The Truth About Why Bacon Tastes So Good

If You Don't Like Bacon...

If You Don't Like Bacon...

If you don’t like bacon then you are in denial. And you suck.

Maybe you’re a vegetarian but I reckon that bacon would be the single most appealing feature with the potential to lure you to the dark side. It is delicious and has the potential to take a bland or boring accompanying food and make it something special. Either that it takes the aforementioned bland and boring and makes clouds it in dripping, fatty goodness until you can’t taste anything else. And let’s face it, why would you want to?

Enjoy The Magic

Enjoy The Magic

It’s the perfect foil for eggs in forming a devastatingly delicious breakfast fiesta and some people even like bacon so much that they pair it with chocolate. Personally, I’ll have the bacon/chocolate combo served sans chocolate thanks very much. We don’t really need anything else – we have bacon.

Have we ever stopped to consider why it is so good though? Perhaps we haven’t because we are too busy enjoying it to be bothered with the reasons. Sometimes you don’t want to know who the wizard is – you just sit back and enjoy the magic show.



The Magical Jigsaw

The Magical Jigsaw

If you have ever been curious as to why bacon could the culinary version of heroin (the appealing aspects of heroin, that is), it all comes down to a trident of factors and a scientific case of chemistry. It’s the chemistry or the meat itself, the chemistry of the way it is smoked, and the chemistry of cooking it. These all piece together like a magical jigsaw to make bacon one of the most satisfying mouth magnets on the planet.

The Hero(in) Of Breakfast Meats

The Hero(in) Of Breakfast Meats

It turns out that the deliciousness of bacon owes a whole lot to the way in which the fat of pork belly breaks down.  The cell membranes of the muscle tissue contain fatty acids which, as they break down, release an array of lovely compounds like aldehydes, furans, and ketones. Each of those compounds has its own distinctive smell, but the power is in the combination.

Other things have an effect too. For example, the specific breed of the pig and its diet. A connoisseur will be able to pick one breed from another based on the taste of the bacon. Also, the particular curing salts used change the chemical makeup of the bacon to add taste.



Closer To The Bacon

Closer To The Bacon

Then there’s the smoking aspect of the process. This has the potential to affect the taste of the bacon greatly. It owes a large part to the smoldering wood which is both sweet and acrid. “It's the combination of those two – the acrid and the sweet – that creates the real flavor of smoke,” reckons food scientist and science editor at America's Test Kitchen, Guy Crosby, according to BBC Future. “You really don't have the flavor of smoke without both of those”.

Okay, so we only read this right the way through because we love bacon so much and it helps us get closer to the bacon – to become one with the bacon. I don’t know about you but I’m quite hungry.