Chocolate bacon is an American treat made by coating cooked bacon in either milk chocolate or dark chocolate, and then garnishing with chunks of sea salt, crumbled pistachio or almond bits. The flavor combination unites sweet, salty, and savory in one mouthful.
The type of bacon used to make this unusual treat is the traditional streaky bacon. It's first cooked, then immersed in melted chocolate; toppings are added, and the dish is allowed to cool. A variation is to dip the bacon in melted chocolate for a partial coating, leaving some of the bacon showing.
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The origin of a chocolate/bacon/salt
flavor combination is difficult to track down.
It was first popularized in 2008 when it was heavily promoted at the Minnesota State Fair under the name "Pig Lickers".
At the 2009 Florida State Fair, bacon was served with a chocolate dipping sauce, where one review called it the "greatest thing since deep-fried Pepsi."
It's also sold at the Santa Cruz Boardwalk in California under the name "Pig Candy" by a New York City chocolate maker.
The popularity of the dish has spread and has even appeared on the television show "Dinner:Impossible" as one of the foods served by chef Michael Symon.
Chocolate-covered bacon is now sold as a specialty food across the United States.
Whether the idea of combining bacon and chocolate started out as a wild culinary experiment or a college dare, gourmet chefs quickly began playing with the recipe in order to create their own unique take.
Variations on the sweet & salty theme include bacon coated in a candied maple syrup coating, bacon chocolate chip cookies, and bacon bonbons.