It was not too long ago that the world received, with childlike and puzzling enthusiasm, the news of a newly designed, bacon-flavoured Scope mouthwash. Sadly for some, this was only the year’s most elaborate April Fool’s Day joke, which had gone viral. However, the high percentage of people who vented their frustration about the joke in social media, begs the question:
How far ARE some people willing to go with (and for) bacon?
The meaty rasher loved by everyone is the gift that keeps on giving, offering crispy, crunchy, salty and greasy goodness galore.
London Loves Bacon
Even here in London, bacon has acquired such an iconic, and cult-like status in the culinary world that it has been added to enigmatic combinations of food and drink alike. Some of the most sophisticated London-based chefs have come up with amazing inventions, using the elements of bacon and transforming meals into masterpieces.
These are some of the most unusual bacon dishes you may find around town on your next foodie adventure:
1.) “Bacon and Eggs Martini” at The London Cocktail Company
While this alcoholic cocktail’s name and ingredients appear to be beyond bizarre, put your trust in creator J.J. Goodman’s worldwide good repute, and give it a go. The confection is a whisky and bacon infusion that serves as the main base. The bacon infusion brings out a smoky and salty flavour to the traditional whisky sour. Then, a combination of three flavours, sweet, sour and bitter, are also added. They are: pancake (maple) syrup, lemon juice and regular bitters. The final touch is adding egg whites, which tend to bind the ingredients together.
If you ever had any doubt of whether alcohol should be served with breakfast, this is your happy answer.
2.) Bacon-Wrapped Dates at Duck and Waffle on Liverpool Street
Eating fruit has never been so easy! Whether with or without bacon, a date is still a date, yes? You may imagine why these two foods pair up so well. Dates are sweet and spicy while bacon adds the crunch, the salt, and the smoky flavour when they are mixed together. These dramatic and contrasting tastes are neutralized with creamy Manchego cheese and an added punch of linguiça, which is a Portuguese smoked sausage. An entire amalgam of delicious sensations awaits you.Bacon-Wrapped Dates Recipe
bacon wrapped dates / linguiça sausage
• 6 dates
• 3 slices bacon, 1/4 inch thick
• 3 tbsp. linguiça filling
• 1 tbsp. mustard dressing
• 3 tbsp. shaved endive
• 1 pinch thinly sliced chives
• .5oz linguiça
• 3 tbsp. cream cheese
• 3 tbsp. finely grated manchego
• 2 tbsp. dijon dressing
• 3 egg yolks
• 1 shallot confit
• 1 garlic confit
• 8 oz. champagne vinegar
• 1 tbsp. lemon juice
• 8 oz. extra virgin olive oil
• 8 oz. canola oil
• salt and pepper to taste
Combine linguiça, cream cheese and manchego in a bowl and mix well to create filling. Butterfly dates length-wise and ‘stuff’ with linguiça filling. Close dates and wrap snugly with bacon. Fry at 350 degrees until golden brown. Finish in the oven if needed. For the salad dressing, combine garlic and shallots in a robot coupe and pulse until a paste forms. Mix in mustard, yolks, champagne vinegar and lemon juice. Slowly add oil and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Drizzle endive salad with mustard dressing and serve alongside dates. Enjoy!
The Duck & Waffle : duckandwaffle.com
3.) Candied Bacon at J.W. Steakhouse, Mayfair
Another wicked bacon-based cocktail, “The Candied Bacon” offers another full-range experience of textures and tastes in just one (charming looking) mélange. This recipe has a fruity base flavour thanks to the combination of plum liqueur, pomegranate and lemon juices. Bitters are added to make the drink even tangier. You may ask how could bacon possibly go with such a sweet concoction. Well, get ready for this little process that happens next. The bacon has to be cooked until all its fat is melted down on the pan. It is the bacon fat, and not the bacon alone, that is added to the alcohol to be used. It is then frozen for one entire day and, since the fat will chunk-up, it will have to be filtered through.
Notice that the alcohol is a single-barrel bourbon (JB). The bourbon’s natural smoky flavour, mixed with the smoke drawn out of the bacon’s fat, deepens the smooth taste of the alcohol.
4.) Breakfast at Blenheim, at The Hyatt Regency
Let’s see how we can explain this complex beverage. Just think “half a full English” in a glass. This cocktail will give you both pleasure and nourishment with a recipe that includes every single item in the traditional British breakfast…plus vodka.
To put it simply: First, think “Bloody Mary”. That is what the end product looks like. However, substitute the tomato juice with a house soup made of tomatoes and beans. To that cold soup, add vodka and a secret blend of spices. The drink is served with sausage, bacon and eggs.
There is absolutely no reason to go anywhere else for the rest of the night. Just one sitting with a Blenheim and you have had all the required alcohol and nutrition for a regular day.
5.) The Doughnut Bacon Buttie at Bird’s in Shoreditch, London
The creators describe this treat simply as “a fresh plain doughnut filled with thick-cut bacon with maple drizzle”. This self-explanatory concoction serves the best part of breakfast, bacon, protected in an extraordinary vessel of glazed doughnuts. The crispy bacon rashers and the doughnut top are drizzled with warm maple syrup. Rather than overpowering the sweetness of the food, the syrup actually turns this semi-typical breakfast sandwich into an absolute explosion of sweet and salty goodness. It is a smart combination, too. Biting into the soft doughnut, you will instantly feel the crunch of the bacon.
Can it get any better than this? Perhaps! There are plans in the making where eggs and sausage may “meet” this sandwich in the near future. So, next time you go to London, do not stir too far away from Bird’s. Stay tuned for their next delicious creation.