''Move over, eggs. Bacon just got a new best friend. Fudge.'' - Homer Simpson
WHAT was once a punchline is now a popular snack. Google ''candied bacon fudge'' and you'll find plenty of recipes on US sites, and endless testimony to the joys of bacon embedded in chocolate.
According to thekitchn.com: ''It's a super tasty treat that would be great as a gift or on your own table, that is if you can keep from sneaking into the kitchen at night and snacking on a piece.''
thekitchn.com isn't just a site for fatties, it offers advice on healthy eating. For swollen-ankled Americans, this apparently means everything goes well with bacon - especially sugar.
The Huffington Post recently ran a photo gallery of 12 bacon dessert treats, prefaced with the encouraging words: ''From bacon ice-cream to bacon buttermilk cupcakes to bacon chocolate chip cookies, the smokiness of the meat balances out sweetness of dessert just right.''
If you feel this a white-bread contagion - that is, lacking an ethnic enthusiasm - there are also many, many recipes for bacon baklava, including chocolate bacon baklava.
Will this sweet-bacon madness take root in Melbourne?
At one stage, MoVida's bakery was turning out bacon doughnuts, a kind of hold-in-your-hand version of Canadian pancakes that involves creme patisserie infused with bacon, then topped with maple-syrup-candied bacon. Head baker Michael James says the bacon doughnut was a mixed success - ''Some people loved it, some didn't'' - but they might give it another outing next winter.
My Mexican Cousin at Southbank has a bacon praline on the menu. Ben Renson describes it as bacon in toffee turned into a crunchy powder and sprinkled over a salad - kind of a main course and dessert in one.
He says it would be easy to remelt the powder, roll it out into a crisp tube ''and put some mousse in the middle''.
Inspired by the word from America, he's thinking of giving it a go on the menu.
But what about at the top end of the market? Is Jacques Reymond thinking of adding a saltier tang to its lemon flan, cocoa and licorice, salted caramel snow? Probably not.
Senior sous chef Hayden McFarland says the restaurant keeps an eye on what's happening overseas. ''But we've never followed trends. We're not going to start using bacon in desserts just because other people are doing it.''
At Stokehouse, head chef Oliver Gould says that if sweet bacon came to Melbourne ''it would be laughed at at the higher end''.