April 4, 2019


Finally, Fake Bacon That Tastes Good (AC Shilton, Apr 3, 2019, Outside)

Meet Outstanding Foods' PigOut Pigless Bacon Chips, a salty-smoky-crunchy marvel of plant-based culinary craftiness. The architect behind these chips is chef Dave Anderson, who helped Impossible Foods launch its meat-free burger patty that has gone mainstream and is being sold at White Castle and Carl's Jr. and will be soon at Burger King nationwide. Now Anderson had partnered with serial entrepreneur Bill Glaser to bring home the fake bacon with their own line of meat-free products.

Anderson loved working on the Impossible Burger. It's made with heme, a molecule that comes from the roots of legumes and gives fake meat its meaty flavor. But building a burger off a specific molecule was mostly lab-based scientific work. He missed the simplicity of working with whole foods, the way he used to coax meat-like flavors from mushrooms at his restaurant, Madeleine Bistro, in Los Angeles. "Our goal is that we want to use more whole-ingredient stuff and not be so heavily reliant on the science," he says.

For PigOut's first product, Anderson kept things simple. The main ingredient in the bacon chips is king oyster mushrooms. "I came to mushrooms because there's a lot of umami and meaty texture and flavor going on," he says. Plus, mushrooms are full of health benefits, adds cofounder Glaser, who points to studies showing a range of reasons to eat more fungi: possibly slowing cognitive decline, acting like a statin and reducing blood cholesterol, and maybe even boosting the immune system.  

To make the bacon chips, Anderson deep-fries paper-thin mushroom slices in sunflower and safflower oil. The resulting texture is shockingly bacon-like. It crumbles in your mouth like the tastiest of crispy meat candy. And while nothing will ever taste exactly like the real thing, these are a damn good substitute. Heavy on the smoke, with plenty of salt and just a hint of sweetness, they're so addicting that you may find yourself powering through a bag in one sitting.

Posted by at April 4, 2019 12:04 AM