The Unexpected Ingredient That Will Majorly Upgrade Your Bacon Jam

Bacon lovers will tell you that bacon makes everything better. There's just something about that salty pork flavor, fried to perfection, that gets the taste buds churning. If you're among those who find the smell both satisfying and intoxicating, you're not alone. According to The Register, science attributes our affection for this scent to the Maillard Reaction, which is described as sugars breaking down and pairing up with amino acids to create new compounds. Its these new compounds that produce a Pavlovian-esque response of our nose and mouth when we smell them. In the words of Liz Lemon from "30 Rock," "We want to go to there." 

In fact, bacon is so beloved that it's found its way onto doughnuts, into chocolate and ice cream, and in jam recipes. Classic bacon jam (or marmalade, as it's sometimes called), is a hearty topping you can spread on a backyard burger or a piece of toast. (Heck, you can eat this sweet and savory spread right out of the container if you want. No judgment.) 

While bacon and onions are the base ingredients of this condiment, there's one unexpected ingredient you should be adding to your bacon jam if you want to upgrade it.

Use this caffeinated beverage

In addition to the pound of bacon and the cut-up onions you'll use to make your sweet and salty spread, break out the coffeemaker and brew a cup of coffee to add to this condiment. In her MegaMenu-exclusive classic bacon jam recipe, recipe developer Catherine Brookes explains that the coffee "helps to enhance the flavors of the other ingredients and adds a slight bitterness to balance the sweetness."

Brookes' recipe also features brown sugar and balsamic vinegar, but it's the addition of coffee that really makes bacon jam shine. "It's great with cheese and crackers or on a grilled cheese. Or you could add it to burgers/hotdogs," Brookes suggests.

It doesn't matter if you're fan of coffee and drink it regularly or you completely eschew the stuff — a cup of Joe in your bacon jam will make all the difference, without taking over that rich bacon flavor.