Bacon Nation: 125 Irresistible Recipes, by Peter Kaminsky and Marie Rama is a very attractive book and well organized. I especially enjoyed the mouth-watering photos. There is so much to learn about bacon that I didn’t know. For instance, instructions are given how to purchase, store, and cook it differently for various recipes. I was under the impression bacon did not spoil, at least not for a long time, but there is an expiration date on its package and this book says to use within 7 days of opening. After the history and other interesting information, the recipes follow and there is truly something for everyone. Some quick suggestions are to use bacon fat in skillet cornbread; in mashed potatoes; and to cook eggs and hash browns.
A current fad is to use bacon in “sweet and salty” recipes, including combining it with chocolate or ice cream. There is a recipe for savory nuts with bacon which sounds pretty tasty! There are also several soup recipes that I would like to try. Bacon is a common ingredient in bean soup, cheesy potato soup, and corn chowder. It adds a lot of flavor, smoky and sweet, but also a fair amount of fat and salt (to be honest, fat is where the flavor is in most foods). Moderation can give you flavor without blatant unhealthfulness. “Uncured” bacon can also have fewer adverse health effects.
Top bacon producer recommendations are given with contact information, one of which is Zingerman’s in my own state, but Bacon Nation: 125 Irresistible Recipes states that most supermarkets carry very good bacon. Check to see what brands are available next time you shop and then try some of these great recipes. No matter what you think of bacon, Peter Kaminsky and Marie Rama have put together a culinary masterpiece and if you’re not a fan they just may change your mind.
Reviewed by Mary DeKok Blowers for Readers Favorite.