Funky Food Friday: Can O’ Bacon

Bacon from a can?People know I love bacon and that means that oddball bacon items are often sent to me by friends and even random acquaintances.

Recently I received a Yoders Can of Bacon from my pal (and fellow bacon badass) Wade. Because he purchased this can of bacon from a camping and survival company – Gloria Gaynor’s iconic disco hit “I Will Survive” came to mind and I began singing, “As long I have my can of bacon, I know I’ll be alive.”

But that joy was short-lived. I starred at the can for two days before opening it. Normally, I eagerly rip open any bacon-related item with glee in anticipation of that first bite. But this was different. I wasn’t sure what to expect inside and I was also a little scared.

Curiosity, on my part and that of the sender, got the better of me, but I may have been better off burying this can in the backyard (if I had one) or putting it into my giant earthquake kit. The anticipation of what was inside far exceeded the actual contents.

If you truly love bacon, like I do, this product might not be for you. The quality of the meat isn’t up to the standard that I now have for bacon. It’s hard not to be a bacon snob when you live within walking distance of gourmet treats and creative bacon concoctions like pistachio-bacon ice cream , maple glazed bacon apple donuts and bacon potato chips Plus, when it comes to just straight up bacon strips, I like mine center cut, thick and peppery.

As for the can of bacon, it looks like nearly 3 pounds of raw bacon go into each can and that there ends up being about 9 ounces (or 45 slices of fully cooked and drained bacon). But for me, it had a tinny taste and the fact that it was not hot meant there was also sort of a layer of congealed bacon fat on the meat and the waxed paper sheets rolled up in the can. You can see here how it looks in and out of the can.

There is a chance that had I waited to eat this after a disaster or in a survival emergency, it might have been the tastiest bites I ever devoured. But I can’t really think of any other reason to eat a can of bacon. Even on a camping trip, I’ve usually been able to cook real bacon.

And this stuff is not cheap. I’ve seen it online starting at $11.95 a can, plus the shipping charge. You can get an entire case of this, but unless you are a conspiracy or doomsday theorist that is stocking a bunker, I would only see this as sort of a novelty item.

Cool Hand Luke’s – First Visit

Cool Hand Luke's Restaurant and SaloonIt’s not often that I actually go to a restaurant within the first month of their opening and even more seldom do I bother to review it if I do. This is for several reasons…normally a new restaurant is just getting its culinary legs under it. The wait staff is still working on remembering the menu let alone procedures and are stressed out and harried, the kitchen has yet to perfect its processes and sauces are usually either bland or taste like someone had an accident with the spice jars and the place is usually mobbed by folks that get crankier by the second every minute they have to wait in the sweltering lobby crammed with too many people. Not my idea of a great dining experience.

Tonight was a little different.

On the way home from dropping the van off at the mechanics again (darn air conditioner), we decided to go out to eat. But where? Our little town is not known for being a culinary adventureland full of tasty treats and hidden gems. Instead we have one fancy restaurant that is WAY overpriced for it’s quality, a bunch of chain places like Chili’s, a couple of mom and pop spots, and a dearth of fast food. Boring doesn’t even begin to describe it. So there we are, crammed into our little truck, driving around considering and rejecting every restaurant we passed or could think of when Joel reminded me that the new Cool Hand Luke’s had just opened. I wasn’t really sure we should go (see above) but we decided to chance it.

First impression? Cozy and clean. Cool Hand Luke’s is a chain restaurant and it is themed, but they do it without beating you about the head and shoulders with it. The hostesses were friendly, neatly put together (thank goodness not in some horrible tasseled cowboy getup), and efficent. The lobby was a little crowded but not horribly so, there was still seating left on the super plush couches and it was COOL! Not freezing cold but perfectly chilled.

We were sat fairly quickly and placed our orders. Joel had their Santa Maria Tri-Tip and I ordered a bacon wrapped filet mignon. We also ordered an onion blossom (I’ve been missing these since Chili’s took them off their menu locally). The kids were incredibly excited to be able to choose from more adult fare including cheeseburger sliders, spaghetti and a kid sized steak dinner. They actually had quite a difficult time choosing!

Neither of us particularly enjoyed our soup and salad…they were a little blase, but honestly there’s only so much you can do with iceburg sometimes. It was decent though. The kids loved the sourdough rolls and really enjoyed checking out the decor while we waited for our entrees. Joel’s tri-tip was perfectly tender and flavorful and loaded with sauteed mushrooms and a fantastic side of garlic mashed potatoes. The kids entrees were all gargantuan (I mean, they all have hollow legs sometimes, but this was teenage football player sized portions! Great price on them though!!) and they enjoyed them and I’m sure they’ll enjoy their leftovers tomorrow. It was rather funny to see our oldest daughter try to figure out the bottle of ketchup…I never realized that she’s never used a glass bottle of Heinz until she started shaking it like mad over her plate trying to get the ketchup out. Too funny!

Unfortunately, the only damper to my evening was my entree. The bacon wrapped filet mignon arrived only half wrapped in bacon and with a side of “fancy greenbeans”. The beans rocked! They were still slightly crisp and had this great teriyaki sauce on them that wasn’t overwhelming, just a perfect compliment. The filet was absolutely awful. It was a little over medium, but not by much, so it was cooked passibly, but the meat quality was just downright bad…grainy and gritty. By the third bite of the thing, I was finished. If Joel’s had been the same quality, I must admit I would have just chalked them up as a place to skip, but his dinner was so incredibly succulent and everything else was so good that when our eagerly competent waitress Shellene returned, I actually did tell her that there was something wrong. She immediately got the manager and he was very apologetic, took it off our bill and offered to replace it with a different entree, but since we were basically done, I declined. No sense in making the kids wait.

So I got a bum steer (ha!) but occassionally that happens. Will we go back to Cool Hand Luke’s? Absolutely. But next time, I think I’ll try the prime rib…

This Week in Bacon – Baconnaise

I saw this and I just had to write this up. These guys from my neck of the woods have created some really interesting (bizarre) seasonings including bacon flavored  salt and now have come out with a Kosher, non bacon containing, bacon flavored mayo called – curiously enough “Baconnaise.”

If you are a bacon fiend (Lisa Picarille, this means you) I think that you need to add this to your condiment shelf.

More info at

UF Review – Vermont Smoke and Cure Meats

Meat lovers paradise - Vermont Smoke and Cure

Meat lovers paradise - Vermont Smoke and Cure

I’m sorry it’s taken me a while to get to this, but their product is worth a review.

A while back I received a “cold pack” in the mail from the fine folks at Vermont Smoke and Cure. I had only once received “Meat by Mail” so I was curious to see what hey had to offer – they sent me a sample pack with some awesome products to try out including ham steaks, thick sliced Vermont Maple Brined, Corn Cob and Maple Smoked Bacon, Summer Sausage and Smoked Pepperoni.

My faves were the pepperoni and the bacon. I have been suffering through turkey bacon hell for the past year as the wife and I are watching the weight, and I am here to tell you that breaking my (pork) bacon fast with the Vermont Smoke and Cure Bacon was just the ticket. I actually made a real breakfast with eggs and bacon, I made a Corn Chowder that was to die for. It flat out rocked with a perfect bit of sweetness from the maple brining and the corn cobs.

The Smoked Pepperoni was spicey, smokey and delicious and was awesome on it’s own and was OTHERWORLDLY on a grilled pizza. I simple took some fresh pizza dough, slathered it with some Extra Virgin Olive Oil and garlic, threw on some crushed tomato’s with basil, some mozzarella cheese and some of the pepperoni and cooked it on my Traeger Grill for about 15 minutes on high. Their pepperoni has that mouth feel and intense flavor delivery that you can only get with real pork (fat)without being overly greasy or slimey. Gourmet Magazine has actually recognized their Smoked Pepperoni in the past, so I’m not alone in my praise.


If you are looking for a real treat, check out Vermont Smoke and Cure – they are artisans who deliver a quality product clearly made with pride and love.

Most Bizarre Bacon Products Slideshow

Oh how I regret that I can’t post any of the pictures here.

I just came across an awesome slideshow at featuring “The Most Bizarre Bacon Products

I am a big fan of bacon.. but don’t get as much of the real stuff as I used to thanks to my wife’s fascination with the healthier turkey bacon. Real, honest to goodness, sliced of a slab of pig bacon is one of the real culinary gifts from above. On it’s own, wrapped around a scallop, wrapped around a Filet, fried up with some liver and onions… it’s all good.

Like Emeril said… “it’s a pork fat thing”

Check it out.

Eat Well..Eat Often… Repeat