Signs of the Apocalypse: Bacon Salt for Vegetarians and Jews
A friend of mine gave me a jar of a product called "J&D's Bacon Salt." Initially, I had trouble figuring out what I was going to use it on. Eggs, certainly, and in gumbo or coq au vin.
Then I started reading the ingredients: sea salt, garlic, paprika, onion, corn syrup (sigh), wheat flour, maltodextrin, MSG . . . wait a minute. There's no bacon in this salt. This isn't bacon salt at all. It's artificially flavored bacon-flavored salt. Not only is there no bacon, but it's also completely vegetarian. That's right, vegetarians, if you've always wanted to pretend you're eating bacon, this is for you.
Still not convinced? J&D's Bacon Salt is kosher. That's right. Some poor mashgiach at Kof-K, probably right out of kosher supervision training, had to issue a hechsher (kosher certification) for a product called "bacon salt." It's also slightly disturbing that J&D's Bacon Salt is kosher dairy. (But is it Cholov Yisroel?)
Faced with the prospect of kosher, dairy, vegetarian "bacon salt," there was really only one thing to test it on.
Yes, dear readers, I made latkes. I made out-of-season latkes with J&D's Bacon Salt, which, despite being named for two of the most sodium-heavy foods in the average American pantry, is a low-sodium food and was actually not salty enough; I had to add more salt to the potatoes, onions, eggs and flour. It tasted like trayf . . . a delicious, delicious averah--but not really. The bacon flavor was quite muted, even when we dipped a piece of baguette directly into it. It tasted smoky, sure, but any porkiness must have been washed out during the cooking.
Conclusion: J&D's Bacon Salt is suitable as a finishing salt for vegetarians and observant Jews. All others may want to consider actual bacon.
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