Posted on Sep 16, 2013 in Food & drink, Science & nature
Why is bacon so good? Pretty simple question, I guess. What is it about bacon that makes me want to eat a pound of it in one sitting?
It really is magical, isn’t it? If someone just came up to you and asked if you’d like to have a strip of pan-fried cured pork belly, you’d probably say “no thanks.” However, if they ask if you’d like bacon, you start salivating, your eyes glaze over, and you simply nod and murmur, “Yes, please.”
Bacon isn’t just for breakfast and burgers anymore — it’s everywhere. From maple bacon doughnuts to bacon maple ale, America is crazy about bacon. In fact, there’s even a term for it — Bacon mania.
So why does bacon taste so, so good?
The reason why bacon tastes (and smells) so good can be chalked up to the same thing that gives toast, coffee, fried onions, and others such a pleasant, enticing smell — the Maillard reaction. Put simply, the Maillard reaction is the chemical reaction that results when you combine an ammino acid (found in the meat of the bacon) with a reducing sugar (found in the fat of the bacon) and apply heat.
So slap that slab of bacon down on the griddle, crank up the heat, and voila — the delicious smell and taste of science.
Bacon photo by cookbookman17
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