Bacon isn’t sophisticated. It isn’t the type of culinary delight that candlelit dinners are made of, yet bacon does have a sex appeal.
Hard to believe but true—this smoked charcuterie was given to men who had treated their ladies with respect and honour; yes, only those who had been chivalrous could “bring home the bacon.”
This quotidian meat is sought after like swiss chocolate, caviar, truffles or any rare delicacy, yet when you think about it, it’s not all that different from a stick of beef jerky. It’s smoked, it’s fatty and chewy. But what is it that we love about bacon that makes it not only a staple but trendy?
It’s simple and easy enough to prepare but there is nothing plain vanilla about bacon. It can be eaten with almost anything, anywhere—it’s okay to get messy with it, to dip in it maple syrup, even to use your fingers and lick off the sweet and salty drippings.
Let’s face it, there is something irresistible about bacon—and it’s not just the taste. It’s slightly erotic.
Bacon has an equal balance of male and female attributes. It’s robust in flavor. It can be grilled and smoked. All those things that entice men and make them feel so manly. Yet is thin, crispy with just a hint of sweetness that makes it dainty and easier to nibble on that it’s meatier kin—the sausage.
Bacon refines the meatier meats in a way that, by its very nature, seems like it was intended to appeal to women (if not woo her into sharing an otherwise male treat). The Romans served it with figs, a sweetly sexual fruit, in a dish called petaso. Historically and today, bacon has that “come hither” message. Tucked in chocolate, layered in finger sandwiches or candied in a crystal jar on the bar—it is clear this smoked meat was intended to attract the ladies like a caveman’s aphrodisiac.
And it does just that. There are not many foods that are acceptable to eat with your fingers in your pyjamas that induce a good finger licking afterwards. Bacon sizzles when you cook it, it gets the juices flowing and it is okay to get a little bit hot and messy around it because—after all, that is what it is by nature.
Perhaps its very ordinariness is what makes it so wildly attractive. It is the comfort in knowing that this man brought home the bacon ladies, he earned it for you, he minded his manners to show you the perfect gentlemen he can be. And the man who walks through town with bacon has a reputation for knowing how to treat his lady.
Author: Jane Cowles
Editor: Sarah Kolkka
Image: Ryan McGuire/Gratisography