Snack time! Bacon is growing in popularity and is increasingly seen in snack foods. Bacon has long been a key component of appetizers like bacon wrapped dates and bacon wrapped jalapenos, but now it is gaining ground in the everyday ready-to-eat snack food category. From loaded baked potato chips to cheddar bacon popcorn, it’s good to see bacon taking a new market segment by storm.
If you happen to be in the neighborhood of Europe you can even find Sausage and Crispy Bacon flavored Pringles. This has a bacon flavor that goes from smoky to crispy fried bacon and has the added taste of sausage which doesn’t hurt. If you are more in the mood for something like veggies, bacon flavored dip mixes are beginning to become available as well. Everything from the classic bacon ranch mix to bacon horseradish mix has hit the market for our dipping pleasure.
Another snack concept for bacon that I think has great potential is bacon jerky. I have not had the opportunity to try this, but I have read comments and reviews about a few bacon jerky products out on the market and they seem to be mixed. The positive comments seem to focus on the great taste of the products, but the negatives are taking issue with the texture, greasiness or oiliness. It looks like the bacon jerky out there is fully cooked strips of bacon that may or may not be dehydrated and I can see where the complaints of being too greasy are coming from.
If I were to take a shot at making bacon jerky, I think the way to go would be to use a thicker, lean cut of pork. This would give finished texture closer to beef jerky and avoid any excessive fatty, greasiness. To make that piece of dehydrated pork taste like bacon, I would add a hickory smoke flavor and either a fried fat or crispy fried bacon flavor into the marinade to supplement the salt, sugar and spices. Hopefully the result would be a smoky, salty piece of meat that lets you enjoy the taste of bacon anytime you want!