Bacon Salt for GIs in Middle East

Several months ago I first heard of bacon salt, a bacon-flavored but bacon-free salt that lets you give your foods the flavor of bacon without the fat.
It should have been obvious to me then, but wasn’t, that soldiers deployed to areas where you can’t get any pork products would love to get their hands on some bacon salt.
The Seattle Post-Intelligencer online has an article about the convergence of bacon salt and soldiers.

U.S. troops in Muslim nations where pig-eating is a religious no-no, have been requesting the local startup’s product, dreamed up by two guys who stayed up late into the night brainstorming in 2006, to sprinkle on their MREs and anything else edible overseas.

The product, sold on QFC and Albertsons store shelves in Seattle, isn’t contraband but, astonishingly, is called kosher bacon and acceptable for consumption in the Middle East. Founders Dave Lefkow and Justin Esch sought and received inspection and approval from a local rabbi for the vegetarian product that has sea salt as its main ingredient along with garlic, onion and other flavorings.

While there’s a quirkiness to it all, the growing appeals from military men and women and their families for a dash of home to sprinkle over chow added a more human dimension that prompted the recent launch of Operation Bacon Salt.

“We felt for them,” Lefkow says. “They are thousands of miles away, getting shot at, in hostile territory, serving their country. We aren’t a huge company, but on a small scale we thought we could help some people. We started doing it informally. People sent us pictures and heartfelt letters back. We loved getting those. We realized that people (in the U.S.) think (troops) are getting tons of stuff — letters from kids, free stuff from stores. But they don’t. They wrote us that nobody had sent them anything like this before.”

Although the company started only last July and remains small, at least two large loading pallets of Bacon Salt have been shipped to troops so far.

Customers have sprung up across the globe, especially in the U.S., Britain, Canada and Denmark. But Bacon Salt is also in demand in some nations, including Israel and Saudi Arabia, where religion forbids pork consumption.

And it also has proved popular among the few, the proud, the bacon-deprived.

Here’s the link for Operation Bacon Salt.

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