The Other Red Meat

A snack, a condiment, a meal!

I was lucky enough to have been born in the 1960’s, when “artificial”  food was hot and happening. We wanted all we could get – from Pillsbury Space Food Sticks to Carnation Instant Breakfast. A Swanson or Morton’s frozen dinner was an exciting treat – no matter how bad it tasted!  This is all but a lead-in to the product that is on my mind today – the imitation bacon chip. Actually, flavored, colored, and heavily salted soy protein pieces. They, like saccharin, are such an ingrained part of my childhood, even now, I can’t let go.

My first experience with the “bacon” bit was in the Metropolitan D.C. area with my best friend  and her parents. We were seven at the time. The restaurant was “The Joshua Tree.” Famous for pitchers of Sangria and huge baked potatoes accompanied by an array of “fixin’s” featuring tiny burgundy colored squares that you “couldn’t tell from bacon”. You could tell them from bacon. But no one seemed to care. They were cool. Cutting edge. Vegetarian.

Bac-o’s, Bacon Bits, Bac’n Pieces…I still love them all, but try to practice restraint.  Their  only drawback (aside from nutritional content) is a tendency to lose their original “crispiness” shortly after opening.

And just when you think you have a problem… Simply store a shaker of  BB’s in the freezer and they stay fresh for months. They pour beautifully and retain that addictive and delicious crunchy texture, all the while, never tasting anything like bacon. But who wants to worry over such trivial issues?

Football-sized baked potatoes (usually in foil), ice cream scoops of fluffy, yellow-colored imitation butter, dried chives, whipped sour cream, and, of course, “bacon” galore…those were the days!

“Bring on the Bits!
…Doesn’t taste like bacon, but who cares?”


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