Seeing as how you're all foodies and all, I'll assume you've heard about the Jones Soda Co.'s new bacon-flavored soda. So I'll cut straight to the chase:
I somehow managed to convince over a dozen people in two different countries to take part in a taste test of the new beverage, had them record their immediate reactions, and score the bacon soda in several categories. (You may remember the many absinthe taste tests and the gangster-wine taste tests I held from a while back.)
This time, the results were pretty damn hilarious. You can get a whiff after the jump ...
I had the taste testers judge the soda in four categories: fragrance, flavor, "bacony-ness," and an overall general category where they could express their general feelings and other things like appearance, etc.
The real gems are the reactions from the taste testers, so I'll just reprint some of what they had to say and get out of the way.
From the get-go, the tasters were rather horrified. For the fragrance portion of the test, the tasters (in New York and Calgary, ranging from their early 20s to their 40s and including just a smidge more men than women) had this to say:
"After the initial meaty whiff, it smells mostly like artificial bacon bits ... cooked beets with some general porkiness."
"Smells like both bacon and a dog treat!"
"You'll find that you'd rather be stuck in a room with your flatulent uncle Bob."
"It smells more like bacon than actual bacon does."
"Smells like breakfast!"
And simply: ":("
Then came the flavor section:
"In the end, it tastes like a dog treat."
"Wrong medium for the right taste ... fizzy and strange."
"A mix between rotting meat, a full jar of smoke essence, with a hint of bacon flavouring that they use for doggie treats. Such creation can only come from the devil himself."
"Tastes like you licked it up but it was cold and congealed."
"The taste was worse than the smell."
And simply: ":("
For bacony-ness, they wrote:
"It's like chugging bacon grease."
"I haven't eaten bacon in 18 years, I'm not sure."
"Not a bacon I'd ever want to eat."
"Any cravings I had of bacon are now gone. As a vegetarian, I don't feel as though I'm missing anything anymore."
Finally, for the overall score and general notes, they said:
"Wow, more disgusting than I imagined."
"It's like bacon described in a book by someone who's never encountered it in the real world .... I commend the effort, but it's a high hill to reach here."
"It has a sweetness that makes it bearable."
"Well, it wasn't toxic."
"On appearance, I would score this a 10 .... On ability to drink, I would score it a 0. None of us could manage more than a sip without having to run for a glass of water."
"My dog might like it?"
"Looks like root beer, but the tragedy is that it isn't. It is bacon."
And my favorite: "As I sit here in pain and agony, I wonder to myself, 'WHYYYY, why on Earth did I try it.' The smell and taste lingers, and it's been 30 minutes. I've tried to drown it out with water, juice, pop, chocolate, and am near contemplation of ... Lysol. This is by far the stupidest thing I've ever put in my mouth. And for those that know me, I've put a lot of stupid things in my mouth. Bacon Soda: 1, [Taster]: 0."
So what were the final scores?
I should point out that these were rated on a scale of one to 10. That's right, 10. Ten being the highest. Take your hands off the keyboard and mouse. Count your fingers. None of the categories scored high enough to use up an entire hand. Even added all together, you could still manage to wiggle a pinkie.
To be fair, I tried the prototype bacon soda and another potential new Jones soda a while ago, and vastly preferred the bacon soda. (Not to say I necessarily would voluntarily drink the bacon soda, but the other flavor was pizza.)
And the Jones Soda Co. rep who sent me the box suggested that I try in a cocktail. I never had the time to do that, but I'll reprint the recipe here, in case you want to try it. (And if you do, please let me know how it went.)
But on the other hand, I was genuinely concerned that the last taster was going to puke all over the boss's desk. (Not your desk, Tanya.)
Has anyone else tried the bacon soda? What did you think?
Yankee Breakfast Fizz
- 1.5 oz. bourbon
- 1 oz. Jones Bacon Soda
- 1.5 oz. natural maple syrup
- 1 egg white
- 2 oz. heavy cream
- soda water
Combine all ingredients except cream and soda into Bston shaker filled with large ice cubes. Shake hard to emulsify egg white. Strain into chilled 12 oz. Collins or Pilsener glass.
Add heavy cream, and stir. Top with soda water.
Insert with long straw and serve for breakfast or brunch.
Thanks again, brave taste testers!
By Michael Y. Park
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