“Close to you baby as a pig is to poke…”

by Katie Pizzuto on August 12, 2010

in chocolate

When the bacon-on-everything fad has long gone (and believe me, it will go), I’ll still be the one hoarding my rendered bacon fat, smoking my own pork belly and baking my own pig candy—as certain as death and taxes. But I’m the first to admit that I’m pretty giddy about bacon being ubiquitous right now, because I’ve got a crush on my porcine friends that my husband, in all his self-assured masculinity, is willing to overlook. I’ve seen it in the sweet, like Bacon and Eggs Ice Cream; in sips, like PDT’s bacon-infused Old Fashioned; and in the mind-blowingly sublime, like bacon-wrapped pork belly, and it has never failed to lend itself to that sort of oral orgasm that occurs every now and again when you’ve just managed to place a piece of gastronomic perfection in your mouth. Contrasting flavors, contrapuntal textures and complementary aromas—boo yah baby…take me to the river and baptize my soul. But I digress.

I’ve done some playing myself, like my late-night inspiration, Chocolate Fluffernutter Cupcakes with Stout-Caramelized Bacon, so when I saw bacon and chocolate being packaged together—two indispensible, not-worth-living-without Godsends—I began drooling in the aisle like some homeless, starved Siberian Husky staring down a porterhouse. The fact that peanut brittle was also involved made it a damned ménage á trois of flavor, and I was powerless despite the $6 price tag for what amounted to 4 pieces of glorified candy. This shit was artisanal—foodiespeak for “blow your paycheck”. But Sir Francis Bacon Chocolate Peanut Brittle was like that jackass that inevitably takes your virginity…an utter letdown. Everything I’d read about Sir Francis came in the form of rave review, but in my case it only served to reconfirm what my father-in-law always lectures (giving no credit to Ben Franklin) about believing nothing of what you hear and only half of what you see.

Sir Francis says its bacon peanut brittle is made with “artisan smoked bacon and USA-grown peanuts…all natural and altogether different” so I expected balance. Counterpoint too, mind you, but balance nonetheless. What I got was sweet smoke. I wanted the saltiness of the peanuts to play against the sweet chocolate, and I wanted the savory bacon to do the same, but it tasted as if it had been doused with liquid smoke and dipped in mass-produced, inferior chocolate. If I’m not making my point clear enough, this will: The open box sat on my kitchen counter for well over two weeks, unfinished until my husband ate it in a fit of boredom one night. Quality chocolate doesn’t last two days in my home, much less two weeks. Anything bacon related usually meets with the same fate. But alas, I just kept passing by it, flipping it the bird for toying with me so.

Then, a week later, I see a bar of Vosges’ Mo’s Milk Chocolate Bacon Bar calling to me like a siren from the check-out aisle at Chef Central—those bastards know just where to place those “impulse items” thanks to Marketing To Katie 101. You’d think I’d be more hesitant…more reluctant…more cautious, but again, much like the post-mortem of having lost your virginity, you keep going back for more, determined to see what the fucking hoopla is all about. And weakling that I am, this time I paid even more, coughing up $7.50 for the bar. Thank god my hopes were redeemed. This had no peanuts or brittle, but man did the flavor of smoked bacon come through. It was a beautiful marriage of sweet and savory. You’d think that between the smoked bacon and the smoked salt that Vosges uses it would be overwhelmingly smoky, but it wasn’t…not even close. The only thing I didn’t get—with both products—is why the hell they weren’t made with dark chocolate, when these flavor profiles all but beg for a slightly bitter chocolate. Turns out Vosges does also make this same bar with dark chocolate, the store just didn’t carry it, dolts that they are…evidence that they only passed Marketing to Katie 101 by the skin of their teeth.

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

1 1WineDude August 13, 2010

The bacon fad will **never** go!!! 😉

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2 Katie Pizzuto August 16, 2010

You’ll see, hon, it’s bound to follow the sundried tomato and before you know it, so will pomegranate-flavored stuff 🙂

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3 Heather August 14, 2010

FYI Vosges also makes a bacon chocolate truffle called the “Blues”. I got to try it as part of one of their yoga retreats. I didn’t think I would like it, but it was good – still odd though. To get their truffles you will either have to go to one of their boutiques or order them online – expensive. They have a full bacon/chocolate line apparently. http://www.vosgeschocolate.com/category/s?keyword=bacon

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4 Katie Pizzuto August 16, 2010

I’ve been to their boutique in NYC and yes, they are expensive, but I don’t mind the cost as long as I feel I’m getting my worth out of my money. The Sir Francis was a complete letdown….The Vosges was great.

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5 Don August 16, 2010

Katie, here’s a question, why not make this yourself? I would think you could make the peanut brittle far better than anything you could buy. You could just add in bacon crumbles into the brittle that you make with “Salted” peanuts…duh. Then melt in a double boiler some nice dark chocolate and once the brittle has cooled dip it in the chocolate and place on wax paper to dry? Sounds easy enough, and probably far superior to anything you might buy. Just a thought, and I do know that Peanut Brittle in a tin will travel very easily to Idaho… 😉

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6 Katie Pizzuto August 16, 2010

Oh, no doubt, Don, you are totally right. And after a conversation I just had with another food blogger about smoking salt or sugar or even cocoa in our smokers, all sorts of ideas are running around in my head. The goal is not to make it taste like friggin’ liquid smoke when I’m done with it….just the right touch. To be honest, I’d love to try adding a bit of bourbon to the brittle as well! Problem is that CHOCOLATE won’t travel well to Idaho, LOL.

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7 Don August 17, 2010

I’ll settle just for the bacon Bourbon Brittle!!! YUM!!

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8 The Wine Commonsewer August 22, 2010

♫♪♫ love my baby, like the finest wine…….
Great tune.
Hi there, Gonzorita.

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9 Katie Pizzuto August 22, 2010

Glad to oblige! You’ve been missed!!

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10 The Wine Commonsewer August 23, 2010

Flattery will get you everywhere. 🙂

I ain’t been far, just sometimes don’t have anything to say.

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