Brush your teeth with ba­con

Calgary Herald - Calgary Herald New Condos - - Weekend Life - WAYNE PARRY

AT­LANTIC CITY, N.J. — Get ready for ba­con like you’ve never eaten, drank or worn it be­fore.

Ba­con milk­shakes. Choco­late­cov­ered ba­con shaped like roses. Ba­con-flavoured tooth­paste, den­tal floss and lip balm. Ba­con bour­bon, mar­gar­i­tas, beer and vodka. Ba­con ice cream sun­daes. A BLT sand­wich with a full pound of ba­con.

They are all on the menu as one At­lantic City casino stretches the bounds of good taste and car­dio­vas­cu­lar health with Ba­con Week. The fes­ti­val at the Trop­i­cana Casino and Re­sort gives new mean­ing to the term “pig­ging out.”

The idea of a ba­con fes­ti­val is not as far-fetched as it might sound. Amer­i­cans eat about 1.5 bil­lion pounds of ba­con a year, ac­cord­ing to the U.S. Na­tional Pork Board. And ba­con­to­day.com counted nearly 30 ba­con fes­ti­vals around the U.S. from late April through De­cem­ber 2013, many of whose tick­ets sold out in min­utes.

“Ba­con is like heaven,” Nad­ina For­nia of Egg Har­bor Town­ship, N.J., said. “If you’re go­ing to die, die with ba­con on your lips and a BLT in each hand.”

She was drawn to the casino ear­lier this week by the prom­ise of ba­con in far-out forms, in­clud­ing milk­shakes and beer (not in the same glass, thank­fully). She also heard about the ba­con-in­fused vodka.

“That is my quest to­day,” she said.

For­nia tried a ba­con bloody mary mixed with a smoky ba­con beer. De­spite the overwhelmi­ng salty taste and the small strip of ba­con float­ing in the glass, it tasted mostly like sharp tomato juice, she said.

Nearby were choco­late-cov­ered pret­zels with crum­bled ba­con bits, choco­late-driz­zled potato chips with ba­con, two kinds of pasta dishes with ba­con, ba­con cup­cakes and ba­con wrapped around a fake green stem to form roses, which were then dipped in choco­late.

“The first taste is choco­latey, then it’s all ba­con,” said Melissa Ehrke, an­other Egg Har­bor Town­ship na­tive. “I was a lit­tle sur­prised I liked it, ’cause I was afraid to try it. It’s that whole sweet and salty thing.”

While ba­con-flavoured groom­ing items are sold at fes­ti­vals around the U.S., they were en­coun­ter­ing some skep­ti­cism at the Trop­i­cana this week.

“There are people that are just crazy for ba­con,” said Denise McGrath of Nep­tune City, N.J. “But ba­con tooth­paste or floss? I’m not that crazy.”

James San­ders of New York City was in heaven try­ing as many free sam­ples of ba­con-flavoured items as he could get his hands on.

“I love me some ba­con!” he ex­claimed be­tween bites. “I don’t even know what this is, but it’s got ba­con in it. And it’s good!”

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