Bacon seems more beloved today than ever before. Just look at the bacon festivals, bacon-scented candles and cologne, and even bacon-flavored lube. But does bacon actually make food taste better, as aficionados claim?
To find out, Wired got together with the Food Network and analyzed around 900,000 ratings and comments from nearly 50,000 recipes from foodnetwork.com. The bacon-loving team performed searches of common food items, such as “kale” and “pasta.” They determined the average commenter rating of recipes within those genres that either did or did not contain bacon as an ingredient.
“The results were pretty great,” Wired writes. “Of all the foods we analyzed, bacon lends the most improvement to sandwiches.” For sandwiches, their data showed an average rating jump from about 4.4 stars to 4.8 stars, out of a total of 5 stars. Other foods that benefited from a bit of bacon included asparagus, lettuce, kale and spinach.
Two exceptions went against the general bacon-equals-goodness rule, however: pastas and desserts. Wired thinks this may have something to do with the “finicky” sauces that often accompany pasta, and the tendency for dessert recipes “to render bacon fat into a congealed mess.”
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