Bacon continues to grow in popularity

April 27 2015

Most food trends these days leaning towards the healthy end of the spectrum - low sugar, vegetarian, more vegetables and so on. Despite all of this, there's one indulgent ingredient that just keeps gaining popularity: bacon.

What is it about bacon that appeals to consumers? Well, there's the fact that it seems to pair well with just about anything and it can be eaten at any time of the day. This means that chefs can be creative with how they use it, whether they're trying to come up with a new breakfast dish, a unique dinner entree or a mouth-watering dessert. Bacon has even made its way into beverages.

Bacon can also provide a variety of flavour profiles itself, depending on how it's prepared. It can be honey-cured, smoked or spiced and its saltiness varies as well.

Last year, Canadian food industry expert Technomic reported that bacon's appearance on menus was on the rise. Nearly two-thirds of consumers said they would consider bacon as a protein topping for their pizza, while 67 per cent said they'd consider a burger topped with bacon.

Bacon also came out as the favourite filler for breakfast sandwiches, beating out other contenders like Canadian bacon, sausage and ham.

More recently, a number of operators have added even more bacon-themed items to their menus, demonstrating that we just can't get enough of this crunchy protein.

For example, Little Ceasar's has decided that bacon needs to be more than just a topping on its pizzas. The chain has therefore introduced the Bacon-Wrapped Crust Pizza. This meat-lover's dream is a rectangular deep-dish pizza that's both topped and wrapped with streaky bacon.

At Panda Express, they're offering customers the opportunity to upgrade their orange chicken by mixing in chunks of thick-cut applewood smoked bacon. The bacon provides a new twist on the chain's most popular entree and the company says it's a must-try for guests looking to experience a bold and distinctive flavour combination.

LongHorn Steakhouse has added the Triple Bacon Sirloin to its menu. This is a fire-grilled steak that's wrapped with bacon, topped with bacon and then finished with a bacon-tomato Hollandaise.

Finally, we can't leave out the bar in Montreal that has combined a love of bacon and hockey to create a replica of the Stanley Cup made out of the pork product.

Owner and head chef at Brutus, Jean-François Leduc, told the Star that he's had the idea to make the cup for months - and now that the local team is in the playoffs, it seemed like the perfect opportunity. "The moment we can do something with bacon, we do it," he said.

The bar is known for it's bacon-obsessed menu. Other items on offer include bacon sushi, bacon syrup-infused cocktails and a cake that features chocolate, marshmallows and bacon.

The bacon Stanley Cup is not edible, but it will be displayed on the bar throughout the NHL playoffs. "It's right in the centre of the bar. We put varnish on it, and when you walk into the bar you can't miss it," chef Leduc explained.