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11:54 am: Hempler's Bacon
Can bacon be dishonest? That's a philosophical question rather than a culinary one, I admit, but I want to say that Hempler's is an eminently honest bacon, and the implication is that bacons can, then, be dishonest. But let that pass. Hempler's, we shall say, is honest; the thick slice greets your teeth like a firm hand-shake. It plays no tricks on your tongue, presenting a warm, full, genuine flavor which is pig from start to finish, and make no mistake about it.

To be honest, of course, is not to be simplistic or one-dimensional. Indeed, if there be bacons we suspect of falsehood, it is there we expect a stridency, a singularity of purpose upheld with a sophist's intensity. Hempler's quiet self-confidence needs no self-promotion, no noisy spin.

It could be overlooked for all it's refusal to noisily proclaim its virtues. Pair Hempler's with a burger, and you may scarcely notice it. But lean back in your chair, take a full strip between thumb and forefinger, and savor it from beginning to end, and you will be rewarded. It announces itself as pork, stays pork as it is chewed, and departs as it came: pork. But borne along on that stout, porcine vessel, a chipper saltiness cheers the tongue, and a mellow, rich smokiness enriches its companions with warm complexity.

Quantitative ratings:
Smokiness: 6
Meatiness: 10
Firmness: 9
Salt: 5
Honesty: 10

Qualitative ratings:
Deliciousness: 10
Did the dog get any? No.

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