As the Los Angeles Times recently phrased it, “In the TV food-show arena, bacon is the new black.”
And California celebrity chef Todd Fisher has been one of the key players responsible for helping move bacon off the breakfast table and onto all sorts of culinary destinations: pizza, entrées, sandwiches, even cocktails and desserts.
The Turtle Burger, with hot dogs, ground beef, melted cheese and bacon, may take a while to finish. Fisher got to indulge his love for all things bacon on a new television series on the Discovery Channel’s Destination America called “The United States of Bacon.” You gotta love that title, right?
The show, which airs Sundays on the Discovery Channel, features Fisher’s travels around the country to visit restaurants where bacon has become a prominent part of some crazy culinary creation. As the LA Times story reviewing the show noted, “Many of the inventions are not for the squeamish: the sight of someone eating a bacon-wrapped pork ‘wing’ made from tenderloin may cause more health-conscious viewers to hyperventilate.”
Hey, LA Times: A bacon-wrapped pork hors d’oeuvre could cause hyperventilation? C’mon, get a grip on gastronomic reality.
“I’m a true baconholic, so this is a dream for me," Fisher said. “I’ve had this obsessive love for bacon for the past year and a half—smoking my own bacon, curing my own bacon. I’ve gone from being a true fan of bacon to being obsessive.”
A wild and savory guy
I have seen several episodes of the Unites States of Bacon, and although it’s edited in predictable, over-the-top “celeb-chef” mode, it’s fast-paced, enjoyable and certainly introduces viewers to some culinary creations not available at your local neighborhood Applebee’s.
In the show’s premiere episode last January, Fisher traveled to Milwaukee to visit the AJ Bombers restaurant and sample the joint’s specialty—the Barrie Burger, a local specialty that features chunky peanut butter topping a bacon cheeseburger. The restaurant also serves Bloody Marys garnished with bacon strips, which when you think about it, seems pretty logical—the “B” and the “T” of a BLT brought together in the form of a nutritious beverage.
Other featured concoctions include:
- The Turbacon Sandwich from Philadelphia, which is described as “piled high with enough turkey, bacon, cranberry-apple spread, brown gravy and crispy potato pancakes to set a defibrillator on fire.”
- The Jack Back Sammie, an LA specialty, which is basically a pepper steak smothered in bacon.
- A Bacon-Cheddar Apple Pie at Milwaukee’s Comet Cafe—bacon baked into a pie crust, plus bacon added to the apples (no doubt served with deep-fried Cheese Curds).
- A Cajun-stuffed whole chicken wrapped in pit-smoked bacon, from New Orleans, naturally.
- The Bacon-Turtle Burger (see photo), which is touted as a burger combines hot dogs, ground beef, melted cheese and bacon all in one—“a combination of multiple meats for the super-zealous carnivore.”
- Chicken-Fried Bacon from Texas, which, as its name implies, consists of bacon strips dredged in batter and deep fried, served as an appetizer with cream gravy or sausage gravy for dipping. Unfortunately, it does not come in a low-cal version.