If you like meat you probably LOVE bacon. What a versatile cut of meat it is from perhaps the most noblest of animals.
The authors sum up bacon perfectly with the following phrase: "one of those flavour-packed, umami-rich, secret-weapon ingredients". A book like this will help even the most dedicated bacon-addict find something new and the initiated will find a totally new world is possibly being opened up to them. In what feels like a deceptively-small book, the authors have managed to cram in so much information, whether it is purchasing or cooking advice or ways to use bacon that you might not have previously considered. This reviewer was surprised, but not disgusted, to note even recipes for bacon as a dessert... yum !
This is not a book to read on an empty stomach. The great photography draws you in far too much for your (stomach's) own good. The text is engaging, informative and easy-going. This is a book you should, at least once, read through sequentially as you stand to miss so much otherwise. Where else might you read about using surplus bacon grease or fat to pop popcorn with? The book is written from a North American perspective so there might be some regional "linguistic differences" but at the end of the day bacon is bacon, no matter what you call it. The only danger with this book is that you might become a bit of a "bacon bore", dispensing pearls of wit and wisdom to the uninitiated within your social circle.
Some of the recipes might appear to be a bit contrived but they do show the versatility of the dish and the extent of the authors' imaginations. Bacon swizzle sticks? Bacon Jam? Although should one knock it until one has tried it?
Whether you settle for a more mainstream bacon recipe or try one of the more adventurous ones, you will find that each recipe is very well presented and written, easy to follow and broken down into all the necessary constituent parts that you would want. Small niggles exist insofar as there is no estimation of a cooking and preparation time and the measures are in imperial units, but this book is far from being the only "villain" in this regard. When you look at the book as a whole, such minor issues are soon forgotten. There's bacon to be cooking, after all!
The end of the book contains one of the most comprehensive "buying guides" and source listings seen in a book of this kind for a long time. Sadly, it won't help readers not in North America though. The book also allegedly has a detailed index but this review copy did not have it, yet if it is as comprehensive as the rest of the book then you should have no worries there.
This reviewer was at first unsure whether such a single ingredient-based book would really work... this worked and delivers like a finely-oiled and tuned machine. A great series of recipes, engaging information, mouth-watering photography and a very reasonable price to match. A clever bookseller should do a promotion with this, offering a voucher for a package of quality bacon from a local butcher, showing that there is a lot more to the world of bacon than that sold by a major supermarket.