If one food gets more attention than any other, it has to be bacon (even to the point where many would argue that it's played out). For one reason or another, cured, smoked pork belly is one of the most beloved foods in existence, most likely because it’s also one of the most delicious foods in existence. That salty, porky, smoky flavor is instantly recognizable and just the mere mention of it is enough to get mouths watering. Food companies around the world have tried to replicate its flavor more than just about any other savory food and are adding it to even the most mundane food and drink products. We’ve tracked down 15 of the crazier ones, and some are really head-scratching.
Making food products that taste like other foods is a certified trend (cola-flavored potato chips, anyone?), so it’s not that difficult to imagine why there’s plenty of bacon-flavored food and drink products out there. For food manufacturers, it’s probably a combination of the transitive property (bacon is delicious, our mayonnaise has bacon in it, therefore our Baconnaise will be delicious) and the fact that bacon-flavored products are mostly in the novelty realm: You give someone a tube of toothpaste for their birthday, they’ll look at you like they have three heads. You give them bacon-flavored toothpaste, and the whole room will be in stitches.
There’s also a certain level of one-upmanship in the bacon-flavored product world, similar to the extreme hot sauce industry. Every year, it seems like more and more crazy bacon foods get introduced, many of which are simply invented so the company can say that they invented it.
Thankfully, the bacon-product trend seems to finally be dying down. Most likely, people are realizing that bacon-flavored foods are just a sad imitation of the real thing. If you want to satisfy a bacon craving, applying some bacon-flavored lip balm won’t do the trick; if anything, it’ll just make you want it even more. So while food companies try to figure out the next food to pump bacon flavor into (Eggo waffles, we're looking at you), and smartphone accessory-makers invent add-ons that squirt out the smell of bacon with the push of a button, we’ll be in our kitchen, frying up the real thing.
But for those times when a real strip of bacon is beyond reach, these products will have to do. Some are purely novelty, and some are nothing short of gourmet. But they’re all bacon-flavored, which makes them OK in our book.