Bacon gets people excited — its salty flavor and crisp texture compel pork fans to combine it with almost anything.
Here’s a taste of creative concoctions that can be found at new festival Long Island Bacon Bash on Saturday, Sept. 23, at the Pennysaver Amphitheater at Bald Hill in Farmingville:
BACON-WRAPPED ONION RINGS — $8
Coated in thick beer batter and fried, these golden circles, which come eight per order, are individually wrapped with a full strip of bacon.
“It comes with a cardiologist,” quips Rich Gherardi, owner of BBQ & Grill food truck.
Another option is “The Porky” — a two-pound, 10-inch-long sandwich with pulled pork, pork sausage, bacon, mac and cheese, fried onion rings and barbecue sauce on a hoagie roll ($15).
THE BREAKFAST SUNDAE — $6
Nothing like starting the day with a 20-ounce serving of waffles, ice cream, maple syrup, chocolate syrup, bacon and whipped cream. But this stylish sundae can be enjoyed anytime.
“Believe it or not, it all kind of goes together,” says Dave Rollo, who owns Frostie’s ice cream truck that serves it.
Or opt for a soft-serve cone rolled in fresh bacon bits ($4.50).
CRAZY BACON CANDY — $9 (2 1⁄2-ounce bag)
Grab a handful of bacon pieces encrusted with sugar and maple syrup as a sweet treat.
“It’s nothing you’ve ever got with your eggs in the morning,” says Rob Siccardi, owner of Jerky Rob, who hand makes the product. “It’s crisp, so there’s no flimsy fat on it.”
Siccardi even sells a roasted garlic bacon called Vampire Pig, for $9 per 2 1⁄2-ounce bag.
THE KITCHEN SINK — $8
This grilled cheese sandwich features five cheeses (Parmesan, American, cheddar, pepper jack, Swiss), then gets stacked with apple wood smoked bacon and fresh sliced tomato.
“Bacon goes with anything and it provides a nice savory taste,” says Kevin Muller, owner of MELTology in Mount Sinai. “It’s very much a comfort food.”
LOADED BACON CHEESEDOG — $4
A larger-than-average Hatfield hot dog is smothered with chopped bacon and melted cheese.
“There’s nothing like the smell of frying bacon,” says Frank Amodio, owner of Frankie’s Famous food truck. “It makes everybody happy.”
For a more carb-oriented dish, try loaded bacon cheese fries ($5).
THE BACON BOWL — $6
Dip long strips of thick-cut smoked bacon into special dipping sauces such as peanut, maple syrup and honey mustard.
“People put bacon on a pedestal,” says Andrew Handras of G&L Gyro food truck. “Whether they are on a diet or not, they are going to enjoy some bacon. It turns the rules off.”
Also on the menu, bacon-lettuce-tomato gyro with chicken or lamb with tzatziki sauce on a toasted pita ($12).
BACON PIZZA — $4 per slice
Forget pepperoni, sausage or anchovies, bacon is where it’s at when it comes to pizza toppings.
“The bacon gets people’s attention,” says Lawrence Leonardi of Genova’s Pizza & Pastaria in Medford. “Once they have a taste, it all starts to make sense.”
Pasta fans can try their bacon penne alla vodka. ($7 per bowl)
BACON APPLE PUFFS — $6-$10
Picture a doughnut-like pastry with freshly diced apples and bacon on the inside, then dusted with cinnamon and nutmeg on the outside.
“It has a very distinct flavor,” says Joe Peters, owner of Emily’s Apple Puffs food truck. “The sweetness of the apples mixed with the salt from the bacon gives it a nice punch.”
NUTELLA & BACON CREPE — $7
Feel like chocolate but also need something salty? This is a perfect treat to satisfy those cravings from Crazy Crepe Café, located in Selden, Smithtown, Lake Ronkonkoma and Miller Place.
Also available: maple syrup with bacon crepe ($6) and chicken, ranch dressing and bacon crepe ($8).
LONG ISLAND BACON BASH
WHEN | WHERE: Noon-10 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 23, at Pennysaver Amphitheater at Bald Hill, 1 Ski Run Lane, Farmingville
INFO: 631-648-2500, bestbaconfest.com