Sunday, March 28, 2010

Lilly's 'That Bacon One'

Though I might not share it, I understand the affinity for bacon. I understand what it means to add it to anything, and I understand why people think it's delicious. I don't, however, understand what makes it an obsession. What allows bacon to become the centerpiece of so many experimental dishes?

As I continue the Adventures, I find less and less evidence of any actual substance to America's love affair with bacon. I'm leaning more toward believing that it's almost a rite of passage. What kind of American doesn't love bacon? Or football? Or the soggy smell of badly made light beer? Being an American who did most of his growing up outside the US, these are all things that I was more or less required to get used to in order to downplay my FOB status (look it up if you don't know).

It reminds me of something the Japanese swear is delicious but is notably not: nattō. This stuff looks and tastes like baked beans suspended in camel snot, and every Japanese person you meet swears it's delicious. If you ask me, it's the only Japanese food that will never blow up. Sushi may have gone Hollywood, but nattō will be Japanese and Japanese only forever.

Not that I'm saying bacon tastes like crap. It's good, just not great, and because I was never indoctrinated, that's the most objective perspective you'll ever hear.

So, while in Cleveland, I was told of a pastry shop that incorporated bacon into their cupcakes. This spoke volumes to me about the novelty value of bacon, and I had to try it, if only to debunk its appeal. When this pastry prospect came up, I was surrounded by Taqwacore bands, as well as the director of the film we were here to perform in conjunction with. Needless to say, we were rolling mad deep. We arrived only to find that they no longer carried the porcine confection. I was afraid that this trip out would end without fulfilling a peripheral endeavor. Luckily, the cupcake folk told us of a chocolate shop right down the street that had bacon truffles.

We caravan-ed down there, myself at the helm, moving with the quickness and trying to get this excursion over with. And there it was: 'That Bacon One'. I got two of them, exchanged a few pleasantries with the cashier, who must've been a little freaked out by the entourage I was traveling with, and bit into the first one. Some chocolate, some sweet yellow goo, no bacon. I popped the second half into my mouth as the lady behind the counter explained that in the center of this chocolate was a tiny piece of bacon and that the substances encasing it were meant to bring out the smokey flavor. It was a nuanced, balanced, and delicious chocolate, but the only evidence of bacon was the momentary crunchiness that disintegrated a moment after it was discovered. Nothing really bacon happened at all. I ate the other one, thanked the folks at Lilly's, and headed out.

The next thing I ate stuck in my memory a little more. I got 3 up from this place. Beef franks, making it not an Adventure, but amazing.

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