The Templeton Rye Pork Project is about making your bacon taste like whiskey. Good idea, or awful execution of science?

Here’s the deal. You can essentially request a pig that will taste like whiskey because of a process whereby they eat the dry distillery grain during the raising process. It’s all overseen by Nick Berry from Iowa State University and only features 25 pigs. Via here, here’s what you get from one pig (generally speaking):

  • 18 lbs pork chops, 4 lbs spare ribs, 12 lbs sausage, 24 lbs ham, 20 lbs bacon, 12 lbs shoulder butt roasts, 14 lbs shoulder picnic, 16 lbs bone/trimmings, 30 lbs fat = 150 lbs

Common reaction from the masses to this:

It all seems fine, and it goes back to the central argument about how we view pigs / eating animals in general — typically it’s fine for Americans to eat anything they wouldn’t have as a pet — but a broader question here is why (aside from “it could taste good”). There are numerous ways in the cooking process to combine bacon + whiskey and do it in quite a tasty way. So logically it’s a marketing move — but then why raise only 25 pigs? Why not go for 100? The entire aspect seems confusing. Maybe I don’t know enough about pigs.

There’s already bacon-infused bourbon, FYI — and you can make a bacon-infused Old Fashioned via this recipe:


Ted Bauer