When I was gifted a jar of bacon jam recently, I was definitely excited—the presence of the word “bacon” on the label surely had something to do with that—but I had my doubts that I’d make it through the whole jar. Its flavor profile seemed so specific and meaty, I wasn’t sure how to use it.
Luckily, my colleagues at The Takeout were full of ideas, each one more delicious than the last. The sweet, savory, and peppery notes in bacon jam make this product way more versatile than the other jams in my pantry. Here are just a few ideas for how to burn through your supply.
Being a peanut butter and jelly fiend—and having eaten more than a few peanut butter and bacon sandwiches in my youth (try it now)—my first thought was to pair bacon jam with peanut butter on toast. The resulting combo is slightly more sweet than savory, because I use Jif rather than natural peanut butter, but there’s a warmth brought by the jam’s onions and brown sugar that paired well with the sugary PB. It’s an almost confusing set of flavors, but they make you want to keep taking exploratory bites until the whole sandwich is gone.
For a spin on the Fat Elvis (the worst name for any sandwich in history), try adding slices of banana, which will tip the scales more toward sweetness.
Since one of the primary ingredients in bacon jam is sugar, it can cut through the salty/savory elements of a pizza pretty well. Add dollops of the jam to a pepperoni pizza and bake. Once it’s out of the oven, finish with a drizzle of hot honey, a few dollops of ricotta, and basil leaves.
You, like me, might immediately associate bacon jam with burgers. It’s a fantastic burger pairing, and the label on my own jar of bacon jam says the product was “originally created as a restaurant hamburger topping.” But that’s not the only grilled meat that cries out for this complex condiment. Midwest Fresh recommends some alternative uses at a cookout.
“Think ‘off the grill,’” the label reads. “Bratwursts, cheeseburgers, grilled fish, sauteed vegetables.” This makes perfect sense, since the apple cider vinegar in bacon jam hits in much the same way as a barbecue sauce with tart cherries. It might sound redundant to pair bacon with these other grilled meats, but the resulting flavor is anything but one-note.
I adore the flavor of fig jam, and I love including it on any meat and cheese board I serve to guests. But that little dish of jam often goes uneaten, because it’s always too thick and stiff to be practical in a charcuterie scenario. It’s easier for people to reach for the easiest finger foods, pinching up little pieces of prosciutto or slices of Comte rather than maneuvering a spreader in order to get a smear of fig jam onto their plates.
Bacon jam solves this problem by having a slightly looser consistency; it’s perfect for dipping. Dunk the end of a toast point or a tart pear into a small dish of bacon jam and you won’t have to deal with a spreader at all.
Must this point be elaborated upon? Bacon jam! Melted cream cheese! I’m just telling you to combine them; I think you’ll have plenty of ideas for how to use the resulting concoction. But in case you need inspiration, I like to use this as a god-tier sandwich condiment, livening up a combination of spinach leaves and sliced turkey. You can also spread it on a bagel. Or serve it warm as a party dip with pretzels. Is it any surprise that cream cheese makes this Swiss army knife of a condiment even more versatile?