Friday, September 11th, 2015

Need to Suck It Up? Try a Meat Straw (via WSJ.com)

Remember as a kid you’d bite the ends off a Twizzler and slurp up your 7-up through the hollowed out candy?  Instant cherry flavor, plus a nice chewy treat when the soda’s all gone.  Turns out there are several new twists on this concept.  What’s the best drink to pair with a straw made from 100% bacon?  Hint: think booze.

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For years, straws with even the craziest curves, loops, and bends were mostly made of the same thing: soft plastic.

Now, some companies want thirsty consumers to sip out of everything from sliced pork to beef, stainless steel to repurposed cookie.

“You can’t go wrong with bacon,” says Jason Porat, whose bar garnishes cocktails with straws made of coiled pork slabs that customers can drink from.

Companies are making straws out of all sorts of materials, from thick paper to meat and cookies. PHOTO: MARTIN RAMIN/THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, STYLING BY ANNE CARDENAS

People start by sipping, dipping and finally eating the straws, says the general manager at Saboroso Brazilian Steakhouse in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Mr. Porat says the restaurant has been making some 150 straws a day recently, typically pairing them with a C$7.25, or about $6, Caesar cocktail, which is a little like a Bloody Mary but contains clam juice.

The idea came to Mr. Porat and his team about four years ago, when they noticed the 12-foot barbecue his restaurant uses to grill steaks had a metal bar at the bottom. It seemed like the perfect thing to wrap bacon around, he says. After a lot of experimentation, they found the best straw takes two slabs of pork and that a batch takes about an hour to make.

Fans have found added benefits of bacon straws. Near the tail end of a big cocktail event in Halifax, Nova Scotia this year, Allison Sparling says she was feeling pretty hungry. She noticed a bar serving the straws with cocktails, but asked if she could also have a couple to eat.

“As straws they function really well,” she says. “But those straws were the only way I could have survived that evening, having that extra bit of protein.”

Larger companies are retooling their straws, too. In April, Starbucks launched a cookie straw intended to complement its frozen Frappuccino. The straws are made from a rolled wafer biscuit and lined with chocolate ganache. A Starbucks spokeswoman said the straws—sold for 95 cents—have been one of the most popular packaged bakery items in stock.

 

About 

Scott is the GM of Jerry's Kitchen. He blogs about food, eating, restaurants, and catering. Bala Cynwyd, King of Prussia, Plymouth Meeting, Malvern, Main Line, Philadelphia, South Jersey, Bucks County.

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