones mom used to make, if your mom used lard in place of the butter.  It sounds hideously disgusting until you recall that many of the finest pie crusts and biscuits also have lard, not butter, to thank for their delectable success.  Stop by Humphrey Slocombe or the SF Ferry Building Boccalone store for a pocketful of porky bliss to hand out at New Year’s.

Sir Francis Bacon

Ferry Building Shop Number 21, San Francisco 415.433.6500

Humphrey Slocombe
2790 Harrison Street, San Francisco 415.550.6971


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