Bacon is the gateway drug, not just for vegans who become specialty butchers, but for Jews who grew up in kosher (or at least non-pork-eating) households.

Writing in Jewish daily The Forward, author Lenore Skenazy grapples with thorny issues of appetite and cultural identity, exploring the love/hate (mostly love) relationship between Jews and bacon:

“Jews and bacon go together like Samson and Delilah: We know we're supposed to resist, but the flesh is weak. Heck, even the cartilage is kaput. Once the nose sniffs that sizzling scent of sin, all bets are off.”

She even profiles Al Marcus, a Houston Jew whose company, The Grateful Bread & Other Good Things, started out making challah but now ships homemade gourmet bacon across the country.

We were always the one child who had to eat awful turkey bacon instead of real bacon during childhood sleepovers. It wasn't until college that we tried pork for the first time. From there, it was a quick hop to pork chops, barbecued pulled pork sandwiches and all manner of piggy sausages. Bacon, we blame you for pushing us down the slippery slope to assimilation.

[*Note: We once attended a bar mitzvah where chicken livers wrapped in bacon were served as an appetizer. Really. We didn't try them.]

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