July 24, 2009

Bacon Jam Taste Test

On my weekly check of the mail the other day, I was beyond thrilled to discover that my jar of skillet bacon jam had arrived.  My mailbox is usually filled with grocery store ads and letters telling me it's my very last chance to renew my subscription to Vanity Fair, so you can imagine my excitement when I was greeted with a jar of spreadable bacon.  After a little brainstorming with my brother, I conducted a little breakfast taste test yesterday.  Kyle suggested eating the bacon jam with maple syrup or honey, and I added fruity jam and butter to the mix.  The medium for the taste test was a whole wheat english muffin.  Watermelon and blueberries were served for dessert.  

First, the unveiling of the bacon jam itself...

Bacon jam is made by skillet street food in Seattle.   

According to their website, bacon jam is made with rendered down bacon...

...combined with spices and onions...

...and simmered for about 6 hours.

Then it's pureed, blast chilled, and shipped to little people like me.  

Doesn't it kind of look like barbeque?  I think so.  I think that might have had something to do with my inability to get barbeque out of my mind with every bite, and it wasn't in a wow-I-could-really-chow-down-on-some-ribs-today kind of way.  It was more of a wow-this-kind-of-tastes-like-pulled-pork-and-I-wasn't-expecting-it-when-I-combined-it-with-honey/syrup/jam kind of way.  

A quick aside, you should buy some of this jam.  It's called Traffic Jam, and it's my favorite jam in the world.  I was introduced to it on my first visit to Matt's parents' house, and it's what gets me out of bed every day on return visits.  

If you don't live anywhere near Milbank, South Dakota, you can order some from their website.  I'm generally of the belief that food labels are not an appropriate place for bible passages, but I will gladly make an exception for Traffic Jam.  It's that good.  

I thought long and hard about the order in which the spreads would go on the english muffins.  For ease of spreadability purposes, I concluded that the bacon jam should be the bottom layer for the honey and maple syrup slices, and the jam and butter went on first on the other two slices.

The second layers were then added with the utmost precision.  Clockwise from bottom left: bacon + jam, bacon + honey, bacon + syrup, and bacon + butter.

Bacon jam is, um, interesting when combined with sweet things.  I'm going to do more experimenting in the savory arena and see how that goes.  The makers of bacon jam serve it on a burger, and I'm thinking a grilled cheese with tomato and bacon jam would be pretty good.  My first savory experiment, however, just might be a bagel with a little cream cheese and bacon jam.  When I was growing up my mom would occasionally treat us to bagels with cream cheese and strips of bacon, which is a heavenly creation.  I'd like to have a combination of cream cheese and bacon coursing through my veins in the near future.  Maybe I'll treat myself tomorrow after my long run.  

If I had to pick a winner, it would be bacon jam + honey.  

More bacon jam updates coming soon.  If you have any ideas, let me know! 

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