Review: Turkey Bacon
As a species, we have come a long way from beating rocks against each other in order to create fire. Space travel, instant noodles, and online piracy are only a few examples that showcase our ingenuity as a species and our devotion to progressing forward. There is, however, the odd time when one of us royally fucks up and decides to make the rest of us look stupid: meet Bob Howard, the inventor of Turkey Bacon.
In a time when mankind was regularly taking 3 steps forward, Bob Howard decided it was time to take 3 dozen steps back. Whether this was some elaborate marketing scheme to get fat, middle aged men to eat healthier or simply to get rid of all the leftover turkey from in between seasons is unknown – or at least I’m too lazy to conduct proper research for this post – but for all I care I found the party responsible for dragging bacon’s name through the dirt.
Bacon, as every Jew, Muslim, Hindu, and Vegetarian is painfully aware of comes from the most delicious animal in our entire solar system. Depending on what lens you look through, there’s always a reason not to eat bacon. If you’re religious, chances are that an ancient text somewhere proclaimed bacon to be so good that it was a sin to enjoy (or else you’d obviously end up in some kind of hell). But as one of my Jewish friends put it, “whoever said that milk and meat should not be consumed together has clearly never had a pepperoni pizza.”
Even if religion isn’t the issue and you’re some kind of freak vegetarian that eats anything but red meat (I’m looking at you, Vancouverites), people still come up with excuses why not to eat bacon: bacon has too much cholesterol, pigs are dirty animals, diabetes, etc. The list goes on and on, which leads to the obvious question why people are so goddamn obsessed with trying to imitate the taste of bacon. Supermarkets these days are full of bacon-like products ranging from imitation bacon-bits for salads, to bacon flavoured tofu, and unfortunately to today’s review – turkey bacon.
Before I give you my completely unbiased opinion on why turkey bacon tastes like turkey crap, let me first get one thing out of the way: if it’s not bacon, it shouldn’t be called bacon. I don’t understand why this rule doesn’t apply to bacon like it does to other products. I mean think of it this way, you can’t call sparkling wine champagne unless its made in the french region of Champagne. Few people know this, but the same rule applies to Tequila, where the blue agave the distilled beverage is made from needs to be from the area surrounding the city of Tequila in Mexico. For that reason alone I feel it would be only appropriate for bacon-like products to refer to themselves as something else – in the case of turkey bacon it should be more appropriately named turkey ordure. It sounds french and is insulting at the same time.
With that out of the way, let’s do a side by side comparison of the real thing and its poorly manufactured, ‘healthy’ competitor.
Bacon has 2 very distinct parts to it, namely meat and fat. In case you’ve never had bacon, let me get elementary on you Watson: the meat gives you the oommpphh while the fat gives you the aaaaahhhh (read in a sensual voice). If you’re stupid you can separate the two and cook them separately and you will quickly learn that the meat turns crunchy while the fat remains a little elastic. Put them together and you’ve got yourself a dream team.
To the left you see our 3D printed turkey bacon, and to the right is the real deal.
Turkey bacon, one the other hand, also has 2 distinct parts to it: one part that has a little bit of food colouring in it, and another that has more food colouring in it. Someone literally painted the strips in order to camouflage them as bacon – and failed horribly. If looking at the turkey bacon didn’t dissuade you from eating it, let’s go ahead and cook it up to see if you change your mind. Also, if you’re under the impression that the turkey bacon strips came right from the turkey, think again; turkey bacon is ground up turkey (including its penis – I’m sure of it!) pressed into a bacon mold. So unless your personal values/religion allow for beastiality, you really shouldn’t have it to begin with.
Cooking bacon the right way is one of the most sensual experiences a human being can enjoy. The smell in the air when you’re making bacon is reminiscent of a hot and heavy night – and the pleasure associated with hearing the bacon sizzle is the stuff fantasies are made of. Innuendo aside, it’s pleasing seeing a soft piece of bacon turn into a crunchy strip of goodness right in front of your eyes.
Turkey bacon doesn’t have that same effect. For one thing, turkey sex lasts mere seconds compared to the pig’s 30 minute orgasm. That’s very accurately reflected in the way the turkey strips cook: it just becomes hot and dry in a matter of seconds.
While the turkey bacon was unphased by the heat, the proper bacon was turning fat into liquid love. This is like looking into the cold dead eyes of a serial killer……while this compares to looking a cute puppy in the eyes.
The Walk of Shame
When you finish cooking bacon, you’re left with a huge pool of grease with which you can impregnate other foods with the taste of bacon. If you’re making pancakes, for example, using butter would be an utter mistake.
When you’re done making turkey bacon, all you’re left with is shame and a dirty pan.
I don’t need to explain myself when it comes to bacon. For crying out loud, I’ve created a website around the one ingredient I love most. So let’s skip ahead to my opinion of turkey bacon.
Turkey bacon tastes like glorified cardboard. It’s dry, it’s the wrong kind of crunchy, and I’m actually at a lack of words on how bad it is. The texture is completely wrong, and it crumbles in a weird fashion on your tongue. Taste wise it’s also a little off, mostly because it’s not as juicy as bacon would be. I don’t know how exactly to feel about it, but I do feel a little violated having eaten it. Gross.
As far as I’m concerned, today I became a victim of fraud, battery, and a whole host of other things that I haven’t even learned about yet. I feel violated and cheated when it comes to turkey bacon, and it upsets me beyond belief. Unlike sparkling wine, which tastes EXACTLY the same as french champagne, turkey bacon tastes like a poorly made, heated up cold-cut. It’s nasty and I don’t think it should be sold in stores.
Don’t get me wrong – I love turkey. In fact turkey is my meat of choice when it comes to buying groceries. I really do wish that thanksgiving, easter, and christmas were year-round events just so I could get my turkey on on the cheap. Grinding it up and painting it like bacon, however, is an insult to the bird, the consumer, and the concept of bacon as a whole.
So for those that make the conscious decision to buy turkey bacon as a substitute for real bacon, you’re wasting your money. It’s neither good turkey nor anything close to actual bacon. You would be better off buying imitation bacon bits, because they actually taste somewhat like bacon (although still being far from the real thing). You’d even be better off rubbing lard on a clean piece of cardboard and gnawing on that – I’m positive it would taste similar or even better than turkey bacon. If all else fails, you can always get yourself beef bacon which unlike turkey bacon gives you the same texture and similar fat-content to the real thing (although much tougher than regular bacon). Thus when it comes to choosing between not-bacon and bacon, you know exactly which side you’ll find me on. As for turkey bacon, don’t waste your money like I did – it’s complete garbage.