October 22, 2012
It's like Leslie Nielsen's Frank Drebin says in The Naked Gun 2 1/2 as he drives by a nuclear energy plant with reactors shaped like a woman's bosom: "Everywhere I look, something reminds me of her…"
Only for me the love isn't Priscilla Presley. It's bacon. As widely as I might wander, I can't escape being reminded of her.
The reminders were somehow only more unavoidable when I took to a three-stop trip across the country's bacon-fattened midsection last week.
First it was the bacon-maple beers, Bacon & Eggs Imperial Breakfast Porter (from Pizza Port in Ocean Beach) and the sticky chocolate cake, malt cremeux, chocolate bark and candied bacon, by chef Kyle Mendenhall of The Kitchen, paired with Jester King Weasel Rodeo at Denver's Great American Beer Festival.
Then it was the avalanche of hot-dog toppings (among 50) at Happy Dog in Cleveland that were bacon-related, like the bacon-spiked Southern greens, bacon-balsamic marmalade and the applewood smoked bacon (yes, I felt compelled to order each, along with electric-green "alien relish," garlic aioli, caramelized onion and a fried egg), which still totals just $5.
Then the coup de grâce, a passed appetizer at the southern wedding in Little Rock, Ark. that was simply, and beautifully, a piece of lightly maple-sugared bacon on a skewer.
Now the inaugural Bacon, Blues and Brews awaits Saturday at the Fairgrounds ($40 in advance; $50 at the gate)—and the bacon freaks out there on World-Wide Webbing are busily crafting everything from bacon breath aid for days when you need to impress the farmer's daughter to a bacon burger turtle, complete with hot-dog appendages.
Then there's this guy.
Maybe because she saw my historic testimonials to things like bacon stuffed animals and chicken-fried bacon—event organizer Tanya Moore asked me to help judge.
With manically creative chefs like Brian Christensen (of Brophy's), Tony Baker (of Montrio Bistro and Baker's Bacon, who did the pork trio pictured at top) and Mark Ayers (of Cannery Row Brewing Company) involved, I know I'll try at least a handful of inspired dishes.
We want you to, too—for free. But we'll need your own testimonial, in the form of a haiku. Log it in the comments below or on the Weekly's Facebook page, like this one from Gloria Brokaw.
Was it an apple? • Or bacon that tempted Eve? • I am a bad Jew.
Best haiku wins two $50 tickets.