Wednesday, March 24, 2010
America's Love Affair with Bacon
I avoid bacon and anything that is basically composed of lard, but it's another story for my husband. He will eat anything if it's wrapped in bacon, sprinkled with bacon or has a serving of bacon on the side. When I first met him he wouldn't eat spaghetti unless it was with meat sauce … until I made him Spaghetti Carbonara – with bacon. Up until last month, he wouldn't eat shrimp, until I wrapped it in – bacon. Of course, as far as he's concerned, the only thing better than a cheeseburger is a bacon cheeseburger. A turkey sandwich is better as a turkey club with bacon. What are green beans without a little bacon? And then of course there's the epitome of the bacon sandwich, the BLT! Sometimes I wonder if he even wants the L and the T.
I'm not sure if this love affair with bacon is strictly American, but I cannot recall my grandmother ever having bacon in the house. It's not that we didn't eat pork (not eating pork in a Cuban household is sacrilegious) – it's just that we don't have that many recipes that require bacon. Actually I don't think we have any. The Cuban equivalent to bacon is Tocino. Tocino refers to the fat and skin cut from the back of the pork. It is neither cured nor smoked. Tocino is usually cut into small squares and fried until crunchy; although I've never cooked with it, and I'm sure they've never heard of it here, and why start now? I am, however, open to creating a Cuban dish that incorporates bacon. So if anyone out there can think of one, please leave a comment and if it sounds good, I'll be making it soon.