In the same way that some vegetarians find bacon to be the hardest meat to resist, I also have a few Jewish friends who are easily tempted by bacon, despite it not being kosher. But for those vegetarians and Jewish individuals who can resist temptation, there are quite a few alternatives to pork bacon these days.
One alternative to pork bacon is turkey bacon. Those of us who are bacon-obsessed and not restricted by our religion or diet may not fully appreciate what turkey bacon has to offer. But if you can’t have the real thing, at least you can play along in the spirit of bacon. And turkey bacon is actually pretty widely available – Jennie-O makes a version that can be found in most major grocery stores.
Another kosher bacon I recently encountered is duck bacon. Yes, you heard me right, duck bacon. I was surprised myself. I found it at Dean and Deluca – I imagine you won’t find this one in most neighborhood grocery stores. Naturally I had to buy some and try it out.
And the result…it tastes nothing like bacon. It’s kind of cut to look like bacon, although it just looks like dark duck meat cut in strips, not marbled bacon. But there is absolutely nothing about the taste that resembles bacon. However, for duck it was actually pretty good – it tasted like a thin piece of fried duck meat. It is also very different to cook – because the duck meat is more delicate and contains less fat than pork, you literally cook it for 15-20 seconds on each side over low to medium heat and that’s it. More than that and you’ll burn it.
If duck isn’t your thing or – if like the majority of the country – you don’t live near a Dean and Deluca, some other kosher bacon options include beef bacon, lamb bacon and tofu bacon.
For those of us who aren’t prevented from eating bacon for dietary or religious reasons, we know there truly is no substitute for bacon from a pig. But all the non-pork bacon options that are available these days just go to show that everyone truly does love bacon, kosher or not.