Favorite food. bacon.
A terrible thing happened Sunday morning. I threw open my bedroom window, and immediately the smell of bacon came wafting in. There is a restaurant in the shopping plaza down below, and apparently Sundays involve superhuman quantities of bacon being consumed by ravenous customers. (They serve breakfast every day, but on no other day of the week am I so assaulted by the enticing scent of frying bacon). I begin to drool. There was nothing to do except head out for a bacon cheeseburger. It came topped with thick slices of grilled pepper bacon, salty and crisp and intense.
There are times when I go for days without eating meat. I won't miss it. And then one day (particularly if my house is filled with the smell of bacon) I find a sudden urge to have some bacon, one of my favorite foods. How could anyone not love bacon? Crunchy strips of fat-streaked salty-sweet-smoking pork? Grilled or fried or baked or nuked in the microwave. With toast or eggs or in sandwiches or stirred into a pot of fried rice. Or just eaten out of hand. (Who was it that said that bacon was like the candy of meats? How true it is).
In college I would go for days living on bacon sandwiches, really just slices of microwaved bacon between whole-wheat bread (no lettuce, tomato, avocado, or anything), with endless glasses of orange juice. I would eat them propped up in bed reading or surfing the internet, for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It was quick and easy and infinitely satisfying, and because I made my sandwiches with whole-wheat or multi-grain bread and drank orange juice I convinced myself I was eating a reasonably balanced, healthy meal. I don't do this very often anymore.
Now I might slice some bacon into lardons to flavor brussels sprouts or asparagus spears or toss them into a pasta dish. There is regular old thick-sliced American bacon or the spiced, unsmoked Italian pancetta, made from the pig's belly, or guanciale, which is made from the pork cheek or jowls. Lately unsmoked bacon has been appearing on restaurant menus as pork belly, braised or roasted, sliced like very thick bacon or into chunks. I myself love it Shanghainese-style, braised in soy sauce and wine with spices, the sauce thick and slightly sweet with rock sugar, with some greens on the side, served over rice.
Bacon bacon bacon. I could never do without it.