Sex. Religion. Politics.


Yeah, the pork product fits right in as one of those polarizing topics. You love it. Or, you hate it. There’s no in-between.

And don’t go getting all holier than sow, vegetarians, because there are enough different kinds of facon on the market to prove that you, too, have a soft spot for that sweet, sweet pig candy — even if it’s made out of texturized soy protein concentrate, soybean oil with TBHQ for freshness, sodium sulfite and guar gum, among other unpronounceable ingredients. (Seriously, you’re better off eating the real deal.)

“Bacon love is universal,” says Angel Fabian, corporate chef for Noble Hops, 1335 W. Lambert Lane in Oro Valley. “It’s sweet, it’s savory. It’s cool to work with.”

Chef Travis Peters became a full-fledged foodie because of bacon.

Peters — one of the owners of new gastropub The Parish, 6453 N. Oracle Road — remembers watching that ’60s TV show “Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.” as a 7-year-old. The marine misfit made bacon sprinkled with brown sugar and pepper, and his hard-to-please sergeant declared it the best he ever had. Peters tried that trick and hasn’t stopped experimenting with bacon yet, as is obvious from The Parish’s menu. Bacon’s everywhere — in popcorn; wrapped around frog legs; on the burger, of course; and in its fattier, more decadent incarnation, pork belly.

“It’s magical, really,” Peters says of the stuff.

 In Caliente this week, we take bacon where some say it ought not to go — coffee, apple pie, brownies, s'mores and beyond.

  Hang on to your pork bellies, it's bacon season. See Thursday's Caliente for all its porky perkiness.