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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, Equipment and just outdoor cookin' in general, hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures... but stay on topic. And watch for that hijacking.


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Unread 06-19-2010, 12:07 AM   #1
BBQ Grail
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Default Another Crutch?

Serious question...serious discussion...

I like bacon, no make that I love bacon, as much as the next person. It's the greatest meat on earth. I'm convinced that, for the most part, bacon makes everything taste better.

But does that make it okay to put in/on everything. Today I posted about the chili dogs I did. I got numerous comments, not here, that they would have or I should have wrapped the sausage in bacon.

This prompted the following question:

Since bacon tastes so freaking good, do we become lazy in our cooking when we always fall back on bacon to add that little "extra" to our food. Yes, somethings require bacon, but when does bacon just become a flavor crutch?

Is bacon a crutch? And when does it become a cructch?
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Unread 06-19-2010, 12:26 AM   #2
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Yes, it can be, a tasty, tasty crutch. But, like hot peppers, sugar and salt, the use of bacon can be over done and become a easy substitute when it might not be necessary or part of a more subtle flavor palette.
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Unread 06-19-2010, 01:02 AM   #3
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It certainly can be used as a crutch and I think you could successfully argue that point for pork in general (bellies, fat, butt etc.). I believe it can be considered a crutch when used too frequently by a given chef or when the basic ingredients in a given recipe start to loose their basic character and the harmony between the other ingredients get blown away by the richness and saltiness of the pork. As landarc pointed out, this could be argued for many other ingredients as well. In San Francisco there are SO many restaurants that overuse fois gras, truffles, peppers, saffron, and caviar to "up" their dishes.

It can certainly be argued the other way as pork can bring complexity and harmony to a lot of simple ingredients that would be fine without the pig. Think of dumplings with cabbage, mushrooms, water chestnut and garlic. Adding ground pork just makes them a completely different kind of food all together but still allows the other ingredients to sing.
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Unread 06-19-2010, 05:37 AM   #4
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I like bacon, but it's clearly one of the most, if not the most overly-hyped foods on the internet. To me, it's just overkill and I am hopeful it starts to fade.

This Wikipedia entry about "Bacon Mania" explains it quite well

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bacon_mania

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Unread 06-19-2010, 06:54 AM   #5
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I personally think it has become a crutch a bit. And everyone oo's and ah's all about any photo that uses bacon in yet another way, as though taking that step closer to a heart attack is more manly or something.

Sometimes, I like the flavor of the food without bacon, believe it not... though I do like a bacon implosion now and then, and I actually like my bacon chocolate chip cookies, though I don't know if I prefer them over the non-bacon cookies (I make great chocolate chip cookies!)

If I were ever to win a throwdown (very unlikely, as I've been told my food isn't good enough to win), I'd pick a baconless throwdown, I think... see what people can do without using bacon.
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Unread 06-19-2010, 06:59 AM   #6
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If you have a top quality dog like Koegel's bacon would ruin it and I love bacon. Sometimes it is better to just leave things alone and let them be experienced for what they are.
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Unread 06-19-2010, 07:16 AM   #7
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Well, I don't know if bacon has the structural integrity to be used as a crutch, but I'm sure someone will try eventually. I think it has promise as bandages and possibly even casts, and probably other medical devices...
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Unread 06-19-2010, 07:56 AM   #8
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I was eating a lettuce and tomato sandwich the other day and I thought to myself, "Man, some bacon would really hook this sandwich up." It has now become my favorite condiment.
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Unread 06-19-2010, 07:58 AM   #9
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hmmm.. yeah, taking bacon out of what traditionally would include bacon would make it seem bacon is needed... great trick.
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Unread 06-19-2010, 08:10 AM   #10
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I have said on other threads, I don't like bacon wrapped filet. The filet has a delicate flavor and bacon just over powers it. You might as well just eat bacon and save the $7+ per lb.
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Unread 06-19-2010, 08:12 AM   #11
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I like getting creative with bacon, and could care less about the "health issues", but it needs to be appropriate.

I still wanna try the chicken fried bacon, though!! Next trip home to Texas, I will definitely be making a side trip...
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Unread 06-19-2010, 08:30 AM   #12
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I do agree with the over hyped "ooh aah" factor that comes about when people see anything with bacon either in or around it. I like experimenting with it but, I also like experimenting with alot of foods. Bacon, as with everything has it's place. Do I think people have gone a little overboard with bacon as of late, heck yeah! Need we point out all the bacon "flavored" products that are on the market now. I think it falls under that rule of, just because it can be done, should it? I know when it comes to using it I look at it for all of it's properties and what it will bring to the dish. Sometimes it is the thing that works the best but, it shouldn't be the end-all do-all in your cooking repitoire.
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Unread 06-19-2010, 08:33 AM   #13
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Unread 06-19-2010, 08:34 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigButzBBQ View Post
I do agree with the over hyped "ooh aah" factor that comes about when people see anything with bacon either in or around it. I like experimenting with it but, I also like experimenting with alot of foods. Bacon, as with everything has it's place. Do I think people have gone a little overboard with bacon as of late, heck yeah! Need we point out all the bacon "flavored" products that are on the market now. I think it falls under that rule of, just because it can be done, should it? I know when it comes to using it I look at it for all of it's properties and what it will bring to the dish. Sometimes it is the thing that works the best but, it shouldn't be the end-all do-all in your cooking repitoire.

i agree.
bacon wrapped quail or fatties-yes
bacontini or chocolate covered bacon-i'll pass.
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Unread 06-19-2010, 09:16 AM   #15
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i do not think bacon is a crutch... i think it is a cornerstone! you might say that cured smoked pork is a staple in American cooking. i doubt the settlers ate fois gras.
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