No, bacon does not make everything better

It’s no secret that Stoney’s super grilled cheese sandwich is a thing of beauty, starting with its fat slices of rustic white bread, as crackly as an FM station on the western plains of Nebraska. The kitchen knows to lay the cheese on thick, too, so that the neon orange slices of American provide a gooey contrast to the bread, to the sting of the red onions and to the hint of acid hiding in the tomatoes.

The sandwich’s lone misstep? Its bacon, the party crasher of ingredients, the one that shows up and trashes the place. As it does with almost everything it touches, the bacon treats the rest of the grilled cheese sandwich as a captive audience, there only to listen to it mansplain the superiority of smoky strips of cured pork belly.

I’m sorry, but everything is not better with bacon.

Cooks, chefs and recipe developers are practically obsessed with bacon, and I think I know why: Back in 2013, Wired magazine partnered with Food Network to crunch some numbers. Data miners combed through more than 49,000 recipes as well as more than 906,000 ratings, comparing recipes with and without bacon. The results were predictable.