‘United States of Bacon,’ loaded with fat
Destination America food show drips with excessive enthusiasm
December 18, 2012
Most people will agree that when it comes to certain ingredients in cuisine — for example, bacon — a little goes a long way. The same goes for certain ingredients in TV shows.
Destination America’s new series “The United States of Bacon” visits various American cities to find restaurants and bars that serve dishes with what any reasonable person would think is too much bacon. As an exercise in armchair gluttony, it’s harmless fun, except for the excessive helpings we get of its host, a TV chef named Todd Fisher. His forced enthusiasm and eye-rolling appreciation of every bite he takes grow tiresome quickly.
In the premiere episode, airing on Sunday, Dec. 30, at 10 p.m., Fisher, who hosted the three-episode Destination American series “United States of Food,” visits Milwaukee, which, he says, was “built on the back of the meat-packing industry.” In an early warning of the excesses to come, the first time we see him, he points ahead and yells, “Bacon ho, baby!”
At his first stop, a restaurant named AJ Bombers, which frequently has lines outside, he shouts to the waiting customers, “Are we ready for some bacon?” and leads them in a chant of “Bacon, bacon!”
We understand that the host of this kind of show has to be enthusiastic, but Fisher takes it too far. Every item he samples seems to be the best thing he has ever tasted. At one point, to the tune of “I Have a Little Dreidel,” he sings to himself, “Bacon, bacon bacon — it is my favorite meat/Bacon, bacon, bacon — that crispy, salty treat.”
The rough version of the show provided for review had a temporary narrator reading what will be Fisher’s first-person voice-over. Presumably, the finished version will constitute even more of a Fisher overdose.
But the show handles the vicarious gluttony well. As in most shows about vernacular American cuisine, the cooks reveal extraordinary skill and creativity in loading as much fat as possible into their creations.
Fisher samples something called the Barrie burger, a bacon cheeseburger topped with chunky peanut butter. “Pork wings” are small filets of pork loin that are baked, then wrapped in bacon and deep-fried.
An old-fashioned diner features a dish called the garbage platter, which contains up to five eggs, five cheeses and five kinds of breakfast meat and can weigh five pounds. Another place offers apple pie topped with melted cheese and bacon.
Fisher gets some step-by-step instructions on how to make the dishes, but it’s unlikely that many viewers will want to try this stuff at home.
Though most of us are unlikely to wind up in Milwaukee, it could be fun to sample one or two of the featured dishes in their native settings. But “United States of Bacon” would be more fun if it didn’t oversell us so hard.
Tags: bacon, destination america, Destination American, Little Dreidel, premiere, premiere episode, Todd Fisher, tv, tv reviews, TV shows, United States, united states of bacon, united states of bacon review, viewers
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