Product Review: Baconnaise Lite
Like most foodies, I have a few basic mantras which guide my eating style and habits. Aside from the always valuable “don’t put Twinkies on your Pizza,” one of these mantras is the always applicable “everything tastes better with bacon” approach which has engulfed our country over the past 2-3 years. And while some may claim that the bacon fad is so 2009, I say neigh to you mister, gimme some freakin’ pork fat!
For as good as bacon is, it’s still a pain in the freaking butt to always have to cook, especially when you’re often limited to the skillet approach. Likewise, while a properly constructed and fully armed BLT is amongst the most delicious sandwiches ever conceived, it also has its drawbacks: namely, the cohabitation of two horrible-for-you ingredients. Sure, low-fat mayo and “turkey bacon” can make a BLT into one of the healthier options between two slices of bread, but should I really be forced to deny myself the goodness of honest-to-God crispy hickory-smoked, black pepper pork belly and egg yolks?
Well, maybe, but I still want me some real bacon flavor…
Enter J&D’s Baconnaise, which was recently on sale on Amazon.com for a ridiculously low price. Considering I needed something to push me over the 25 bucks needed for free shipping (FYI, my other purchase was a DVD of Garfield and Friends: Season 1), I figured I might as well give this off-the-wall condiment a shot.
When it comes to the consistency of mayo, I am by no means a purist. Actually, my go-to mayo is the incredibly low fat Hellman’s, which packs a wallop of 15 calories and 1 gram of fat per tablespoon (sarcasm there, fellas). Needless to say, this stuff is more water than anything else, and more or less has the viscosity of lite nonfat yogurt. Baconnaise Lite is a bit thicker (thanks to the use of actual egg yolks) but it has a funky texture which is more reminiscent to a stream of heavy snot more than anything else. Far from creamy but still somewhat viscous, it would make do if the flavor was better, but unfortunately it’s not.
Don’t get me wrong: it does taste like bacon, but not real bacon. Instead, Baconnaise Lite has a distinct fake smoke flavor that stinks heavily of maltodextrinand garlic and onion powder. Think of a cheap BBQ flavored potato chip with a precooked slice of fast food bacon thrown in. Mixed with other ingredients, it’s not particularly unpleasant, but it’s not something I’m willing to jump for joy over either. Furthermore, it strikes you as heavy and assertive in weight of taste, a flavor element which clashes with an odd and in-congruent tangy-ness that you get when your taste buds make contact. It overpowers other ingredients, and provides no cooling effect whatsoever. I didn’t find it overly salty, but rather overly smokey in a fake hickory way. Other flavors one associates with certain kinds of bacon — namely black pepper and true ‘meaty’ taste — were not detected.
You know, I wanted to like Baconnaise Lite, I really did. While I realized it wouldn’t mock the crunch of crispy bacon on my BLT creations, I hoped it at least would lend a respectable level of viscosity and flavor to my sandwich creations. Not only did it fail to deliver on these accounts, but it also proved ho-hum as a dip for foods which normally go well with bacon — namely, brussel sprouts and other kinds of unappetizing veggies. The fact that it looks like something that came out of your dog’s mouth probably doesn’t help too much. My suggestion? Save your money, buy good bacon, and risk those nasty oil spats by doing things the old fashion way.
Pros: On sale at Amazon. Killing two birds with one stone. Has better consistency than really, really low-fat mayos. Technically tastes like bacon, which makes it better than 90% of stuff in the world. No saturated fat.
Cons: Looks like elephant snot and/or throwup. Has funky consistency and cheap, artificial taste. Incongruent flavors. Fake tang. Soybean Oil lends absolutely no complexity of flavor for fat component.
Price: 6.99 for pack of 3 (Sale on Amazon.com, check Internet for current prices)
Overall GrubGrade: 5.00 (Mediocre)
More Info: Baconnaise.com
Serving Size: 1 Tablespoon
Total Fat: 3g
Saturated Fat: 0g
Cholesterol: 5 mg
Sodium: 105 mg
Total Carbs: 2g