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On a kosher diet, I can't eat bacon. Someone who knows this recommended turkey bacon as a close substitute. Is it really? That is, does turkey bacon truly have the taste and texture of bacon? Is there any particular kind of turkey bacon I should get for this purpose?


(I see that the question "Non Pork Bacon Alternatives" implies that turkey bacon is not a good substitute for bacon, but perhaps the asker simply ate the wrong turkey bacon.)

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Non-helpful but accurate answer: NO –  Ward May 29 '12 at 20:48
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Certain of my in-laws claim it is. They are wrong. It is a close subsitute if you are far enough way that you can't smell or taste it. If you have to squint your eyes to see it, you might mistake it for bacon. I am deeply sorry about your being unable to eat bacon. –  talon8 May 29 '12 at 21:38
    
What part of a turkey do cuts of bacon come from? –  Callithumpian May 30 '12 at 4:00
    
@Callithumpian, cooking.stackexchange.com/q/3591. –  msh210 May 30 '12 at 5:08
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3 Answers

From a 'culinary' perspective, you can use turkey bacon anywhere you might otherwise choose to use real bacon. It is fine with eggs or on a BLT. You can crisp it, crumble it and put it in a salad or an omelet. I have even wrapped a filet with turkey bacon. While my personal opinion is that the result was not "as good as" the real McCoy it also was not "BAD".

The only 'real' answer to this question is for you to answer the question "Do I LIKE turkey bacon?" If you like it, does it really matter if it is a 'good stand-in'? Conversely, if you don't like it, would it matter if the whole of "Seasoned Advice" rang out in a single voice, "Yes"?

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Well, the question wasn't so much whether I like it, or whether it's good (which is the same thing). I like rakott krumpli, but it's not a good stand-in for bacon. Nor was my question really whether one can use turkey bacon wherever one can use bacon. One can use oleomargarine wherever one might use butter (maybe), but they certainly don't taste the same. One can use lasagna wherever one might use duck à l'orange (maybe), but they certainly don't have the same texture. My question was whether turkey bacon is similar to bacon (in taste and texture, say). –  msh210 May 30 '12 at 0:10
    
Similar, Yes. Duplicate, NO. "A Good Stand-In" that would up to you to decide. When I said "you can use turkey bacon anywhere you might otherwise ...use real bacon." I was implying that the similarity was sufficient (at least more so than Lasagna and Duck). –  Cos Callis May 30 '12 at 0:16
    
All right. Thanks! and +1. –  msh210 May 30 '12 at 0:27
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Turkey bacon tastes like turkey, which is a rather different flavor than pork. In addition, turkey is a lot less fatty, so I've found turkey bacon hard to crisp. Turkey can be a substitute for pork in, for example, turkey sausage, but I've never had turkey bacon that tasted anything like pork bacon.

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+1, and thanks. –  msh210 May 31 '12 at 1:07
    
Personally I like my turkey bacon extra crispy - you can get it to that point if you microwave it for a while. –  user5561 May 31 '12 at 1:54
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Turkey bacon is mostly problematic in other recipes where the fat is a primary constituent of not just flavor but the structure of a dish. The first example that springs to mind is gravy; rendering the fat in turkey bacon will never yield the quantity it would in pork bacon. Also, for grease eggs, where you make bacon and then eggs and cook the top of the eggs by splashing the bacon grease on top, turkey bacon won't provide enough for this technique.

Turkey bacon also doesn't taste right when candied as it has less of an intense flavor to pair with the brown sugar. Turkey bacon does not really have the rigor when fried of pork bacon, so if you intend to plate with turkey bacon you would probably do well to bake instead of fry.

Those concerns aside, turkey bacon isn't pork bacon, but it works in the vast majority of situations just fine. That said, relative to the difference, you could also use fakin' bakin (or your own thinly sliced, marinated, and fried) tempeh strips if you liked those, and you'd be able to serve them on a cheese plate as they're vegan.

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+1, and thanks. –  msh210 May 31 '12 at 1:07
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