Liquid Smoke Is The Key To Vegan-Approved Bacon Flavor

The smell of bacon is intoxicating, even if you live the life of a vegetarian. There is just something about that sweet, savory, and perhaps smoky, maple scent that makes us salivate. That's largely due to the 150 organic compounds that help create the aroma when they hit the frying pan and the Maillard reaction takes place. Bacon is a salty temptress. In fact, Johan Lundstrom, a scientist who studies how smells affect the brain, explained in an interview with NPR that because eating is 90% about smelling food, bacon's siren song can cast its spell on the most disciplined olfactory.

But even if you are following the plant-based diet, you can experience bacon's authentic goodness. Liquid smoke may just be the solution your taste buds need. Liquid smoke, which comes in the form of a brown liquid and can be found at the grocery store, is aptly named. It is best described as condensed smoke from burning hardwood chips and is sold as a flavored seasoning for meats and vegetables.

Liquid smoke allows bacon lovers to have their cake and eat it too.

It can emulate the savory taste of bacon

Liquid smoke, while not made from bacon or any other variety of pork, can satisfy that savory bacon taste you might be craving. Vegetarians will love that this ingredient is generally considered vegan unless otherwise stated on the bottle. And, it is a flavoring agent that can be found in your favorite smoked gouda cheese as well as hotdogs, both of which have a taste similar to that of bacon.

While barbecue purists may balk at using liquid smoke, vegetarians may appreciate the gift it can be. Just a few drops can impart a mesquite or hickory flavor to the foods you are cooking. Try it on your favorite vegetable dish or add a dash to your beans and rice to give it that barbecue vibe; Liquid smoke will add a bold element to your dishes that mimics the smell of bacon. That said, because liquid smoke can be particularly strong, it is best to be conservative when adding it to your dishes, and taste as you go.

Of course, to be fair to those purists, liquid smoke is not a perfect substitute for bacon. There simply isn't a way to replicate that crunchy, chewy texture that goes along with the smoky savory flavor that completes the bacon experience; However, even with this minor imperfection, it may save a vegetarian from falling off the no-meat wagon.