Padma Lakshmi Hilariously Sends Her Household Into A Bacon Frenzy

Every meat-eater knows the tantalizing aroma of bacon wafting through the air as it's being cooked. While the salty, flavorful taste is definitely a selling point and makes it well-suited for incorporation into a wide range of dishes, for many, the scent is half the reason to cook it. Chances are the mere mention of it made your mouth start to water. Even though some methods require you to deal with a fair bit of grease splatter as you get your bacon to your desired level of crispness, it's deemed worth it.

Bacon's intoxicating scent is something culinary personality Padma Lakshmi knows all too well. As she recently shared on Twitter, a chance decision to whip up a batch of it caused quite a stir in her household as the aroma made its way throughout her space, even enchanting her canine companions.

Lakshmi commented in response to a fan's query that she typically cooks bacon in the oven because she prefers the texture that results from that method. Since the pork is enclosed in the oven, it typically isn't as aromatic when made that way. However, when a quick bacon craving hit, she opted to crisp it up on her stovetop, summoning all the hungry meat lovers in her household.

Why does bacon smell so good?

Lakshmi joked in her tweet that her household may have been "bacon deprived" without really knowing it. However, there's actually some science behind the reason that this type of meat sends humans and animals alike into "a frenzy" at the mere scent. According to the American Chemical Society and the chemistry blog Compound Interest, roughly 150 different volatile organic compounds are released when bacon is being cooked, with many of those having a major sensory impact. 

The average person won't recognize every single one of the compounds by name, but together, they join forces to release that mouth-watering aroma that quickly fills your kitchen. And, when it's being heated bacon also undergoes the Maillard Reaction. You may know this as the process that's responsible for the browning on food's surface, which contributes to both appearance and flavor. However, this reaction also impacts the aroma, with certain amino acids found in bacon giving off those savory, meaty flavors.

There are also a few specific compounds that are only found in bacon and not in other similar pork products. This is why, while it may be pleasantly fragrant when you're slow-cooking a pork shoulder or roasting a pork loin, neither will have the same powerful scent as a few strips of bacon frying in a pan.