Most people agree that everything tastes better with bacon. Wrapping foods in bacon is a fad with serious staying power. The unique and addictive flavor of it keeps most food truck operators coming back to it. The technical term for wrapping food in a layer of fat to add flavor and moisture is barding. Bacon is commonly used because aside from its signature fat content, the flavor is sweet, salty and smoky at the same time.
Classic bacon wrapped menu items, such as rumaki (chicken liver or water chestnuts wrapped and brushed with a sweet soy glaze), angels on horseback (oysters wrapped), devils on horseback (prunes wrapped), and bacon wrapped filet mignon, have been around for years. Think beyond these old school stand-bys and try baconizing the following to add a new twist to your food truck menu:
Foods To Wrap In Bacon
- Fruit: dried dates, pineapple wedges, fresh figs
- Vegetables: bundles of asparagus, green beans or green onions, mushrooms, potato wedges, spicy peppers, cherry tomatoes, avocado wedges, slices of acorn squash
- Seafood: shrimp, scallops, thick pieces of fish, like seabass or salmon
- Meat: pork loin, venison tenderloin, meatloaf or meatballs, hamburger sliders
- Poultry: pheasant, chicken pieces, bone-in turkey breast
- Other: hard-cooked eggs, rolls or bread sticks
Once your items are wrapped in bacon, you can choose to bake, broil, grill, or sauté them. If the item you are wrapping has a short cook time, you will need to par-cook the bacon before using to ensure it is fully cooked when the dish is ready to eat. Cook it first in a skillet or the oven until it is half-way cooked, but still pliable. Then proceed to twist, drape or wrap it around the item of your choice.
Mix Things Up
Hickory smoked and applewood smoked both have the traditional flavors we all recognize. Wild boar will yield a similar flavor, but will cut out a third of the fat. For something completely different, try duck bacon wrapped around dried apricots or baby bok choy. Ventrèche, or French pancetta, isn’t technically bacon because it is not smoked, but can be used in all the same ways. It is especially good wrapped around figs and blue cheese.
The Bottom Line
Even with health and wellness trends top-of-mind with consumers, bacon continues to provide opportunities for innovation and appeal to food truck menus. Innovation can be built on preparation, spice profiles and mixing the salty, smoky and savory flavor of bacon with sweet and hot. There seems to be no end to this trend, and we continue to see innovation across the food truck industry.