Be Food Smart dug up the ingredients (no easy task) in Jack in the Box's "bacon milkshake" and discovered the flavor comes from a "bacon syrup" made with six ingredients, none of them bacon: pure cane sugar, water, natural and artificial flavors, salt, sodium benzoate and potassium sorbate. Yay for vegetarians? (Don't even ask what's in the whipped topping or the ice cream shake mix.)
To be fair, we tried the BLT cheeseburger and we're pretty sure that also contains no bacon.
Undeterred by common sense, we held our own taste test, ordering the ultimate bacon meal from Jack in the Box. (Don't be jealous; this is why we're going to die before we hit 40.)
The Menu: BLT cheeseburger, cheesy bacon potato wedges, bacon milkshake.
The Cost: $7.60
The Results: One item was awful, one item was passable and one item was actually good. It may not be obvious which was which.
The BLT cheeseburger was atrocious. With fast food, nothing EVER looks as good in real life as it does in the ads, but with this burger, the gap between image and reality makes the Grand Canyon look like a hairline fissure. It also tasted bad. Icky patty, icky cheese and a couple of anemic, rubbery, ruddy-colored strips that looked like bacon after it had gone on a starvation diet. It was bacon in name only.
The bacon milkshake, which weighs in at more than 1,000 calories for 24 ounces, was decent. It was more mapley than bacony, with a faint smoky undertone. If the chemists in JITB's laboratory move a few molecules, they'll have a passable maple shake for Thanksgiving. The shake also had the gummy but soothing consistency of all the JITB milkshakes, which makes sense given that it's "loaded with stabilizers, gums and thickening agents," as Be Food Smart points out. Did we drink the whole thing? Hell no. We're not masochistic. Could we have done it? Probably not without a very serious stomach ache.
The cheddar bacon potato wedges, despite their laughable name, are JITB's best bacon item. The potato wedges are battered and fried, arriving lightly crisp on the outside but soft on the inside. The sauce is about as cheddary as Tang, but we must admit to a strange fondness for the the gooey orange stuff poured over nachos at movie theaters and high school football games. The mess is topped with very small rubbery chunks of faux-smoky bacon. Somehow, it works, at least as the perfect, addictive drunk food.