Friday, June 19, 2009

The Baconnaise Pariah

If you are not aware of Baconnaise the premise is fairly simple: Bacon flavored mayonnaise. Alright, now that you have vomited we may continue.

At some point Baconnaise became the butt of a perpetual joke on the Daily Show. Along with Jimmy Dean Pancakes and Sausage on a Stick, Baconnaise became a symbol of unhealthy American dietary norms. But I have to ask: Is this portrayal justified?

Consider the nutritional information for Baconnaise:

Nutritional FactsRegular Mayonnaise*Regular BaconnaiseLite Baconnaise
Total Calories per serving908030
Total Fat per serving (Daily Value %)10g (15%)9g (14%)2.5g (5%)
Trans Fat (Daily Value %)0g (0%)0g (0%)0g (0%)
Saturated Fat1.5g1.5g0g
Carbohydrates0g (0%)1g (0%)1g (0%)

So, Baconnaise is not especially unhealthy. The same can be said for Jimmy Dean Pancakes and Sausage on a stick. Were one to consume a pancake and some sausage one would think the nutritional content of the stickless pancake and sausage to be similar to the sticked pancake and sausage; the addition of a stick does not wholly change the nutritional content of the food. So why are these foods problematic; why do jokes involving them make us laugh? Why is adding the flavor of bacon to something make it unhealthy? Why would putting a food on a stick make it laughable?

At the moment I cannot discern where, exactly, the humor lies in bacon flavoring or putting a food on a stick. I understand that bacon as an entity unto itself is not especially healthy...but the flavor unto itself is not unhealthy. Yes, a stick adds ease of consumption, in some sense, but there is nothing especially unhealthy about sticks or eating food off of sticks unless one consumes the stick as well.

So, I think we can all initially laugh at Baconnaise and Jimmy Dean Sausage on a stick as they are taken to be indicative of American's culture of fat fucks. But, when you stop and think about it, why are these foods perceived to be so unhealthy?

I welcome your input, as an argument on the PA forums hinges on my ability to articulate why, exactly, one is justified in mocking Baconnaise and Jimmy Dean Sausage on a Stick.


_J_ said...

Also, I really wanted to make a post the subject of which was "Baconnaise Pariah".

_J_ said...

It might be the case that bacon is a base flavor.

Bacon is pretty much "salt + grease". Bacon is not a complicated or nuances flavor. Bacon is not on the same flavor level as Saffron.

So when people create "bacon flavored X" it indicates their lack of familiarity with other flavors; it indicates a limited knowledge of tastes. It's akin to someone putting ketchup on prime rib: this person is obvioulsy unfamiliar with the wealth of flavors available.

So while the substance itself is not especially unhealthy the existence of the food and preference for that food does indicate that one is not very worldly, so to speak, with regard to flavors.

kylebrown said...

I don't believe that the preference for that food directly indicates that one is not cultured in flavors.

One could do a study and trends could indicate with certain likelihood that it is the case, or it could just be that the individual just really loves the flavor of bacon.

I think the stereotype of the pancake and sausage on a stick stems more from the laziness of Americans rather than the obesity of Americans, both of which are undoubtedly linked.

_J_ said...

Have you ever tried to eat something off of a stick? It's fairly difficult. I can use a fork and a knife just fine. But eating off of a stick is problematic.

I guess that's why I'm terrible at sucking dick.

Roscoe said...

turns out bacon is One, NOT a base flavor. Look into the problems of making Bacon salt in the first place. soaking salt in bacon grease didn't work.

2) Bacon carries TONS of nuance. Coming from the smoking, curing, and preparation.

Bacon Flavored X is kinda like saying Beef Flavored X. Yeah, it tastes like bacon, but.. it doesn't taste like good bacon.

and 3) Srsly? You can't eat things on a stick? Did you fail at eating chicken legs as a kid? Have a terrible lolly accident?

I totally appreciate the lobbing wildly at an argument, but.. Damn, son.

James said...

I suppose I thought about how it might be unhealthy, but I thought the joke was meant to showcase the apparent laziness and indulgence that has become cliched when talking about American culture, especially our eating habits.