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Bacon for Dessert? Well, Sure

Hot & Cool Trends

By Cari Martens

Photo by Susan Russo for NPR

It seems like bacon is always in the news. We’ve posted stories about bacon salt and bacon mayonnaise, bacon-flavored ice cream and lollipops, even bacon flavored vodka and bacon in a can with a shelf-life of 10 years. There are also bacon-scented air fresheners and book entitled ‘Bacon, a Love Story.’

We’re still in awe over Wendy’s Baconator (with SIX strips of bacon!).

Recently, the sophisticated folks over at National Public Radio, of all people, aired a story by food blogger Susan Russo, ‘Bacon Gets Its Just Desserts.’

It seems bacon-as-dessert has gone mainstream. The savory, salty flavor of bacon has made its way into things like bacon cookies, brownies and cakes. There are bacon pies and bread pudding, bacon milkshakes and truffles, bacon chocolate bars, bacon jellybeans, and bacon baklava.

At this rate, bacon may soon exceed peanut butter as one of chocolate’s favorite partners.

One of the bacon-as-dessert pioneers cited by Russo is Heston Blumenthal of England’s award-winning Fat Duck restaurant. Back in 2004 he surprised guests with a sweet-and-savory bacon & egg ice cream. In a 2006 episode of Top Chef, two contestants created bacon ice cream. Today, bacon sweets are less of a novelty.

Combining sweet and salty flavors has always been delicious, Russo says. That’s why concoctions such as chocolate-covered pretzels, kettle corn and Snickers are so popular. Bacon’s salty, fatty, smoky meat intensifies the rich chocolate flavor of brownies or chocolate chip cookies. Somehow it just works.

Expect to see still more bacon-enhanced desserts in 2010. And click here for bacon dessert recipes on the NPR web site.

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