20080918-bltcupcakes.jpgI've always wanted a tattoo, but I've also been hung up on that whole "my body is god's temple" thing. It's not that I'm particularly religious, but when you've gone 30 years with a clean slate of skin, inking up seems like a big commitment. Where do you start? What do start with? On the other hand, tattoos are only as permanent as you are, which despite the morbidity of saying so, isn't very permanent. Might as well get over the whole clean slate thing and have some fun.

Still, our impermanence can be relatively long, so you'll still want to have some ink that says something about you that you can live with. In my case, the short list of things I'm pretty sure I'll be enamored with forever include my son and bacon. No disrespect to my wife, whom I love very much, but there's always the possibility that my love of bacon may eventually drive her away, and so there's no reason to take chances with that.

Overwhelmed by Bacon Love

The thing is, I've begun to doubt the role of bacon in my life. Like everyone else, you like to think you're unique and interesting or that you've found some particularly cool niche that no one knows about. Everyone loved bacon for a while, but about 10 years ago because of cholesterol concerns and all that, the love for it was a bit underground. It was like loving Murmur-era "Radio Free Europe" Athens, Georgia, REM. But during the last five years or so, the love for bacon became a gluttonous free-for-all. It was like when the album Out of Time came out, and damn if you didn't lose your religion regarding Michael Stipe.

These days bacon's covered in chocolate and it's deep fried. Bacon's bigger than the Jonas Brothers. Hell, it is the Jonas Brothers of food products, though definitely qualified to be the poster boy of pork products, and not nearly as overrated and untalented as Miley Cyrus's protégés. (My god, Miley Cyrus has protégés!)

BLT Cupcakes From More Cupcakes Reinforce the Bacon Love

Inundated with all this bacon love, you're almost driven to find a new food love. Unfortunately, pawpaw fruit and tonka beans aren't nearly as salty. So you soldier on. But then you walk past a storefront in Chicago's Goldcoast, More Cupcakes, a new boutique hawking $4 cupcakes—no doubt modeled on Magnolia Bakery and Sarah Jessica Parker cupcake bakery ripoffs worldwide. You see that they have three kinds of bacon cupcakes, and you know that this is the last stand. You're ready to take PETA-like action, break in, and spray paint "Free the Pork" on the plate glass windows. Too much freakin' bacon exploitation. Enough.

But you simmer down, walk in to the boutique and order, yes, the "bacon flight." You are rewarded with a slim, shiny jewel case of a box containing six dainty cupcakes large enough to sate only Rick Moranis in Honey, I Shrunk the Kids. You think, not only am I sick of bacon exploitation, but this whole "mini" craze needs to end too.

You pop one of the BLT cupcakes in your mouth. The dense, cornbread-like cake crumb melts, yielding salty morsels of bacon dancing on your tongue, followed by a cascade of Hidden Valley Buttermilk ranch-like mayo, micro-basil fireworks, and a juicy slurp of cherry tomato that sieges your taste buds. You think, this is a pretty inventive use of bacon. You move on to the bacon and apple cupcake, and think of apple pie and flaky crust imbued with leaf lard. You are happy, your faith in bacon renewed. You may even finally get that tattoo.

More Cupcakes

1 E Delaware Place, Chicago, IL 60611 (map)
312-951-0001
morecupcakes.com

About the author: Michael Nagrant writes for Serious Eats from Chicago, where he also publishes Hungry magazine. Michael never met an organ meat he didn't like. He hopes to meet many more.

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