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Burb's Eye View: Riding the wave of bacon mania

June 19, 2012|By Bryan Mahoney
  • Burger King's bacon sundae.
Burger King's bacon sundae. (Photo via Flickr…)

His brassy name tag read “Frank,” and Frank was all that stood between me and my bacon-encrusted ice cream.

It was on the Burbank Burger King menu for only a few hours, but none had yet asked for the plat du jour, the bacon sundae.

Then Frank met me, the guy whose middle name on Facebook is Bacon.

He cracked a smile as he punched the order — one sundae for me and one for my wife.

“You’ll have to let me know how it is,” he mused.

I may have imagined the whispers that soon circulated among the cooking staff as the unorthodox marriage of salty and sweet was consummated.

The manager himself undertook the task. He combined vanilla custard mixed with pig-fat crumbles, and slathered on some chocolate and caramel sauces. Then to proclaim to everyone with certainty the identity of this mythic dessert, he inserted a strip of bacon that waved like a crimson flag suspended in the zero gravity of a soft-serve moon.

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We took our desserts — along with a couple burgers and some fries for the pre-game — and settled into a hard-backed booth. The restaurant was empty, save for another couple, an older man enjoying a coffee and fries while reading his newspaper, and the Mahoneys, who fervently discussed the rise of bacon in foodie circles over the past decade.

My bacon obsession congealed by accident. I started eating turkey bacon with nearly every breakfast while trying Phase 1 of the South Beach Diet. I thought it was silly to consume so much ground-and-shaped turkey meat, so I began taking artsy photos of the meals and posting them to a Facebook gallery, “Today’s Bacon.”

At first people had a few laughs.

“What’s with all the bacon,” they’d ask as they perused a photo of two strips of protein-rich turkey framing a cutout of Kevin Bacon’s face.

By the 10th photo, they started sending me links to bacon recipes. By the 20th, they linked to bacon products. Then came the actual products.

I’ve tried bacon beer and bacon toothpicks. My T-shirt says “I (heart) bacon.” The clerk at Rocket Fizz on Magnolia crooked an eyebrow while she sold me a bacon soda, which I spat out after trying.

My bacon journey has taught me that bacon-infused is better than bacon-flavored, and at least in this, the fast-food royalty got it right.

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