Being the patriotic bloke that I am, I decided to celebrate the 4th of July this week by doing something incredibly American. I ate bacon. More specifically, I tried the Bacon Sundae from Burger King.
The dessert is ‘hand made’ by the good folks at BK with vanilla soft-serve ice cream, chocolate and caramel syrups and, you guessed it, bacon. So how did this culinary concoction fare?
Well, let me start by saying that I really wanted to like this sundae, so the deck was kind of stacked in its favor from the start. That said, I feel like Burger King really missed the mark on this one. All the flavors were there, but they just weren’t cooperating.
First and foremost, this may be due to the fact that this sundae was, in fact, hand-made. I got to watch the young lady behind the counter put this thing together, and I must say that I was a little mystified over how she did it.
First she squeezed into the container a healthy dose of both syrups. Then she put in the copious amount of vanilla ice cream. Finally I saw her go over to a bin and pick out bits of bacon to put on the sundae, with a final long strip stuck right through to the bottom. For me, this is hardly conducive to making these flavors work together. Instead, you basically go from layer to layer, trying to mix as you go.
Now don’t get me wrong, I was able to put all the tastes together, but it was far more laborious than I had thought it would be. This was mainly due to the fact that the bacon was very crispy and a bit thick. This led to the ice cream melting in your mouth long before you had an opportunity to finish chewing the bacon.
If you could wrangle some of the syrups onto the bacon, this was where the flavor really shined and when the full promise of this delicacy was fulfilled. The combinations of chocolate and caramel with bacon really hit the sweet/savory spot far better than the ice cream could hope to accomplish. Instead, the ice cream merely became an ill-equipped delivery system for the rest. Unfortunately, given the large amount of ice cream involved, this still proved to be more work than the dessert really should have merited.
I have to say that I was relieved that this mixture wasn’t brimming with the artificial smoke flavor that can permeate badly-made fast food. Instead, the bacon had a natural enough flavor and was inoffensive to what the dessert was trying to achieve.
While the dessert makes an excellent “proof of concept”, it doesn’t deliver on what could be the best parts of a bacon sundae. And that leaves me with a bit of a quandary. On the one hand, I do wonder if having them prepackaged would take care of the problem of properly mixing the ingredients. On the other hand, I do wonder if more freshly-cooked bacon would be a better way to go. First of all, this dessert is missing the hot/cold allure that many of us find when dipping our Wendy’s french fries in our Frosty. Secondly, perhaps a bit of the fresh bacon grease drizzling through the ice cream would help spread the flavor in a way that simple bacon bits cannot.
As desserts go, this one wasn’t that bad. I actually did enjoy it, just not as much as I wanted to. Again, I think I’d like to chalk this one up entirely to execution. The concept definitely works and when you mix the ingredients right on your spoon, the result can be delightful. On the other hand, take a look at the picture below taken from the BK website and compare it with the photo I took above. Like most fast food staples, it doesn’t compare. And while a mushed-up Whopper can at least taste as good as a fluffier one, the science involved here demands that the sundae be mixed at least as well as the picture below, or the flavors just don’t gel.
If you’re a bacon fan, I wouldn’t skip this, but be prepared to work a little to get the balance just right.