I’ve been cutting back further on pork lately, not only because of the environmental impact and other issues connected to factory farm meat, but after coming face to face with a pig recently and discovering just how aware these creatures seem to be and just prior to that, the “screaming of the pigs” incident; I’ve had an attack of conscience.
But I do love pork products – bacon, ham and other pork smallgoods. I particularly like ham and bacon on pizza.
I’ve tried mock meat such as Sanitarium’s Deli Slices, made from TVP (textured vegetable protein), and it does the job, but a product that’s even better in some circumstances as it doesn’t have to be refrigerated is called bacon bits or bacon chips.
You can usually find bacon bits in the herb/condiments section of your supermarket; quite often in the herb racks that are organized in alphabetical order.
Bacon bits/chips are made from defatted soy flour, soybean oil, water and salt mainly. Unfortunately, they have some artificial color and flavor thrown in, but that’s a tradeoff I’m happy with as my primary motivation has nothing to do with my health.
It’s a product that’s particularly useful to me when I’m out in the bush and keeping things cool can be a challenge – they help add a bit of meaty texture and taste to my sometimes bland meals, and certainly do the trick with pizza when I’m back in the ‘burbs. I just allow them to soak for a couple of minutes in enough hot water to cover them before chucking them into the pot or on the pizza.
Bear in mind that sometimes products called bacon bits are actually made with bacon; but you’re unlikely to find those in the herb section. Also, some bacon chips may have “natural flavor” which I take to mean pork stock; so if you’re looking for something totally pork free, you may want to avoid those products.