People are weird about bacon. They wear shoes proclaiming it, wave it in vegans’ faces to taunt them, and put their beer down to fight over it.
So it’s notable when picky Whole Foods decides to carry a new plant-based bacon, which it announced in 300 of its stores. Hooray bacon is made primarily from coconut oil, rice flour, tapioca starch, liquid smoke, mushrooms, salt, maple syrup and beet juice. That may not sound promising, but, like many plant based meats, an unlikely list of ingredients comes together into a surprisingly good analog.
Most plant-based bacon has the texture of a smoked tongue depressor that shatters when you chew it, but Hooray makes major progress toward matching the chewiness, oiliness and rustic irregularity of conventional bacon. More importantly, it replicates the addictive savoriness that makes one wonder if bacon should be regulated by the FDA as a Schedule I drug.
Hooray bacon isn’t exactly health food, but if you’re worried about cholesterol and animal abuse, it has none, and the company claims its production generates 80% fewer greenhouse gases. Beyond that, it’s a mixed bag: Compared with a common Oscar Mayer bacon, a 15-gram serving boasts fewer calories and no cholesterol but has no protein and six grams of carbs. Both are sodium bombs.
Eaten by itself, Hooray bacon can’t yet mimic pig bacon to the degree Impossible Foods or Beyond Meat do a cow burger, but I’ve sampled it a couple of times and it stands apart. Bacon isn’t a center of the plate food (much to your cardiologist’s relief), so layered into a BLT or a burger Hooray bacon is close enough to satisfy. And like all plant-based food makers, this four-person startup in San Francisco should have a lot of headroom to quickly rev the product.
The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.