Exposed: The Jewcy Bacon Fetish

Thanks so much to Jessica Miller for this great cross-post from Jewcy.  Jessica is a former Jewcy Editorial Intern. She currently studies religion and English at Barnard College, right now spending most of her time working on her senior thesis, which involves Sufi saints, Muslim tombs, and the prophet Daniel.

Bacon Sushi

“I have no problem with this,” I admitted with ‘tude as I stared down into my Cobb salad.

It was day two of Passover, and, having stopped for lunch at a neighborhood eatery, I had opted for the salad (hold the bread on the side, please) instead of the usual K-for-P-violating sandwich.

Now, there I sat. With bacon on my fork.

As many times as I’ve had to explain to my non-Jewish friends that kosher for Passover doesn’t mean kosher, they still don’t seem to get it. Luckily, I have most of the Jewcy staff to back me up on this one.

I am about to let you in on a little secret that is shocking, but true. Jewcy people love bacon. So, so much.

I’d estimate that a whopping 10% of my own posts have had something to do with bacon, but aside from that, you have no idea how much time I have spent skyping with fellow Jewcers about the treif delight. I don’t know how it got started, but, long ago, in a time before Swine Flu, every time something bacon related showed up in a Jewcer’s Google reader, the rest of the staff knew about it within approximately 30 seconds.

And let me tell you, we have discovered some amazing things. Some of them have made it on to the site. But there is also a whole reserve of products that has thus far gone unmentioned, and that continue to be unearthed.

Take, for instance, two weeks ago, when Lilit took it upon herself to post a story about bacon-flavored lube on my Facebook wall. Or that time before our winter holiday party, when we found ourselves sort of bummed out about our incredible deal with Embittermints upon our discovery of bacon-flavored mints. At one point, Todd and I stumbled upon a purely bacon-themed news site to keep ourselves in the bacon-themed loop (this site also happens to have apparel that rivals the sexiness of the Jewcy thong.) We’ve found gummy bacon, gourmet bacon cocktails, even bacon dental floss. (it exists, you guys. I saw it at Ricky’s.)

A limit was reached recently when Lilit discovered Meatpaper, a magazine specifically designed for the carnivore. Get this: it recently ran a “Pig Issue” which included an article that suggested that bacon can cure a rare disease called furuncular myiasis. Hear that world? Bacon. Can. Cure. You. Cure! You!

Screw the what-if-I-have-to-get-a-pig’s-heart-valve-implanted-in-my-chest debate, this is taking it to the next level. Then again, not many people have problems with invasive fly larvae. But still.

So what is it about bacon, specifically? As a culture, we seem to be obsessed. The truth is, bacon represents a perfect extreme: a completely gratuitous and delicious rebellion from a defining tenet of Judaism. Bacon is hillarious in its offensiveness.  And it just tastes so good.

Gummy Bacon: Actually tastes like strawberries, which somehow makes it more weird

Gummy Bacon: Actually tastes like strawberries, which somehow makes it more weird

Even my own family, which does not keep kosher, but won’t keep pork products in the house out of some sort of hereditary guilt will make an exception for bacon and a very scarce selection of pig-based foods. I have a vivid memory of my dad holding up a fried pork dumpling in his chopsticks and saying, “Well, if this is going to send me to hell, then I’d say it’s worth it.”

The truth is, bacon is irresistible. In the “so wrong, it’s right” kind of way.

So the next time you need a mildly offensive gag gift for your Jewish friend, or need additional ways of incorporating bacon into your life, just ask a Jewcer.  They’ll have you violating biblical codes in no time, and they’ll do it with a smile.

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9 Responses to “Exposed: The Jewcy Bacon Fetish”

  1. Daniel Says:

    I can honestly say that I did not see this coming. I’m speechless. Take that as you will.

  2. shev Says:

    I sure am curious to know why the editors of jcarrot decided to publish this.

  3. Yael Says:

    I second shev’s comment. I know that jcarrot is pluralistic but for many Jews this post is downright offensive.

  4. Amanda Says:

    Yael does make a point that the Jew and the Carrot is a pluralistic community publishing many points of view. This is not the first bacon-related post that has caused quite a stir http://jcarrot.org/yeah-i-get-.....-be-ironic

    This post was originally published on Jewcy.com, which is the largest web site for Jews 18-35 covers religion, the arts, sexuality, politics, pop culture, and other components of the modern Jewish experience.

    Although the post is clearly written for the Jewcy audience (as it says in its title and as it frequently refers to “Jewcers”, or Jewcy readers) it is written from the author’s personal and irreverent perspective.

    No offense was intended as we do recognize that many Jews do not eat pork or even meat for that matter, and perhaps the conversation can be directed to why people chose or do not choose to eat pork?

    Amanda, Editor-in-Chief

  5. Liz Lawler Says:

    Yes, I have to say, the whole bacon issue seems a bit arbitrary. I mean, people get all up in arms about bacon, but let so many other things slide. I don’t eat bacon, or condone it, but I’m not more offended by this than someone talking about eating unkosher cheese.

  6. alix Says:

    the day jcarrot stops publishing stories about treyf is the day I stop reading (and contributing to) it! Most Jews in America eat treyf, whether we like it or not. I totally appreciated this post.

  7. jeff Says:

    I understand Shev and Yael’s disappointment with the post, and I don’t think it’s necessarily a result of its irreverence. I just think that we’ve heard all this before. It’s nothing new — there is something funny about bacon and Jews. We get it. Jessica Miller writes about how certain young, modern American Jews fetishize the stuff and believe it makes them better Americans and jews for it. It’s in some ways a form of social currency in young and progressive Jewish communities.

    I must admit that bacon fascinates me too, though more because of the very approach that Jewcers seem to have towards it. Jessica writes: “bacon represents a perfect extreme: a completely gratuitous and delicious rebellion from a defining tenet of Judaism. Bacon is hillarious in its offensiveness. And it just tastes so good.” Where she misses the mark is in its offensive hilarity. For some it’s not so funny, and there’s countless legislation in Israel and there are plenty of fights in American Jewish history as proof. Where she gets it right is that it is certainly “gratuitous.”

    And regarding pork as medical treatment, there are countless stories of Eastern European Jews whose doctors recommended they eat pork to cure certain diseases (my own family has such a story), and even in Israel various pork butchers can attest to the fact that ultra-Orthodox Israelis come with orders from their doctors or healers to eat pig meat and/or fat for certain cures (sometimes it’s a more spiritual cure). So yes, as Jews we have a deep, intimate relationship with pigs that goes well beyond the pop culture fetishization of bacon.

  8. Arlyn Boltax Says:

    I get what Jeff said about the funny thing, but really its just sad. Sad that its funny and sad that “certain young, modern American Jews fetishize the stuff and believe it makes them better Americans and jews for it”.

  9. shev Says:

    Besides “conveying a joy about food”, I don’t see how this post fits into the structure of the jcarrot manifesto. (Check it out in “About the Blog”)

    I am the very proud owner of a “You shall eat, be satisfied and bless” jcarrot bag; the conference revolves around sustainability and ethics in our homes and in kosher food production; you offer tips on creating an environmentally friendly kiddush or seder.

    An article that ends with a sassy invitation to help others violate biblical codes in no time just isn’t in the spirit.

    Is this blog trying to change direction?

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