Thursday, January 28, 2010

Test #199: Bacon and KOOL-AID POWDER

The subject
Our procurement department's on probation. The staff charged with buying items for us to wrap left with our weekly allotment for things to wrap bacon around. Everything they came back with, we'd already tested. Except, that is, a canister of Kool-Aid drink mix--they proclaimed they were thirsty and seemed proud that they'd been thrifty enough to acquire the powder, rather than buy a case of soda or such. Whatever--since it's all we have to work with this morning, we're testing it. We sprinkled the powder on the bacon, and baked it. Here goes nothing...

The results
Fruity bacon. That's about it. Since we went with fruit punch, the strips turned out looking like bacon found on a gruesome crime scene. Not very appetizing. And while the punchy pork strips didn't taste all that bad, the consistency needed a bit more oomph or crunch or something. If hankering for fruity bacon, we'd definitely go back to sprinkling the strips with crushed Jolly Ranchers in the last few minutes of baking, as we did in an earlier test.

The conclusion: Bacon + Kool-Aid powder = Oh, no!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Blue Ribbon Bacon Festival

It kills us that we can't go to this, but maybe you, our fellow baconeers, can attend. The annual Blue Ribbon Bacon Festival is landing in Des Moines, Iowa, on Saturday, February 27th. There will be live music, there will be parades, there will be seminars--and oh, yes, THERE WILL BE BACON. So far, organizers have secured more than half a ton of bacon. HALF A TON. According to the people behind the festival, they estimate that by the time the curtain goes up on this meaty show, they'll have about 1.5 lbs. of bacon for every man, woman, and child that strolls through the pork-scented air of the event. Tickets go on sale Feb. 4; click on the pig at left for more info.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Deadly Bacon

The Travel Channel's Ghost Stories is a guilty pleasure of ours--it shares earnest eyewitness accounts of troubled souls haunting various locales, interspersed with melodramatic narration so over the top in its ominous tone it makes Boris Karloff sound like Mister Rogers. Today's episode covers the Villisca axe murders of 1912, in which an Iowa hacked up by an unknown "demon" one fateful night has decided to haunt the modest home for all eternity. If we were ghosts, we'd ditch the house and find a four-star hotel to spookify, but that's just us.

Anyway, you're probably wondering why this is showing up on a blog about bacon. This passage from the Villisca Axe Murders historical Web site tells why (warning: it's a little unsavory):

The Bacon Slab

According to the reports given during the inquest, a slab of bacon was found on the floor near the axe in the downstairs bedroom.

Reports indicate the size of the slab as being between 2 and 4 pounds, Although many believed that it had been cut off a similar slab found in the icebox, no one atually thought to make the two pieces up to confirm the theory.

Although many believed that the murderer used the bacon in an attempt to confuse the bloodhounds, the opposite would have actually been true.

If the killer rubbed the bacon on himself, he would have actually been easier, not harder for the dogs to track.

Another possible theory that seems a little more plausible is that the killer may have used the bacon as a masturbatory aid.

The position of Lena's body and the absence of any undergarments made many believe that the killer had positioned her after her death and using the bacon grease as a lubricant, had performed some type of sexual act.

According to the coroner's report, however, no actual rape had occurred.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Blast from the Past: Hover Bacon

YouTube clips come and YouTube clips go, but there are some that never fail to make us smile, even though we've seen them about a zillion times. One is Alanis Morissette's cover of the Black Eyed Peas' "My Humps. Another: Rather Good's "Hover Bacon" clip--although we fully acknowledge that while the vid makes us giggle, it's weird enough to make most others cower in fear. We'll let you decide for yourself.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Broadway Babe Backs Oscar Mayer's Good Mood Mission

UPDATE TO THE UPDATE: Click here for an even better video--KC being interviewed by kids. SO DANGED ADORABLE.

: 9:52 a.m., 1/20/10:
Click here to check out a video of the Oscar Mayer Good Mood Mission flash mob, and GMM ambassador KC's story.

Everyone at BDJ Labs is in love with Kristin Chenoweth--she's the original Glinda of Wicked, no Emmy was ever more deserved than her Best Supporting Actress statuette at last year's ceremony (sadly, the show she was nominated, Pushing Daisies, was prematurely and stupidly canceled), and her guest spot on Glee was arguably the best hour of television in '09. She's a wee little ball of sunshine, and we can't think of a better good-mood ambassador than her.

Fortunately, the people at Oscar Mayer thought so, too, so they turned to her for their Good Mood Mission. The campaign is looking to give a total of 2 million pounds of food to America's hungry, and encouraging consumers to help by sending good moods to their friends and loved ones through the Good Mood Mission site, and the Mission's Facebook page. To add to the awesome, if you take part in the smilefest, you can get rewarded with special offers and coupons for Oscar Mayer products, like their yummy bacon. At a time when so many people in our country and around the world are in need, and the economy has everyone down in the dumps, Ms. Chenoweth and Oscar Mayer are giving everyone a lift.

"It doesn't get better than the feeling you get from helping others," said Chenoweth. "I'm thrilled to work with the Oscar Mayer brand to kick off their Good Mood Mission, putting good moods to good use for Feeding America."

We couldn't agree more. With Oscar Mayer's Good Mood Mission campaign, everyone's a wiener.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Bacon Helping Haiti

It's hard to joyfully enjoy a mouthful of bacon when so many people not so very far away from BDJ Labs don't have anything at all right now. To help out the Haiti relief effort, Bacon Du Jour will be foregoing a week of its bacon budget and donating the money to the American Red Cross--it's a small sacrifice, but every bit counts. In addition, meat-industry publication MeatingPlace is reporting that several member companies are contributing what they can to Haitian earthquake relief efforts:
  • Tyson Foods is matching employee donations up to $100,000 for Haiti relief efforts. The contributions will go to the Salvation Army, which has personnel on-site and is preparing one million ready-to-eat meals to send to Haiti. Tyson also is exploring ways to provide in-kind relief to accountable organizations providing assistance in Haiti.

  • Hormel Foods is matching employee donations up to $25,000 for relief efforts, with all contributions going to the American Red Cross.

  • ConAgra Foods Foundation, a long-time Red Cross supporter, said it will give an additional $100,000 to the International Red Cross Relief Fund for aid to Haiti.

  • Cargill is making an initial corporate donation of $50,000 to long-time Cargill partners CARE and the World Food Programme. In Minneapolis, Cargill volunteers at the company's headquarters will be packaging 20,000 meals on Jan. 18 for the nonprofit Kids Against Hunger, which will be sent directly to people in Haiti; Cargill volunteers will be packaging an additional 30,000 meals over the next month.

  • McDonald's Corp. and its franchisee Arcos Dorados each will contribute $500,000 to the International Federation of the Red Cross to be used for its disaster relief efforts. Arcos Dorados, which operates nearly 1,700 McDonald's restaurants in Latin America, said it expects to generate an additional $500,000 in funds by donating 50 cents for each Big Mac sandwich sold from Jan. 16-22.

  • Yum Brands Inc., owner of KFC, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut, said it is directing $500,000 to Haiti from its World Hunger Relief program launched in 2007. Yum Brands Foundation also will match Yum employee donations up to $500,000. Funds raised will go to the United Nations World Food Programme and other relief programs.

  • The Walmart Foundation pledged $500,000 to Red Cross emergency relief efforts in Haiti and is sending pre-packaged food kits worth $100,000 to Haiti at the request of the Red Cross.

  • Publix Super Markets Charities said it is donating $100,000 to the Red Cross for relief efforts in Haiti.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Test #198: Bacon and COTTON BALL

The subject
In Elf, Will Ferrell artfully portrays Buddy, a human who believes he's one of Santa's lil' helpers. He has some strange eating habits. As he states, elves stick to the four major food groups: candy, candy canes, candy corn, and syrup. However, in once scene, he opts for another snack: cotton balls. Despite admonishments from his "papa," he pops one right after the other. When BDJ Lab staffers watched the scene at a recent post-holiday gathering, we figured: Heck, if they're good enough for Buddy, they're probably good enough for bacon. Right?

The results
Oh, dear God in heaven and all that He oversees on Earth, we couldn't have been wronger. We have never--we repeat: never--until this test spit out a sample without even swallowing a bite. Never, that is, until now. We were hoping for bacon-infused cotton candy, but what we got was nearly too horrible to describe--stringy, lumpy, flavorless (the cotton didn't absorb a single drop of precious bacony fluids) and just plain yuck. We should have known, you said? Perhaps...but at least we had the balls to try.

The conclusion: Bacon + cotton balls = yucky

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Test #197: Bacon and BLOOD ORANGE

The subject

Peeling an orange in January can shock you out of your winter doldrums like no other food can. The first breach of the zest instantly sends the vibrant scent of citrus up and into your brain, and it's hard not to forget--if only for a moment--the cold, dreary world that lies outside your kitchen. Blood oranges taste nearly identical, but the vibrant color of the center only adds to the kick. Even serial killers like Dexter enjoy citrus fruit, as witnessed in the opening credits of his Showtime drama (the most strikingly gorgeous minute on television, in our opinion). We decided to wrap a single segment of sunshine in bacon and see what transpired.

The results
Many foods intensify in sweetness when heated up. In this case, the sugar level of the orange gave way to tartness, providing an interesting counternote to the savory bacon wrapped around it. The juice didn't leach out, but bacony goodness snuck into the fruit, making us think that if some enterprising farmer figured how he could cross an orange with a pig (kind of like Homer Simpson crossed a beefsteak 'mater with tobacco to come up with the Tomacco), he'd be a wealthy man, indeed.

The conclusion: Bacon + blood orange = killer flavor

Friday, January 8, 2010

Test #196: Bacon and MUSHROOM

The subject

For not being meat, mushrooms are pretty danged tasty. And versatile, too--you can fry them, marinate them, toss them on top of everything from salads to pizzass...and if you're a Smurf, you can live in them. Faced with an overabundance of porcini mushrooms (our favorite--no offense, portabellos), we wrapped one up in bacon and baked that mofo up.

The results
Awesome--the mushroom morphed into a moist, bacon-flavored morsel, and its smooth texture perfectly complemented the bacon's crispy crunchiness. Definitely worth repeating--in fact, we can see ourselves stuffing mushroom caps with stuff like crabmeat or cheese before wrapping for an extra-tasty treat.

The conclusion: Bacon + mushroom = Smurfalicious

What do you do with a drunken senior?

Not this--it's horrible. I mean, LOOK at all that wasted bacon!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


As Carl Weaver of the National Confectioners Association so astutely points out in his blog, people love mixing chocolate with savory. The concept isn't so new--how many years have we been enjoying chocolate-covered pretzels, potato chips, and other snack items? What's different is the variety that's popping up. The pinnacle of this trend is, of course, chocolate-covered bacon, but we do love the increase in the number of companies offering chocolate-covered sunflower seeds. Tasty, yes, but you can almost convince yourself that you're munching on something healthy. Almost.

We took some of the chocolate-covered sunflower seeds we bought off the Christmas clearance rack at World Market (75% off--woo-hoo!) and wrapped them in savory bacon. How did it turn out?

The results
...pretty darned good, it turns out. The artificially dyed candy coating kind of went liquid and oozed out the size, but we didn't need it anyway. What remained--salty bacon, sweet chocolate, and crunchy seeds. Not just a fabulous flavor combination, but a nifty texture mixture to boot. Worth repeating, except we might be inclined to break it down and just do plain seeds, chocolate chips, and bacon.

The conclusion: Bacon + chocolate-covered sunflower seeds = a bright idea

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Test #194: Bacon and COMBOS

The subject
About a year ago, convenience-store shelves in some random parts of the country were graced for a brief time with Bacon, Egg & Cheese combos. Not everywhere--and not in the Chicago area, otherwise the staff of BDJ Labs would have snapped up a few cases. Bloggers across the country marveled at the snack oddity, theorizing that they must be some super-secret trial flavor, because the Combos people didn't even list the flavor on their Web site. Sadly, the super-secret trial must be over, because the BC&E Combos bags disappeared from those spare few stores almost as quickly as they'd popped up. Oh, well--there's still the pretzel/cheddar, cracker/cheddar, cracker/pizza, and (our personal favorite) salsa/tortilla. They're tasty--although, for some reason, we seem to only eat them on road trips. This one time, we took a bag out of the BDJmobile and into the lab for bacon-wrapping.

The results
Pretty darned good. We've wrapped plain pretzels in bacon before and dug the way the snacks retain their crunch while still managing to take on some awesome bacony flavor (and grease). Same here, only with the added bonus of a cheesy core. We only wish the cheese would have been melty-gooey, like the real thing, and not the dry, powdery fakish stuff at the center of Combos. Ah, well. Can't always have everything.

The conclusion: Bacon + Combos = not too shabby

Saturday, January 2, 2010

YAAAAAAAAY! Bacon winners!

We've picked the lucky winners in the end-of-2009 Bacon Bonanza (or whatever we named the contest) from our Twitter and blog friends and followers. Sometime soon, these lucky individuals will be sinking their teeth into rashers of Oscar Mayer Super Thick Applewood Smoked bacon. Here they are, so you direct your seething jealousy at them...

Twitter followers:

BDJ blog followers:
Seida Bacon
Amy Vernon
Chris Pullman