Why is bacon so good? What is it about those thin slices of meat 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 to bacon-themed restaurants, 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 delicious 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 amino acid (found in the meat of the bacon) with a reducing sugar (found in the fat of the bacon) and apply heat.
That same scientific principle is also at play when it comes to the mouthwatering aroma of bacon. Here’s a look at why this popular breakfast meat is such a delight to smell.
So slap that slab of bacon down on the griddle, crank up the heat, and voila — the delicious smell and taste of science.