WSJ Pops 'Bacon Bubble'

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When bacon appears in cupcakes "you know it's time for chefs to find a new trick," quips The Wall Street Journal's Katy McLaughlin, who takes aim at popping the "bacon bubble" that's swept restaurants, bakeries, and just about every corner of the Internet. She covers the surprising  backlash against the grease-soaked breakfast staple.

Her analysis goes like this: Once upon a time, six or seven years ago there were "noble" American chefs who sought to differentiate themselves from their French contemporaries. They highlighted small Southern producers of ham and bacon, adding the ingredient to fusion menus. "By 2008, bacon had caught on like wildfire," to the point where it became a cultural fashion accessory. Now, she finds anecdotal evidence that bacon may be relegated to the sidelines again:

Some chefs are throwing up roadblocks to bacon's lava-like flow into every crevice of the culinary topography. In August, Ken Oringer, chef and owner of Clio and five other Boston restaurants, tasted his pastry chef's latest creation: milk chocolate-bacon bon bons. He ordered her to melt them down and turned them into a mole sauce used for a staff meal. "It's been overplayed so much and my taste buds are tired of it," says Mr. Oringer, who now swaps it for less shopworn ingredients.

But bacon enthusiasts and food critics aren't quite ready to declare the bust of the "bacon bubble." The Atlantic's Daniel Fromson raised an eyebrow and Eater's Raphael Brion dismissed the Journal's trend piece:

Then why is the price of bacon surging? Why did Batter Blaster just announce introducing a bacon-flavored pancake batter in a can? A mere six months ago, writer Josh Ozersky said, "This is the Periclean age of bacon." Could such a wondrous age be over so soon? Could meat expert Josh Ozersky be so wrong? Will Toasted Pumpkin Seed Oil really replace bacon? Let us start a new backlash of our own! Against fake trend pieces.

For good measure, Reddit commenter Dave Pople summed up the delectable debate nicely: "Mmmm, Bacon bubble bursting, That would be an intensely awesome but fleeting moment in time."

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.