The sugarplums are no longer dancing and the fat man in the funny red suit has drifted off into the cinematic sunset. It’s now time to turn the page on the ‘ol calendar and prepare for the coming year. That means that it’s also time to resolve to accomplish a specific goal or change a longstanding habit over the next twelve months.
Nearly half of the country will make a resolution this year, and many will pledge to lose weight or maintain a healthy lifestyle. Unfortunately, as few as twelve percent of people who make resolutions will succeed in accomplishing their goals.
Frankly, I blame the pigs.
It’s clearly their fault. These little even-toed ungulates are dirty, raunchy and mean. For centuries, they’ve been carrying nasty parasites and infectious diseases such as trichinosis, taenia solium, cysticercosis, and brucellosis. Their most corrupt aspect – and perhaps the biggest impediment to the success of our resolutions – may damn well be the cured belly of their carcasses, otherwise commonly known as bacon.
I’m guessing that I don’t need to spend much time introducing the world to bacon. We should already know that it’s tasty, delicious, and readily slides down the esophagus even when it’s burnt to a crisp. We should also already know that bacon isn’t necessarily the most nutritious meat. An ounce of bacon contains around 30 milligrams of cholesterol, and somewhere around 68 percent of its calories are derived from fat, with almost half of those calories are classified as saturated fats. It gets worse, though: each serving of bacon may increase the risks associated with heart disease by 42 percent and diabetes by 19 percent.
Logic and reason necessarily dictate that we should limit our consumption of bacon or simply eat it in moderation. Heck, even Apu Nahasapeemapetilon recognized the dangers of cured pig belly, and he’s not necessarily the most venerable or sage fictional character. Still, Abu once famously remarked:
Let’s see-Farmer Billy’s smoke-fed bacon, Farmer Billy’s bacon-fed bacon, Farmer Billy’s travel bacon… Mr. Simpson, if you really want to kill yourself, I also sell handguns!
If a cartoon character can figure it out, anyone can figure it out. That’s not happening, though, and Bacon Mania is now spreading like a contagious disease… or at the very least like trichinosis, taenia solium, cysticercosis, and brucellosis.
Foodies are maintaining blogs and authoring books. Organizers are creating not-so-secret societies. Retailers are selling themed apparel, scented candles, action figures, flavored tooth picks, christmas tree ornaments, board games and dental floss. Distributors are marketing bacon gift baskets and memberships to bacon-of-the-month clubs. Kids are trick-or-treating while disguised as bacon. And, of course, the culinary maestros are crafting recipes that highlight greasy strips of swine.
The hallmark recipe of the bacon mania movement is undoubtedly the Bacon Explosion. This nefarious creation is the size of a football and consists of strips of bacon wrapped around spiced sausage and crumbled bacon. It weighs in at around 5000 calories. That’s somewhere just south of two pounds of additional body fat.
Of course, there’s always the family-sized Fool’s Loaf Sandwich. This scale-busting concoction is nothing more than an impending heart attack masquerading as a warm, hollow loaf of bread filled with one jar of peanut butter, one jar of grape jelly, and a full pound of bacon. Rumor has it that this sandwich was part of the meal that killed Elvis.
These recipes aren’t limited to main courses, however, because bacon knows no boundaries. A handful of rather remarkable, artery-clogging desserts have been designed to compliment the Bacon Explosion, the Fool’s Loaf Sandwich or the bland but healthy green salad that’s a fundamental part of your new year’s resolution. These dishes can easily be paired with bacon ice cream, bacon pie, frosted maple bacon cupcakes, or bacon chocolate candy bars. And, of course, we can’t forget about pig candy. It’s the perfect combination of smoked bacon and pecans coated with caramel and sugar. Apparently, everything’s better with caramel and sugar. Even swine.
The phenomenon of Bacon Mania isn’t even confined to solid foods and meals. Hell no. Bacon Mania universally embraces drinks, beverages and other refreshments. Dr. Frasier Crane wasn’t too far off when he prophetically exclaimed
Yes, I’ll have a non-fat, decaf latte, please. Oh, what the hell? Look, make it a full-fat mocha with extra whipped cream. What the hell, put a slice of bacon on it!
At the very least, bacon vodka should help folks better cope with unsatisfied resolutions and unfulfilled expectations. Anyone who chooses to indulge in a couple of Pigs on the Rocks or a half dozen Mitch Morgans with that special someone should, however, at least consider the almost inevitable consequences of consuming the meaty libations. Be prepared.