When the Chosen People Choose Bacon


[image via Chan4Chan]

The current infatuation with all things bacon has even reached the Jews.

A delicatessen in New York sells a sandwich dubbed the conflicted Jew (bacon and chopped liver on challah), and a Queens bagel shop flecks its bagel dough with bacon.
A television ‘Top Chef’ creates a bacon-wrapped matzoh ball amuse bouche, while another Jewish celebrity chef instructs Jews to cook their Hanukkah latkes in bacon fat.

Bacon-loving Jews are running blogs like BBQ Jew, Bacon Jew and the Bacon Eating Jewish Vegetarian (how’s that for conflicted?!). There’s even a children’s book to explain it all (Baxter, The Pig Who Wanted to Be Kosher). They’re not just eating it; they’re bacon overachievers.

The bacon awakening.

Sure, there have always been Jews who would eat certain pork products. It was a guilty pleasure usually reserved for dumplings and spare ribs in Chinese restaurants, and coffee shop BLTs. But this is different. Artisanal sausage, pork bellies and Spanish hams are flaunted. In young, progressive Jewish circles, pork eating can have a kind of social currency— treyf is hip.

Most bacon-loving Jews can blithely violate the ancient laws with little ambivalence. Although others in the Jewish community take offense, the pork-eaters claim no agenda of assimilation or rejection of traditional values. To them, it’s a gratuitous gesture tinged with irony rather than rebellion, complete with its own line of ironic t shirts (Kosher Ham). And bacon tastes so good.

Deuteronomy got a lot of things right. I’m not so sure the bacon prohibition was one of them.


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3 Responses to When the Chosen People Choose Bacon

  1. I think bacon prohibition goes against human nature….just saying *shrug*

  2. My favorite aunt used to make the most delicious “crackling” biscuits-töpörtyüs pogácsa- made from the fat part of the pork, fried crisp and crumbled. they were flaky layers of “heaven” finished off with scoring on top, and a golden egg wash glaze. When served, they did not last for more than 5 minutes…and still, not enough. She used to Kasher her own meat. This was circa the “sixties.”

  3. Pingback: Tweets that mention The Jewish Bacon Awakening | Gigabiting -- Topsy.com

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