Bacon Must-Haves (and Must-Not-Haves)

By on Thursday, September 2nd, 2010

The world is filled with crappy bacon products. I know. I own most of them. That’s the problem with loving bacon. Every time a birthday or Christmas or International Bacon Day (Sep. 4) rolls around, you’re inundated with awful bacon-themed gag gifts. I mean “gag” in every sense of the word: bad-joke-stupid and in some cases, so awful they make me want to retch.

Vosges’ Mo’s Bacon Bar isn’t making chocolate better; it’s only making bacon worse. Bacon mints, bacon floss, bacon toothpicks and bacon gummy candy all forced me to suppress my gag-reflex (especially the bacon mints). That bacon martini my editor once bought my in Las Vegas made my stomach churn for the rest of the night. Bacon air-freshener made my car smell more like a chemical factory than a smokehouse. The bacon wallet doesn’t hold much and bacon bandages don’t stick for long.

Worst of all is J&D’s Bacon Salt. I raced to my computer and bought a three-pack of this “gourmet seasoning” as soon as the product hit the market. Here’s what they don’t advertise: One of its main flavoring agents is MSG. While real bacon is a mouthwatering melange of smoky, salty and meaty flavors. Bacon Salt tastes like a heavy-handed mix of liquid smoke and neutered, crushed Bac-Os.

Toque’s Bacon Must-Haves

If you love someone and they love bacon, avoid the gag gifts and just buy them bacon. A few ideas…

Bacon Edibles

1. Promising artisanal bacon-based products from Foodzie, all made by different producers:

  • Skillet Bacon Jam
  • Bacon Peanut Brittle
  • Maple Bacon Potato Chips

2. Bacon Of The Month, the gift that keeps on sizzling.

3.┬áHusband-and-wife team Neil and Phyllis Strawder, a.k.a. Bigmista’s BBQ, are well-known around LA farmers markets for their smoky, delicious barbecue. But Bigmista’s also makes bacon candy: strips of smoked bacon glazed in a sweet-and-spicy sauce. If that’s not enough, try their recipe for Bacon Monkey Muffins with Butter-Brandy Glaze. (Similar to Lou’s pig candy.)

4. Lou’s Pig Candy: Lou’s, a terrific restaurant here in Los Angeles, was the first local eatery (that I know of) to put bacon like this on their menu.

5. Sir Francis Bacon Peanut Brittle from Dean & Deluca. ($6-16)

6. Bacon Lollipops:

7. Marketed as a diet aid, Flavor Spray seems completely terrifying, especially when it comes in Smoked Bacon Flavor, but I had to throw it in. ($5.95)

Bacon Novelties

8. Meatcards, business cards made of meat. ($29.95)

9. The Bacon Tuxedo ($99.95)

10. Keep Calm & Eat Some Bacon note card ($2.99)

11. Shaky Bacon plush doll ($7)

12. Bacon Lunchbox ($19.95)

13. Bacon Placemat ($2.95)

14. Bacon Skateboard (starts at $67.95)

Written by Elina Shatkin

Elina Shatkin is West Coast editor for Toque as well as restaurant critic and staff writer for LA Weekly. Shatkin was a staff writer at the Los Angeles Times and has written for a variety of publications in print and online. She's the co-founder of the incipient food blog Guzzle & Nosh.

16 Comments

  1. oakley says:

    You’re making me hungry here, Elina!!!

    There’s MSG in Bacon Salt!?!? Hot dang. But I still like it especially on my meatless Tuesdays. ­čÖé

  2. Erika Kotite says:

    Bacon, bacon, it's all about bacon. New post on Toque: http://tinyurl.com/2c3kv99

  3. Bacon, bacon, it's all about bacon. New post on Toque: http://tinyurl.com/2c3kv99

  4. Love it!!! RT @toquemag: Bacon, bacon, it's all about bacon. New post on Toque: http://tinyurl.com/2c3kv99

  5. Int'l Bacon Day is coming: Sep. 4. The best and worst of bacon-themed gifts via @toquemag: http://bit.ly/9SVogK incl. a slam at Bacon Salt.

  6. Best & worst bacon-based gifts feat. @bigmistasbbq @lou_wine_bar @foodzie & more: http://bit.ly/cFjvfJ

  7. RT @elinashatkin: Best & worst bacon-based gifts feat. @bigmistasbbq @lou_wine_bar @foodzie & more: http://bit.ly/cFjvfJ

  8. RT @elinashatkin: Best & worst bacon-based gifts feat. @bigmistasbbq @lou_wine_bar @foodzie & more: http://bit.ly/cFjvfJ

  9. Bacon Must-Haves (and Must-Not-Haves) for National Bacon Day by @elinashatkin @toquemag – http://bit.ly/cJV9zg

  10. Abby A. says:

    Bacon Must-Haves (and Must-Not-Haves) for National Bacon Day by @elinashatkin @toquemag – http://bit.ly/cJV9zg

  11. Sat. 9-4 is Int'l Bacon Day! RT @elinashatkin The best and worst of bacon-themed gifts via @toquemag: http://bit.ly/9SVogK

  12. Jo says:

    Bacon Must-Haves (& Must-Not-Haves) http://tinyurl.com/2c3kv99 by @ElinaShatkin @ToqueMag

  13. RT @MyLastBite: Bacon Must-Haves (& Must-Not-Haves) http://tinyurl.com/2c3kv99 by @ElinaShatkin @ToqueMag

  14. RT @MyLastBite: Bacon Must-Haves (& Must-Not-Haves) http://tinyurl.com/2c3kv99 by @ElinaShatkin @ToqueMag

  15. RT @mylastbite: Bacon Must-Haves (& Must-Not-Haves) http://tinyurl.com/2c3kv99 by @ElinaShatkin @ToqueMag

  16. Tomorrow is International Bacon Day. Wait, isn't that every day?
    http://tinyurl.com/2c3kv99
    (disagree about the Vosges' Bacon Bar, btw…)

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