Bacon ice cream wins

Celebrity food enthusiast Bob Blumer says his Canadian palate helped him take top honours at a recent ice cream making contest in Austin, Tex. His winning flavour? Maple bacon crunch.

TORONTO — Celebrity food enthusiast Bob Blumer says his Canadian palate helped him take top honours at a recent ice cream making contest in Austin, Tex.

His winning flavour? Maple bacon crunch.

“I think it’s the first time anyone who doesn’t live in Austin won the prize,” the Montreal-born, Los Angeles-based gourmet said during a stop in the city.

“It was a bit of an upset.”

Blumer Blumer said it was the first time he’d ever made ice cream, aside from an experimental version he once created with a salad spinner and a plastic bag on his previous TV show, Surreal Gourmet.

While bacon and ice cream is a rather unusual combination, it was a hit with taste testers in a pre-contest poll, he said.

The adventurous foodie had candied the bacon the night before the showdown at the Austin Ice Cream Festival.

But when he awoke in the morning, it was chewy due to a heat wave in Austin.

“I had this crazy idea at the last second to make a bacon brittle,” Blumer said in an interview, noting he folded the chopped bacon into a pot of melted sugar.

The process of how sugar breaks down in food will be one of the topics at Blumer’s Food Science — Unearthed showcase at the science centre.

As Blumer cooks, food scientists and dietitians will provide a molecular breakdown of his meals.

On his “sci-fry” menu is “pub bread,” gravlax (salt-cured salmon) and “popcorn cauliflower,” which involves roasting the vegetable until it caramelizes.