Wired and Food Network collaborated to extract data from 49,733 recipes and 906,539 comments to find how Food Network readers thought about various foods. They were interested in finding out how far it is true that the addition of bacon improves most things. The smell of frying bacon is often listed among the most attractive smells, up there with freshly-roasted coffee and newly-baked bread. The number crunchers looked at how foods were rated when they didn’t include bacon and when they did. Added bacon improved the ranking scores of sandwiches, asparagus, lettuce. Kale, and spinach salad among others. In fact it improved the scores of most recipes. The notable exceptions were pasta and desserts, and this could be a texture thing, since most Americans prefer their bacon crisp and do not like it to be soggy, as it would tend to be in those foods. People in the UK tend to prefer softer bacon (like Canadian bacon).
Clearly man and pig have been associates for millennia, and people in the US seem to think that bacon improves everything. I’m not sure. I don’t actually eat very much of it myself. It’s an essential element of a ‘full English,’ and is pretty good with most egg dishes. I often use it in quiches and frittatas. I love it wrapped around Medjool dates at a barbecue, and perhaps very rarely in a bacon roll. I can’t think offhand of many other times I eat it. I don’t add to it any of the above dishes that those surveyed think it improves. I tend to prefer lean back bacon, and don’t like it smoked. So yes, it’s nice, but no, it’s not a wonder food in my book.
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