Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Bacon Salt – Should everything taste like bacon?

According to J&D's Down Home Enterprises, yes it should. J&D's makes Bacon Salt, an artificially flavored seasoning salt. They make three basic flavors, Original, Hickory, and Peppered. One day, they sent samples of their product to a fellow food blogger, and friend of mine, Mark Hansen. He'd told them about me when they contacted him and so, they sent an extra set for me as well.

Disclaimer: I am not being paid for this review, unless you consider them sending me free Bacon Salt as payment. I love free food, but it won't guarantee you a perfect review.

To be honest, I was pretty skeptical. I don't think everything should taste like bacon. A lot of things could be made better with bacon in them but, everything? Come on! For example. I don't think that a bowl of sweetened cold cereal will taste better with bacon in it. On the side, maybe. But not in it. I also don't think caramel flan will taste better with bacon in it.

Hmmm. Maybe I'm wrong about the flan. Probably not, but I'll let you know.

My hat (cover?) is off to the Bacon Salt company, by the way. At the request of a US Marine Corporal stationed in Iraq, they started sending crates of Bacon Salt to our servicemen overseas. It just might replace Tabasco as the Marine Corp's condiment, of choice. (Thanks for taking care of my fellow Marines, J&D. I served in the USMC for a time, myself.)

After trying Bacon Salt in various dishes for the last month, I've been pleasantly surprised. Even if they don't actually contain bacon. If you're a lacto-vegetarian (I think that means you'll drink milk and eat cheese, just not cheeseburgers), this seasoning should work for you. There are some milk based ingredients, though, so the die hard vegans may not want it. (Cool! More for the rest of us.)

First, the bad stuff. They all contain monosodium glutamate. I'm not a big fan of MSG. (Note: I recently saw that they're now offering a variation on the Original spice mixture without it. Kudos to J&D). It's not that I'm allergic to it or anything. I just don't think it's ingredient I want a lot of, when it comes to my health.

Now for the good stuff. This is darned good seasoning salt. That means something coming from me. When I was younger, I overdosed on commercial seasoning salts and now I can't stand most of them. Bacon Salt has brought me back from seasoning salt hell.

My favorite is the Original Bacon Salt. It's good on everything. Eggs, hamburgers, green salads, chicken, rice, cottage cheese (no lie), sliced cucumber, grilled corn ... it's just a great seasoning salt. It's flavor is much milder than I expected. The “baconey” flavor acts an an enhancement, not a distraction. Nice work, J&D. I give it five zucchinis on the zucchini scale.

My next favorite is the Peppered Bacon Salt. It's a bit bolder than the original and it works really well with hamburgers, pork chops, chicken, and chili. I didn't like it as much with eggs. When it came to eggs, noodles, and rice, I much preferred the original, with a bit of my own black pepper, to the bottled blend. I'm not sure why. I give it four zucchinis.

My least favorite was the Hickory Bacon Salt. It was pretty good, but it just wasn't working for me. Normally I like a kick in the tongue but, with corn on the cob, it was just wrong. Part of the problem, I think is that I simply preferred one of the other two flavors, more, with everything I used them with. I give it two zucchinis.

Tasteflash – My brain just told me Hickory Bacon Salt might be really good on grilled zucchini.

In any case, if you want to kick up your summer grill fest a bit, and are looking for a good seasoning salt, you might want to give Bacon Salt a try. Start with the original, though. If you like it, then go for the others.

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