The bacon butty or sandwich is a venerable British culinary institution dating back to time immemorial, and over the years many have searched for the solution to the complex question of how to produce the perfect bacon butty. The answer is now at hand, and it can be revealed that perfection can now be expressed by the formula;

N = C + {fb (cm) . fb (tc)} + fb (Ts) + fc . ta


N = force in Newtons required to break the cooked bacon
fb = function of the bacon type
fc = function of the condiment/filling effect
Ts = serving temperature
tc = cooking time
ta = time or duration of application of condiment/filling
cm = cooking method
C = Newtons required to break uncooked bacon

Or at least this was the conclusion reached by a research team at the Department of Food Science at Leeds University who spent more than 1,000 hours testing some seven hundred different variations on the traditional bacon sandwich after taking into account differences in the types and cuts of bacon, the cooking techniques utilised and types of oil used where appliable, together with a range of cooking times at different temperatures. A team of fifty volunteers was then recruited to test each variation and pronounce judgement on its taste, texture and flavour.

As a result it was concluded that the crunching sound to be produced whilst biting through a bacon butty should measure 0.5 decibels whilst the perfectly cooked rasher should ideally require a force of 0.4 Newtons to break through the bacon. Thereby providing the value for the N variable above and presumably allowing the mathematicians among us to solve the above equation.

As far as the remainder of the population are concerned amongst the more practical recommendations out forward by the experts at the Department of Food Science are that the bacon rashers should be cooked under a preheated grill for seven minutes at about 240C (475F), and that the resulting cooked bacon should then be placed between two slices of farmhouse bread cut to between 1 cm to 2 cm in thickness.

It is at this point that many might begin to wonder what has happened to British academia (haven't they got anything better to do, isn't this just a waste of public money) before discovering that the 'research' in question was in fact sponsored by Danish Bacon and presumably will be featured in their next advertising campaign.

Inspired by news reports at;,,2-2007160287,00.html

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