Andrew Davis // Brooklyn, NY
It began innocently enough, merely a teenager’s desire to fit in with the world around him.
I didn’t grow up in a religious family and our house was not kosher, but there was certainly never any treyf to be found. On the basis that you cannot miss what you do not know, I never remember feeling hard done by. I loved beef, chicken and lamb enough to not worry what else was out there. That is until one summer when I looked on in near disgust as my father happily tucked into the bacon served at breakfast on our Greek holiday. It had never occurred to me that he may have been a secret bacon eater. Why would it?
A new school term began the following September. Our daily ritual at Harrington’s bakery usually meant an iced doughnut and maybe a cheese roll for lunch, but this September was different from all others. My eyes had been opened to the possibility of the unknown, and like any inquisitive young boy, I felt I owed it to myself to try something new. I remember my friend Simon (now a very orthodox Jew) cajoling me towards the sausage sandwich, with which he was well acquainted. After fifteen-plus years, I relented and broke my pork fast.
I now look back with a certain amount of dismay. Those first furtive experiments with very inferior meat should have been enough to turn me from the dark side, but alas, they did not. Inevitably, this gateway sausage led to the next stage of my addiction. It was several years later when I moved away from home for the first time to go to University. I was in a new world. I now had access to a kitchen where bacon was regularly being cooked. Not wishing to admit to my porcine ways, I lived off the scraps of others until I finally cracked and reached the point where I would go to the store to buy my own.
Over the next few years and as my interest in food grew, I still maintained a degree of denial. I would shun pork in its natural state preferring sausages and bacon. I would even tell my Jewish friends that “I only eat bacon, I do not even like pork that much.”
Then eventually the time came when I could hide the truth no longer; I was a bona fide pork lover. There was no particular tipping point, just a gradual realization that this was a meat deserving of my respect.
Now that it is out in the open, I feel much better equipped to deal with my baconlust. Even my once vegetarian girlfriend now loves bacon too, but it was of her own free will. I no longer hide it from friends and family, and while still wary and respectful of my mother on the subject, I am now happy to openly talk about my love of all things porky.
Andrew Davis keeps the blog ldneatsnyc.