What seems like an eternity ago, some friends who were familiar with my love of bacon gave me a unique present. Instead of simply plying me with rashers of processed pig (gourmet or not, I’ll friggen eat it), they went outside the box and decided to give me a bunch of bacon-flavoured substitutes. It was a great idea that I appreciated at the time, but I can’t help wondering if the idea was better before I opened them.
LET’S FIND OUT!
FIRST UP: SIZZLING BACON CANDY! (Explodes in your mouth!)
Before even consuming this product, and looking at the box, I associated it with hot oil being spat at me from a frypan full of sizzling bacon. It can be explosive at times and a very small part of me was worried that I might lose my tongue. I should also note that the ‘Best By’ date says July. It’s now December.
THOUGHTS: It’s bright pink. If it’s bacon, it’s not cooked very well. In the mouth there were certainly parts that did explode with more violence than one would usually associate with popping candy, so I guess it lives up to half of its name.
DOES IT TASTE LIKE BACON?: First reaction is NO – THIS IS GOD AWFUL, but after letting it sit for a few seconds you briefly think it’s improved. Within three more seconds you realise no, it truly is god awful. If there’s bacon that tastes like this, it’s the bacon that they serve in homeless shelters, and it probably isn’t made from pig. Third-world bacon perhaps?
IS IT ANY GOOD?: No, it truly isn’t, and I don’t think that it has anything to do with the expiry date. Still, I won’t let that deter me from my journey though bacon-flavoured madness.
NEXT: UNCLE OINKER’S SAVOURY BACON MINTS
No, I didn’t say ‘bacon mince’, I said ‘bacon mints’. The guy on the packet looks pretty happy and dapper but I fail to see how bacon and mint could ever possibly combine into something delicious. At least with expectations this low I won’t be disappointed. I don’t like mints at the best of times, but at least it should get the taste of that popping candy out of my mouth. There is no expiry date.
THOUGHTS: Straight away it’s better than the popping candy. The mint is definitely overpowering the bacon, which is quite subtle in the grand scheme of things. The first handful that I suck on never delivers the bacon punch, so I risk it and put a few in to bite straight away. I let the crumbled mint coat my tongue and you know what? It’s not that bad!
DOES IT TASTE LIKE BACON?: There are hints, but it struggles against the mint so not really, but it’s not a pleasant aftertaste.
IS IT ANY GOOD?: Where this product gets it wrong is that, while it’s in your mouth you get plenty of mint, but when you’re done with it you’re left with a really poor ‘bacon’ flavour in your mouth. It’s like sucking on a mentos after making out with a pig, and it’s underwhelming.
CONTESTANT NUMBER THREE: BACON BALM
Because who hasn’t had chapped lips and a hankering for bacon at the same time before? I know it’s a problem I personally face on a daily basis. On the back it says ‘stop use and consult a doctor if a rash or irritation develops’. The fact that it’s warning you like that makes me nervous, as does the long lest of chemicals listed on the back, none of which say ‘bacon’. Still, the cartoon rasher on the packet is telling me to ‘Grease up those lips’, and I’ve never been one to say no to illustrations of food.
THOUGHTS: The smell of this before I even put it on my lips is making me wonder if the people over at Accoutrements have ever actually TASTED OR SMELLED BACON BEFORE. It smells like a menthol cigarette that’s been left in the sun with a light sprinkling of shit on top, but I’ll persevere for the sake of a blog that too few people read. Thankfully its bark is far worse than its bite, and it’s the smell rather than the taste that makes it really horrible. It certainly does grease up the lips though.
DOES IT TASTE LIKE BACON: No, even licking my lips after I can’t really taste it, but it’s all I can smell, and it smells freaking rancid. If you think someone is going to kiss you after you apply this, you’d better be ready to have your mouth thrown up in.
IS IT ANY GOOD: As someone who doesn’t use lip balm often anyway, I can’t really say. I’m assuming that long list of chemicals on the back is actually the stuff that goes into lip balm, because the product doesn’t feel unnatural, it just smells it. Very much.
LAST BUT NOT LEAST: MR. BACON’S BACON-FLAVOURED TOOTHPASTE
Because further to coating your chapped lips in bacon flavour why the fuck wouldn’t you want to BRUSH YOUR TEETH WITH IT TOO?! Once again the back of the packet has proper dental advice on it instead of big letters saying ‘NOVELTY PRODUCT’ so I have to assume it is, in some strange way, supposed to be real toothpaste. The absence of a ‘u’ in flavour helps you know that this product came from the States. America is certainly the epitome of capitalist advances in product development but holy shit did this ever really need to exist? Oh well, it does, so let’s find out if that’s a good thing – although the way everything else has gone in this experiment I’m going to hedge my bets and say ‘NO, IT ISN’T!’.
THOUGHTS: I’m glad I went with a finger-brush as opposed to getting my proper toothbrush out and being subtly reminded of this every time I brushed my teeth for the next few months. It’s a bit like everything else combined. There’s a really subtle hint of mint, there’s an oddly authentic (if a bit grainy) toothpaste texture to it but HOLY SHIT it tastes horrible. If I’d used my toothbrush I would have chucked it out immediately, perhaps even burned it. Instead I just have to rinse and spit a hundred times while washing my finger with enough hand soap to clean an obese family.
DOES IT TASTE LIKE BACON?: No. I can’t be descriptive enough so I’m just going to leave it at that.
IS IT ANY GOOD: See above.
IN CONCLUSION: I appreciate the fact that my friends put a bit of thought and effort into their gift, but they probably should have just got me a bottle of scotch. Hindsight is a wonderful thing though. I finally get why they call these items ‘gag’ gifts – because they’re so putrid, rancid and disgusting that you can’t help but gag. Then again if I get the lip rash or bleeding gums that the products warned me about, gagging might be the least of my worries. Was I honestly expecting it to taste like delicious bacon? OF COURSE NOT, but surely they have at least one staff member somewhere who had enough sense to go “GUYS THIS TASTES LIKE ABSOLUTE SHIT, LET’S TRY AGAIN”. Serves me right.
If anyone ever gives you a novelty food gift from ‘Accoutrements’, smile, say thanks and then throw it away while they’re not looking. In the case of these things it’s truly the thought that counts. Don’t let actually consuming the product tarnish that thought.