Food Profiling: Candied Bacon Confections From The Sticky Pig
|Tara backs her brand...|
Tara originates from Philly, heading West to Southern California nine years ago...
...for a boy. Unfortunately for her, he wasn't nearly the foodie she was, and they parted ways not too long after. With an art degree under her belt, Tara found steady work as both a graphic designer and pilates instructor. One day, her boss brought in some candied bacon for the troops, and that was the game changer for our vixen.
She started toying with the idea of more complex flavors, and found curry to be a sinful combination. It evolved into her dairy and nut-free delight Coconut Curry Lime. After a few more successful mash-ups, like S'mores, Tara founded The Sticky Pig in November 2009.
Our Bacon Vixen did not attend culinary school, citing PBS as her self-taught cooking institution, and classics such as Martin Yan's Yan Can Cook and Jeff Smith's The Frugal Gourmet as professors. Her current residence is Costa Mesa, but the bacon-tastic magic happens in various private kitchens around Orange County, including a restaurant at The District in Tustin.
The labor-intensive process begins with bulk bacon, and although a specific brand was never mentioned, she states matter-of-factly, "I tried every brand: Nieman Ranch, Farmer John, etc. Nitrate-free bacon didn't work and cost too much."
"I'm working on something BIG, but I can't tell you just yet," she says. What can she dish? There's the Maple Cinnamon Whiskey Candied Bacon ice cream. Yum! Also forthcoming are possible bacon caramels, macarons, and candied rose petals. She would love to do a bacon-centric gourmet food truck someday, but one thing she won't venture into: cupcakes. With her chocolate-hued boxes, Tara's goal is for The Sticky Pig to be known as the "Tiffany of bacon candies."
The Sticky Pig is available exclusively online at www.thestickypig.com.
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