Being a connoisseur of bacon I’ve tried a lot of products. A LOT. Some good. Very very mouth watering good. And some bad. Hideously awful terrible yuck-face bad. I once had the displeasure of trying bacon flavored popcorn that was so greasy that the bag was wet before it was even popped. Ga-ross. So I admit that whenever I hear about bacon-flavored popcorn my walls come up and my stomach pretends to not be on holiday. BUT then I tasted Loveless Cafe’s Piggy Popcorn (and Piggy Pecans!) and I now have a new boyfriend. Erm, “favorite snack.” Yes, better.
I was lucky enough to chat with Jesse Goldstein, Creative Director, TomKats, Inc. (TomKats manages and operates the Loveless Cafe.) Read on!
ME: How did you come up with Piggy Popcorn and Piggy Pecans?
JESSE: It’s a funny story actually. We were already making Bacon Popcorn for a company out in California using our hickory-smoked bacon. We would pop the popcorn in bacon grease and sprinkle in bits of our cooked bacon. By the time it made it out to the west coast, all the bacon had settled to the bottom – so I thought “we could STICK the bacon to the popcorn with CARAMEL!” The rest was history!
ME: That is a delightful journey! My favorite part of your product is that that there are actual chunks of bacon in the product and that it’s not just bacon flavored. I LOVE THIS. How much experimenting did you guys have to do to come up with the perfect piggy flavor?
JESSE: We use our own bacon. It is an old-fashioned dry-cured bacon smoked with real hickory wood. The flavor is much more intense that typical grocery store bacon. I think that helped us more than anything because we knew right of the bat that we were going to make it our own, so we never tried using any other bacons and certainly never thought of using any sort of bacon flavor. Our trial and error process was really more with the caramel than anything. We ended up settling on a recipe that uses brown sugar, real butter and pancake syrup – because nothing goes better with bacon than syrup!
ME: I need a minute to salivate… Hold please…. Okay, I’m back! What other “Piggy” products do you sell?
JESSE: We have been selling our artisan bacons for almost 30 years now. Over the past few years, we have expanded beyond our original old-fashioned hickory-smoked bacon to include peppered bacon, cajun bacon and jalapeno bacon. A couple years ago, we partnered with The Cocoa Tree, a local gourmet chocolate shop, to develop our Loveless Bacon Truffles. They are made with chocolate, real maple syrup and our bacon and have been a huge hit!
ME: Bacon Truffles!!! Delish! You know my birthday is coming up… I kid! Well, not really, it is coming up someday, but I digress. Do you have any new “Piggy” products coming out soon?
JESSE: I would tell you, but I would have to kill you! No, seriously, we are always thinking of great ways to use our bacon. There is a bar in Las Vegas that orders our bacon for their bacon-infused vodka! Now, we will probably never try to go that crazy, but we do plan experimenting this year with a few other items.
ME: Okay, time for the most important question: How can the general public get their hands on your amazing products?
JESSE: The easiest way is on our website– we ship out our goodies all over the world! Of course they can also come on out and see us here in person at the Loveless Cafe.
Thank you, Jesse! And people, get your orders in NOW! You won’t regret it!