Big seller: Maple bacon's salty-sweetness is hard to resist. Photo: Edwina Pickles
What is it?
It's bacon, doused in maple syrup and baked in the oven until crisp. You wouldn't think it would be so remarkable, but the combination of treacly sweetness and salty savouriness is alarmingly good. It has even been referred to as ''man candy''.
Where is it?
At Pinbone's popular - nay, cult - Sunday brunch in Sydney's Woollahra, the pumpkin and maple-bacon tart is the biggest seller by far. ''We wanted something unique and original that people could share,'' says chef and co-owner Mike Eggert.
The tart has since taken on a life of its own, with one man-fan offering $100 to another table for it when it recently sold out. ''It's gone crazy,'' says Eggert. ''I think it's the whole salty-sweet thing that does it.''
Gavin Baker of Melbourne's Walker Evans Baker Restaurant Group agrees. At Long Shot, the soft-cooked free-range eggs for breakfast come with maple-glazed bacon and seeded sourdough. ''We start with Berkshire organic pork from Greenvale Farm and brine it in salt, sugar, maple syrup and liquorice root, then sous-vide it for 36 hours at 65C until it is super-tender,'' he says. ''Then we cut it thickly and pan-fry it until crisp, finishing it with a maple syrup glaze. People gravitate towards it.''
Why do I care?
I can't believe you are asking me that.
Can I do it at home?
Yep, too easy. Serve with hotcakes, poached eggs, French toast or with crushed avocado on toast.
Wrap stoned dates or prunes in bacon, brush with maple syrup and grill or bake, or crumble maple bacon over salads and mac cheese.
SRIRACHA MAPLE BACON WITH AVOCADO TOAST
Thin bacon will crisp better than thick bacon, but all bacon is good. An excellent breakfast or lunch - even dinner, if that's the way you roll.
8 rashers bacon, rindless
3 tbsp pure maple syrup
1 tsp Sriracha or hot chilli sauce
1 tsp cracked black pepper
4 thick slices sourdough bread
1 avocado, halved, stone removed
1 tbsp lemon juice
sea salt and cracked black pepper
1. Heat the oven to 200C. Place the bacon on a baking tray lined with baking paper, in a single layer.
2. Whisk the maple syrup and chilli sauce, and brush each rasher with the mixture.
3. Scatter with cracked black pepper and bake for 10 minutes or until done to your liking (keep an eye on it, as thin bacon could burn). It will crisp further as it cools.
4. Roughly mash the avocado with lemon juice, sea salt and pepper. Grill or toast the bread on both sides.
5. To serve, thickly spread the toasted or grilled bread with avocado, top with bacon and serve.
Pinbone, 3 Jersey Road, Woollahra, 02 9328 1600, pinbone.com.au.
Long Shot, Collins Square, 727 Collins Street, Docklands, 03 9252 7979, long-shot.com.au.