Let’s Get Jammin’
2 minutes

Let’s Get Jammin’

- edited by: Jeffrey Spear

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The popularity of bacon in the United States has been growing for some time. In fact, it is rumored that 65 percent of Americans would favor bacon as our national food. If you are one of these bacon-loving individual, read on.

In 1968, NASA included “bacon squares” aboard Apollo spacecraft, prompting astronaut Jim Lovell to remark, “Happiness is bacon squares for breakfast.” The love of bacon is also attributed to the 1990s Atkins diet craze that placed considerable emphasis on high-protein foods.

With so much attention lavished on salt-cured pork belly, innovative food producers have responded with bacon-centric products including maple bacon donuts, chicken-fried bacon, bacon-infused vodka, bacon ice cream, bacon jerky and chocolate-covered bacon.

The product that has caught my attention is bacon jam, a thick, luscious, sweet and savory spread that exquisitely blends the flavors of perfectly cooked bacon and caramelized onions with maple syrup, balsamic vinegar and a variety of alluring spices. The end result is a highly versatile condiment that is perfect on grilled burgers and adds a flavorful touch to charcuterie boards.

Online searches reveal an endless number of applications including omelets, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, carbonara pasta and salad dressing. While some of these combinations may not resonate favorably with you, I’ve found bacon jam is a welcome addition to baked beans, an undeniably flavorful glaze on meatloaf and adds exciting new twist to grilled cheese sandwiches as well as the humble BLT.

Readily available in supermarkets and specialty food stores, some of the more popular brands include TBJ Gourmet’s Uncured Bacon Jam, Stonewall Kitchen’s Maple Bacon Onion Jam and Terrapin Ridge’s Hot Pepper Bacon Jam. For the cooking enthusiast, there are numerous recipes online that will allow you to make your own. Whichever you prefer, assuming you are one of the many Americans who believe bacon is heaven-sent, there is a world of new and exciting flavor waiting to be explored.

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