Friday, October 31, 2008

Review: Bacon Salt and Chipotle Salt

Popcorn Battle

Mrs. Dogs Chipotle Salt

Peppered Bacon Salt

I wanted to revisit two products that we had reviewed in the past, so I decided to pit them against each other, head to head.

Mrs. Dogs produces a chipotle salt that is out of this world. The balance between the chipotle and the salt is fantastic, with neither overwhelming the other. The chipotle is strong enough to offer smokey, piquant flavor without being overwhelming. I was initially concerned that I would have to use too much salt for the palette in order to be able to have a proper taste of the chipotle. That fear was absolutely unwarranted.

Bacon Salt is produced by J&D’s. This mana from the porcine heavens offers a bacon flavor to everything that you would put salt on. Where is the bacon? I have no idea, but it’s not in the bottle. Vegetarians could happily eat food seasoned with Bacon Salt. All the flavor, none of the pork. Pigs everywhere are singing the praises of Bacon Salt.

I made a couple of quarts of popcorn and put the snack into three bowls. I would normally use an olive oil to cook the popcorn, but I wanted to keep the flavors as neutral as possible, so I used a commercial vegetable oil. I used no flavorings aside from the Chipotle Salt and the Bacon Salt. There was no melted butter.

On bowl one I sprinkled the Chipotle Salt. I used about a teaspoon on about 2 quarts of popcorn. I tossed the popcorn thoroughly and dug in. Wow, was this good. The smokey flavor from the chipotle mixed into the natural flavor of the popcorn and really pulled every possible nuance out of the snack. It practically danced along the taste buds. The salt gave us the baseline flavor that we are all used to in popcorn and the chipotle kicked it in the butt. Fantastic. There was about 25% of the salt left on the bottom of the bowl when the popcorn was gone.

The second bowl had pepper flavored Bacon Salt sprinkled on it. The same amount of popcorn had about ¾ of a teaspoon of the Bacon Salt. This proved to be too little. I find it a bit difficult to judge how much Bacon Salt I should be using. I need to spend more time experimenting with this condiment/ingredient, and that is a burden I’m willing to shoulder. If I have to put Bacon Salt on nearly everything I eat, I’m willing to make that sacrifice.

The bacon mixed with the pepper and salt flavoring was amazing when tasted, but unfortunately it needed to be mixed very thoroughly too fully distribute the Bacon Salt. It seems as though the powder adheres to what it touches first and sticks a bit. That would normally be a plus, but in this situation it was a detriment. In general, it gave the flavor of having popped the corn in bacon grease instead of oil, which is almost too good to describe.

The third bowl of popcorn had a mixture of the Bacon Salt and the Chipotle Salt. This was an unqualified winner. Simply delicious. A bit spicy, but that’s how I prefer my food.

There were no casualties in this battle and no losers. The next time I do this I’ll be adding the Bacon Salt to melted butter, whisking it thoroughly and then applying it to the popcorn.

If you don’t have these two products on your shelf, you need to change that immediately.