Bacon jumps the shark

Bacon has officially jumped the shark

baconveggie.jpgI love the Foo Fighters. I love bacon. I love Top Chef. But when my favorite rock stars start demanding bacon on their rider (per last week’s Top Chef) and a contestant wears a snarky “Bacon is a Vegetable” t-shirt in the same episode,  the shark-jumping alert starts sounding. Loudly.

After a swell ride for two years, bacon has become the new fried Twinkie. Meaning bacon is no longer an edgy political statement of anti-establishment hipness or ironic post-cholesterol acceptance. It’s just bacon.

Putting it pies (yes, I’m guilty) or ice cream, crumbling it into chocolate, hosting tasting parties and smoking your own are no longer badges of chef ingenuity. Your secret love for the crispy delicious snap of a well-fried rasher will no longer be cause for gasps of awe. BiteClub predicts a downturn in the burgeoning bacon-schwag economy and you may be able to get a sweet deal on the Wake ‘N Bacon alarm clock after the holidays. Your bacon briefcase? So 2007.

dietcokebacon.jpgIts rise to greatness was little surprise. After being ghettoized on buffet steam tables and greasy diners for decades, it was time for an anti-establishment food that actually tasted good.

Like tattoos, odd body-piercings and hot-pink hair, our embrace of bacon flew a big fat bird in the face of The Man. Screw organic vegetables, foams and haute cuisine! To hell with nutrition and cholesterol counts. Power to the pork!    Because really, what could be more populist than a food best known for its rural following and horrifying fat content?

baconhat.jpgBut like all good trends, its rise to mass-market appeal ruined the specialness, the insider cache, the wink-wink, nudge-nudge factor. When there’s a trucker hat involved, I’m jumping ship. Or, even more horrifyingly, a bacon bra.

So back into the porky closet bacon shall go. Delicious it will remain forever in our hearts and tables as we await its Robert Downey Junior comeback story while secretly nibbling the remnants of our Bacon of the Month Club.

*Per my grandmother’s request, jumping the shark refers to something that’s well past its prime.

Uh, or not, according to Jim Gaffigan…


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32 thoughts on “Bacon jumps the shark

  1. The bacon trend has already been around for at least 5 years though! I mean, I can’t be the only one who remembers the Grateful Palette’s bacon of the month club, right?

  2. Okay, I gotta say, that last comment is in its own right hilarious, and right on the money. While I enjoyed the post, it wasn’t funny. Of course any talk of bacon is good talk in my book.
    I will say this though. Heather’s counting on hits (right?), and if a post like this draws people in it doesn’t matter if they love bacon, hate bacon, love Heather, hate Heather… or… whatever. They’re all just page-views on a web-counter at the PD.
    And I’m willing to bet Heather had some rum before writing this one… 🙂

  3. In order to find something in this article humorous, it would have to be funny to begin with. And condescending to your readers, Heather? Real nice. Just lost a reader.

  4. Wow. Who knew bacon was such a touchy subject? I’m going to suggest the folks taking this column a liiiittle too seriously get in touch with their inner Santas and imbibe in a some holiday cheer. Preferably some with rum. ANd maybe a little bacon.
    YOu may also want to put “Sense of humor” on your wish list. I’m just sayin…
    PS> Thanks Francis Bacon. Even if you are the father of my children. 😉

  5. Bacon was trendy? Do people really pay attention to such minutia? If you like it eat it, if not don’t. It’s really that simple folks, you don’t need a leader to direct you.

  6. My grandmother used to cook us grilled cheese sandwiches in bacon grease that she saved from breakfast. She also used it many different ways at dinner. It has been used for thousands of years to flavor our favorite foods. Lately, sweet and savory dishes as well as beverages are flavored and garnished with pork, giving the press a bandwagon to jump on and off. Whether or not bacon is on the front page of the food section of your favorite paper it will be in your refrigerator and part of your favorite menu items when you eat out. If you think bacon is a frisbee or a hula hoop you can leave me off your dinner party invitee list. I like my food with FLAVOR!
    -Allergic to Tofu

  7. bacon trend?? That one sure got by me. Thank goodness it didn’t catch hold up here in Washington. Things must be pretty boring, food wise, in the Santa Rosa area, if that’s all the bite club can find to talk about!

  8. bacon will never be over, nope in fact after my dinner of collard greens and grilled fish, I’m going to bake up a batch of bacon-stuffed chocolate chunk cookies!

  9. Hmmmm….I am confused. Are there no more wine country restaraunts to visit? Isn’t bite club about
    “Wine Country dining. Drive-through sensibility. Heather Irwin’s dish on Sonoma, Napa and the North Bay’s best restaurant bets—short, sweet and just what you need to know. ” ?
    I have really enjoyed this blog, but now it seems to be losing its luster. Sad.

  10. this column is amusing and very food fashion forward — i think it takes guts and brains to talk about bacon trends in such a witty way – EVOO? rachel rays nomenclature? did you want to see an article on that? what??? ewwww — keep going heather — this is too fun — she dips into both sides — an upscale review of moss and than a down home hobnob about bacon — who has that kinda range?

  11. Thanks again for pointing out the obvious. Yes there are trends in food, Atkins, carbos, etc etc, Do we need an article about it? Why not an article about something that is a trend or something new. Everything has olive oil in it and I never saw an article declaring EVOO dead? What does it take to write a column for this paper?

  12. Thanks again for pointing out the obvious. Yes there are trends in food, Atkins, carbos, etc etc, Do we need an article about it? Why not an article about something that is a ternd or something new. Everything has olive oil in it and I never saw an article declaring EVOO dead? What does it take to write a column for this paper?

  13. All due respecct, but there’s a problem with your premise. Bacon isn’t a trend. It didn’t just happen, and it isn’t going anywhere.
    As for the Foo Fighters, read their concert rider. They’re… just being funny.
    I think you must have been under the influence of either too much or too little bacon in the blood when you cranked out this piece Heather… You’ve got to find the comfortable medium.

  14. Darn it! We just finished filming the new Christmas Carol. Where Mr. Scrooge is visited by the Ghost of Bacon Undercooked then the Ghost of Bacon Cooked and the scary Ghost of Bacon Overcooked!
    You’ll never guess how it ends! I won’t spill the grease.. but everyone gets bacon in the end!

  15. Dang it, and I just signed up for the “Bacon of the Month” club. Now I’ll just look like a trendy-come-lately. Thanks for killing the joy, Bite Club!

  16. brilliant! im with bite, its done — hmmmmmm but i am yearning to fashion a corresponding bacon pantaloon, fedora, ascot, kelt, or speedo. Maybe we need to have one more big bacon blowout before jumping the shark snark. (tossing out his box of bacon bandaids.)

  17. Oh good, thanks for chiming in. I thought I was stroking out from too much bacon on the brain. Yeah, I’m generally including pork belly, cheeks and salumi in the whole over-exposure bandwagon. And, uh, duuuuuuuuuuuuuuh….of course I still love all of it. I’m just done with the trend-oids wearing t-shirts about it. Sheesh. Did you click the link to the bacon bra? It’s hilarious.

  18. Are those who found your bacon-inspired thoughts confusing suffering from too much or too little bacon? And what about pork belly, which appears to be on its own accelerated and high-profile trendiness track?

  19. I had a law professor (no, I’m not a lawyer- put away the torches and pitchforks) who had two rules for cooking: 1) you can never have too much butter and 2) you can never have too much bacon. So, here’s a question: What food will be the next bacon? Butter? I’ve been hearing more and more about things being “butter poached.” Will that be it?

  20. I for one will be on the bacon bandwagon till the day I die! (probably sooner than most, thanks in part to my streaky little friend) Bacon a trendy has-been? Good I say! MORE FOR ME!!!

  21. Seconded. Look people, Heather is not suggesting anyone stop eating their delicious bacon, it’s just that people need to SHUT UP and eat it. I’m sick of bacon being trendy too.

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