in the Box's Bacon Shake: Not everyone is enthusiastic.
Rue 89, France
With Bacon Milk Shakes, Have the Americans Gone too Far?
very strange, this national passion for bacon! I admit there is some very good-quality
bacon out there. In any event, the Bacon Shake contains none of it. … Of course, great God no! - I am not suggesting that ALL Americans eat like this. (I’m anticipating the backlash.) But some do. Guaranteed, 100 percent chemical! ... But we
French shouldn’t laugh too loud - if American fast-food chains have thrived in
France, it's because there is a demand for this sort of thing."
Since the beginning of
February when the menu of fast-food chain Jack in the Box began to include bacon-flavored
milkshakes, it has been madness on the Web: Is its Bacon
Shake a dessert? Is bacon-flavored syrup - with no real bacon - vegetarian
and/or Kosher? Is it better than the Bacon
Sundae already on the menu at Denny’s?
I’ll be honest, I haven’t
tasted it. Not to be blunt, but a rule, I don’t like commercially-made shakes
that use silica as a thickener, and I just can’t bring myself to try this one. Besides,
the small 16 ounce size [0.47 liter] has 773 calories, and the larger more
popular 24 ounce size [0.70 liter], has 1,081. So what do you have for a main
Jack in the Box has 2,200
outlets in 19 American states. Its menus are similar to all the other “McDonald-style”
fast-food chains, with the same local or seasonal variations that make these
global “restaurants” so charming.
In this case, the Bacon Shake
is part of Jack in the Box's new "Marry
Bacon" product range, and is the subject of the following intensive
“Love bacon? Marry it!”
Slice of Bacon
“Make a bacon baby,” shown
here with a photo of Pierre Haski, our CEO. (marrybacon.com)
You can upload a photo of
your baby to the site , and view your chubby cherub superimposed with the
colors of a slice of golden-brown bacon.
You are also offered a T-shirt
depicting a tuxedo adorned with a greasy red bacon
bow tie - no doubt aesthetically pleasing to some.
Of course, great God no! - I
am not suggesting that ALL Americans eat like this. (I’m anticipating the
backlash.) But some do. Guaranteed, 100 percent chemical!
It's very strange, this
national passion for bacon! I admit there is some very good-quality bacon out
there. In any event, the Bacon Shake contains none of it.
The excellent little site Be
Food Smart has dug up the nutritional data that isn't listed on the Jack in
the Box site, so we know precisely what is in the mixture. Let’s start with the
syrup and bacon:
“Pure cane sugar, water, natural
and artificial flavors, salt, sodium benzoate and potassium sorbate.”
The environmental site Grist
points out, “the ‘natural flavors’ are probably chemical compounds derived after
analyzing the components of bacon apart.”
As the dessert - or, if
preferred, the dish - contains 48 ingredients in total. I am going to list only those
we usually think of when making a milk shake: vanilla ice cream and whipped
cream for the topping.
Why make it simple (cream and
sugar), when you can make it complicated? Ah, let us not forget the decorative
cherry - I’ll spare you the eleven atrocious ingredients.
But we French shouldn’t laugh
too loud - if American fast-food chains have thrived in France, it's because
there is a demand for this sort of thing. Coming soon: a French ice cream
flavored with good, locally-produced bacon?
If you just can’t wait, Be
Food Smart suggests you practice making it at home using the proper ingredients:
“Blend up premium REAL
vanilla ice cream (the type that has less than five ingredients) and some
uncured bacon (which is generally free from sodium nitrates, but always check
the ingredient list for sodium nitrate, MSG, coloring, and sweeteners), preferably
from a local farm. You can even top it off with real whipped cream (bonus
points if it's raw cream).”
To those who are still hungry,
I recommend this site as it suggests a lot of other good bacon desserts.