For the Love of Bacon

A few days ago, I ran to Kroger for some speed shopping when I was overcome by a sudden craving for bacon. I could nearly taste it, burned to a perfect crisp like my Nanny used to make it when we were taking a day off from charred quarter-sized patty sausage. I can fry up some mean bacon. Except for the minor variation of frying mine up in the microwave with a paper towel on it, family members in a blind-taste-test can’t tell a speck of difference. The paper towel that occasionally gets lodged between your back teeth comes out easily with a toothpick after an hour or two of softening. And, around these parts, we always have a toothpick. Motivation mounting by the minute, I flipped through the packages searching for a pound that looked vaguely lean. And just when a sinking soul would be tempted to wax philosophical with that deep, troubling question, “Isn’t lean bacon an oxymoron?,” I came upon a beautiful sight. Right there on the bright, shiny package of a well-known brand: “30% Less Fat!”

Smug with a heart-smart selection of fine meats, I headed to check-out with my lean sliver of wisdom, wishing I could pull a coupon for it out of my purse while everyone else in line froze with awe at my every-womanliness. Darn it, where had I put that environmentally friendly Kroger bag I bought last year when Melissa went light green? Nevertheless, I floated on air to the car, put my cart in the parking lot-slot in case someone was watching, then floored my mini SUV all the way home. I flew into the kitchen with bliss in a white plastic bag.

I grabbed some scissors, cut open the package and pulled out a few pieces, ready to fry them up to my healthy heart’s content. That’s when I had my first suspicions about that 30% less fat. But, I’ll let you be the judge. Here’s a look at the package:

A closer look at that percentage. OK, I realize it’s a bit blurry but it wouldn’t have been nearly as realistic if I’d removed it from the clear plastic. And if I’m anything at all, I’m a realist.

Luckily, I happened to still have a few leftover slices of regular bacon in the refrigerator, so I pulled them out, just in case I was imagining things.

Then, I fried up 2 slices from each package. That’s a toothpick on the left-hand side, so you can measure the bacon to proper scale. Keith and I are more sophisticated than many of our extended family members. We insist only upon toothpicks that come in colors.

So, there you have it. Thirty per cent less fat. Your Siesta-shopping tip for the weekend: if you want 30% less fat, eat 30% less bacon. Sniff.

You learned it right here.


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