North Carolina State Fair

Taste Test: Bacon Ice Cream

Posted October 17, 2012 2:13 p.m. EDT
Updated October 17, 2012 6:03 p.m. EDT

Heritage Circle, down the hill past the Village of Yesteryear, is known for its traditional arts and crafts like blacksmithing and bluegrass music. That doesn't stop the food vendors in the area from pursuing their own modern innovations, though. That became clear to me when I saw that R&R Ice Cream was now offering a bacon flavor.

I must say that bacon ice cream doesn't sound particularly appetizing, but I waited in line anyway. When I finally got to the window and paid my $4 for a cup of ice cream, I found that it looked like vanilla ice cream with bits of bacon in it.

Finding a place to sit down, I tasted it cautiously. I was right. It was vanilla ice cream -- really good, really rich vanilla ice cream -- with bits of bacon in it. Put a spoonful in your mouth, the ice cream melts, and you're left with bacon on your tongue.

There wasn't enough of a bacon taste to this for me to consider it as anything more than a "gimmick" food, though I write that with the realization that the evolution of food at the Fair has practically been based on "gimmick food" for the last ten years. Still, this seems more like bacon for the sake of bacon, and not for the sake of flavor.  ("You have unlocked the 'Unlikely Bacon Food' badge on FourSquare!") Perhaps if I bought some chocolate-covered bacon and used that as the eating utensil, I'd feel differently.

(Maybe the Fair should have a yearly checkin site called FairSquare and we could collect badges for trying all the odd food, and then old-school badges for having sausages and funnel cakes.)

While not particularly inspiring as bacon ice cream, my $4 bought a great cup of vanilla ice cream with a little strange flavoring here and there. Great taste and texture. I will definitely come back here for ice cream again, only I'll get strawberry and skip the bacon.