Robert “Bob” Hausslein sells heresy in a bottle. His Sugar Bob’s Finest Kind Smoked Maple Syrup—paper thimbles of which he proffered at the sprawling New York Fancy Foods trade show—is, in a word, challenging. Dark, viscous and infused with the acrid funk of a charred forest, the syrup dares you to love it.
I had two instinctive reactions when I got the call that, yes, I was going to be Extra Crispy’s official Bacon Critic. The first was to do a bunch of fist pumping and some mild 1984-era Van Halen jump kicks in my living room, a burst of pure joy and unabashed victory dancing (which I’m very thankful no one captured on video, or my bacon would be cooked before I even started the job).