It’s too hot to think about anything, but still I keep thinking about bacon. And chocolate. Although it feels like forever since the Richmond Bacon Festival at the 17th Street Farmers’ Market, I’m haunted by the thought of chocolate-bacon ice cream — still.
I’m also haunted by an observation my friend John Goodpasture made: There’s nothing we like to eat that doesn’t go with bacon or chocolate. Some things can handle both — the aforementioned ice cream, for instance, and the famous Mo’s Dark and Milk Chocolate Bacon Bars created — in a moment of stunning genius — by Vosges Haut Chocolat. I didn’t think it was possible to improve upon the concept until I saw the new Mo's Cinnamon Sugar Bacon Bar. Let’s all see how long we can resist running to For the Love of Chocolate to buy one. (Exactly until the end of work.)
But think a little harder about either/or. Think of an ingredient — say, okra. Obviously, bacon would improve a lot of people’s least favorite vegetable. What about bread? Bacon and/or chocolate. (Trust me, it’s an amazing combo grilled.) How about popcorn? The answer is also both.
Obviously savory + savory or sweet + sweet is a safe bet. Potatoes and bacon. Chocolate and caramel. The list is endless.
But let’s go a little further afield. What would you say if I suggested blueberries? You probably think I’m going to say chocolate (and it works), but blueberries can also mix it up with bacon. So can blood oranges — and it’s touted as a hangover cure.
Bacon seems like an obvious companion to steak, but Paula Deen throws a little cocoa powder on hers. (What else would you expect of a woman selling chocolate-covered butter sticks?). I was appalled by chocolate salsa, but unsweetened chocolate is an important ingredient in Mexican mole sauce, and I’d lick the plate clean after eating chicken in mole sauce if it wouldn’t embarrass my family.
I haven’t been able to come up with a single thing that can’t go with one or the other and sometimes both. Let me know if you can stump me in the comments section. I’ve spent way too much time thinking about it.