Friday, January 30, 2009

Meat Me In the Islands

Wasn’t I just saying that beef was enjoying a new renaissance? Particularly, here on the islands, where McDonald’s sausage patties & SPAM are considered by some locals to be gourmet delights. Well, that was an understatement. Apparently, all red fatty meats are in vogue – as evidenced by the hot, new & much blogged recipe, The Bacon Explosion. Watch out for heart attacks! Or maybe not, did you see recently, on Oprah, where David Zinczenko, the editor-in-chief of Men's Health magazine and author of the book Eat This Not That for Kids said that regular bacon is a healthier alternative to turkey bacon? No? Well, I digress.

The Bacon Explosion is one of the most decadent things I have seen since the Turducken. (See below.) The Bacon Explosion is a recipe made famous by a team of Kansas City BBQ experts called Burnt Finger BBQ. An interesting-looking meatloaf-type dish, it consists of strips of bacon tightly woven into a square mat, which is seasoned and then rolled around a filling of ground Italian sausage and cooked bacon pieces. The 4 pound loaf is then transferred to a backyard smoker, and cooked for 2-3 hours, slathered in BBQ sauce. It is said to contain at least 5,000 calories and 500 grams of fat. This is a link to the original recipe.

I don’t think we have yet seen the full height of popularity possible in the islands for The Bacon Explosion dish. Once this catches on, I think it will remain as a local favorite.

The Turducken uses the same concept as The Bacon Explosion, but is made with fowl. Made popular in the 1980’s, “Turduckens” as they are called in the US, are seen most often in the Deep South and are usually cooked at Thanksgiving.

To make a Turducken, you start with a small deboned chicken and stuff it inside a deboned duck, which is then stuffed inside a partially de-boned turkey. TUR-DUCK-EN. Pretty clever. The inside of the chicken and any other remaining cavities can then be stuffed with a breadcrumb, vegetable or sausage stuffing. Turduckens have been commercially produced since 1985, by a specialty meats company in Louisiana.

Though relatively new in the US, “multi-bird” roasts have been around for a while. In fact, one royal feast in early 19th century France is said to have served a multi-bird roast (called a Rôti Sans Pareil, or "roast without equal”) including 17nested birds, with the tiniest one stuffed by a single olive! Oh my! And Bon Appétit!


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