16. Seasonal Selections Sugar & Spice Sizzlin’ Bacon Salsa
Since 1992, salsa — which Merriam-Webster defines as “a usually spicy sauce of chopped tomatoes, onions, and peppers [chiles]” — has outsold ketchup as America’s favorite condiment. Though salsa is often made fresh, versions in jars, cans, or plastic tubs are common. Even the packaged examples, though, tend to be fresh-tasting — oh, and all are vegetarian. Salsa may go with meat, but it doesn’t contain it. Anyway, how would you get bacon to “sizzle” in a sauce, unless the stuff were fermenting?
17. Snack Factory Bacon Habanero Pretzel Crisps
Pretzel Crisps are kind of a strange idea to begin with — yet another example of the modern trend of trying to turn almost anything into something resembling chips (rice and beans, kale, coconut, seaweed, chickpeas, all kinds of fruits and vegetables, etc.). Combining habaneros, among the hotter chiles in the world, with bacon (or at least a whole lot of non-bacon ingredients that come together to suggest bacon) seems even stranger. Bacon is smoky and a little sweet, while habaneros are fiery and fruity. Wouldn’t the two ingredients cancel each other out?
18. Sonoran Mushroom Co. Bacon Mushrooms
This is another “bacon” product (like Adagio’s bacon-ish tea above) that contains neither bacon nor artificial bacon flavor. Arizona’s Sonoran Mushroom Co. grows a kind of pink oyster mushrooms that have a smoky flavor the company thinks resembles that of bacon, and it markets them as “bacon mushrooms.” The company should team up with researchers at Oregon State University, who discovered a few years back a variety of dulse seaweed also said to have a bacon-like flavor. Both products might well be godsends for bacon-loving vegetarians (now there’s a concept), but for the rest of us, as long as there’s actual bacon in the world, why bother?
19. Spam with Real Hormel Bacon
Spam — the edible, not the deletable, kind — is made from “pork with ham,” according to brand owner Hormel Foods. (The label suggests that this is a single ingredient, as opposed to, say, “pork and ham.”) There are now 16 varieties of this iconic canned meat. One of them, introduced in 2004, is Spam with Real Hormel Bacon. The meat products this one includes are “pork with ham,” bacon, and rendered bacon fat. That sounds more like the topping for one of those “Meat-Lover’s Pizzas” than something you’d want to fry up by itself.
20. Torani Bacon Syrup
Torani syrups, with its familiar label — red, yellow, and blue bands with a cloud-framed castle image in the middle — are often used in coffee shops, ice cream parlors, and bars all over America. There are more than 100 varieties in all, almost all of them fruit- or spice-flavored. But a bacon-flavored syrup? For what? Bacon lattes? Cured-pork martinis? Not for us, thanks.