How do I put this delicately, I dig on swine. It’s practically hackneyed to say because bacon is everywhere. It was in the caramel corn at a “punch party” I recently attended at Aquitaine. There was a festival devoted to bacon and beer in the South End in April that sold out in a heartbeat. I’ve even seen it start to pop up in cocktails. (If you happen to be drinking a bloody Mary I urge you to check your vodka: bacon could be lurking.)
And I haven’t heard one person complain about this. Turns out, most people tend to dig on swine—with the exception of the hit man “Jules” from the movie Pulp Fiction. In fact, Jules makes it clear to his mobster partner, Vincent, that he does not dig on swine—bacon included. Not because he is a vegetarian (though his girlfriend is) but because—in his opinion—the pig is a filthy animal. Though, he relents he’d possibly reconsider his pig philosophy if he met a very, very charming pig (and I’m paraphrasing here).
So there you have it, personality does count for something. And I absolutely can not mention personality AND caramel corn in the same post without mentioning my childhood piano teacher, Mr. Sauer. Mr. Sauer oozed personality. He had tight curlicue black hair. He was bubbly. He possessed an all-year-round mischievous elf-like quality. And he always gave me an “A+” on the music I had practiced on for the week. Charming. I was not naturally talented, but I practiced hard.
My sister also tended to get an A+ on her weekly lesson, though my sister did not always practice. You could occasionally hear a cacophony of “Fur Elise” throughout the house as she banged away on the keys. “A+ lessons!” Mr. Sauer would say effervescently to my mother each week without fail, which tended to make us all chuckle.
And each year around Christmas time, my mother would reward Mr. Sauer’s A+ merriment with a tin of homemade caramel corn. He treasured this caramel corn and opened the tin the moment my mother handed it to him; I’m not certain his caramel corn ever survived its ride home.
The same ritual happened year after year and Mr. Sauer’s love for my mother’s caramel corn became somewhat of a running family joke. So much so, that when I recently asked my mother for her recipe, she wrote it down with the final note, “Take out of oven and let cool. Give to Mr. Sauer for Christmas.”
So when I saw the caramel corn at Aquitaine I knew it was time to pay tribute to Mr. Sauer and to Christmas traditions, melding old with new. I don’t know where Mr. Sauer is today, but I can only hope he’d give this caramel corn an A+.
Personally, I can’t stop eating the delightful stuff. In fact, I’d go so far as to borrow a sentiment from another curlicue black-haired gentleman, our gangster friend Jules: this is one charming mother f-in’ caramel corn.
Bacon Caramel Corn
Adapted from Aquitaine (and my mother)