July 31. The word is bacon.

Mmm, fatty, chemical-infused pig meat. Okay, it doesn’t sound quite as delicious when phrased like that. I am a bacon fan.

Not everyone is. Even setting aside those who avoid it for reasons of dietary restriction, which is no small thing, there are those who eschew it for fat-related reasons, or vegetarian/vegan princples, or just because they do not like the taste of it.

That last one is harder to wrap my brain around, because I ADORE the taste of bacon.  Just bacon. I don’t actually like it added to everything, dipped in anything, adorned or accessorized. Just give it to me plain and hot. There’s something about the squeaky, salty, smokish crunch-and-tear sensation of biting into perfectly cooked bacon that no other food quite matches.

It smells pretty unique too. My ideal morning smells like hot sizzling bacon, toasting bread with a hint of berry preserves, and brewing coffee.  Add in a touch of chill damp and resin in the air, the kind of scents you get from being camped under pines near a spring-fed lake, and I’m describing my personal heaven.

I’m not going to drink the coffee, mind you, but I do adore the perfume of it when it grinds. The flavor rarely lives up to the promise of its complex, flavorful smell.

Bacon is much the same way. It ALWAYS smells good cooking, but the results can be disastrous. Our regular breakfast place (the one where the servers always drop off a pot of tea for me as we are seated) is used to me ordering “super-extra-extra-crispy almost burned” bacon.

I know, lots of people like it limp and “juicy.” They’re entitled to eat their bacon any way they want, except when they start being judgy about mine. Then we”ll have to have words.  (Yes, it happens. It’s astonishing, how often I’ve been critiqued for wanting crispy bacon…)

I don’t understand why bacon creates so much controversy, but it definitely does.

word provided by Jim Moy