I lived almost 33 years without eating bacon.
Saying it now, it seems like a crime. It’s simply preposterous! But we didn’t eat bacon in my family. It wasn’t so much for religious reasons — we didn’t keep kosher or anything– it just wasn’t something my parents ever made.
Afraid of the unfamiliar, I spent decades substituting the bacon that accompanied eggs with fruit or toast because “I just don’t like breakfast meats.” Cobb salad with extra avocado, minus the bacon, please. I recoiled when people asked for bacon on sandwiches or burgers. Bacon, schmaken. What was the big deal about this fatty pig meat? Not for me, thank you.
And then my best friend came to visit last week. She likes to spoil us when she’s here and prepared a brunch of Red Pepper Frittata and Brown Sugar-Chili Bacon. I’ll eat the Frittata, I said, but I’m not much of a bacon person. She stared blankly back at me. Have you had bacon? Because you just can’t not like it. It’s pretty much impossible.
Something happened, that June morning, as the bacon sizzled on the stove. The house filled with a sweet and salty aroma that was entirely unfamiliar and I found my mouth watering. Tentatively, I tried a bite, napkin in hand just in case. It was delicious. Like, the best thing ever, delicious. Somehow the entire plate seemed to disappear as I savored each crunchy bite.
Since then, I haven’t stopped thinking of bacon. Bacon in the morning, bacon in the evening, bacon at suppertime. Warm bacon dressing on greens, bacon and spinach quiche and bacon wrapped dates dance in my head. This is what I’ve been missing all these years? What was I thinking?
I know one thing: I have 33 years of bacon free living to make up for. And, I’ll enjoy every bite.