Would You Drink a Bacon Milkshake?

It's for real, but is it really worth it?
It's for real, but is it really worth it?

Once upon a time, bacon was a side dish for eggs. Now it's a milkshake flavor.

The California-based fast food chain, Jack in the Box, is selling a limited-edition indulgence not everyone will want to try.

More totally insane fast food inventions here.

The Bacon Shake consists of vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, a maraschino cherry and "bacon flavored syrup." Based on the ingredients-sugar, preservatives, artificial flavors, a whole lot of salt-there's not an ounce of actual bacon in there.

But a 24 ounce cup does manage to pack a lot of calories. 1,081 to be exact. On the up side, it's got 17 grams of protein.

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But how does it taste? "Horrific" according to Brock Keeling, a blogger at SFist, who to took the meat-flavored milkshake for a test-drive. " A heavy, lingering bland with a touch of smoke that doesn't go away," is how he describes each gulp.

That assessment would suggest a fast food fail, but the fervent devotion for bacon flavor defies logic. Anything the smokey strip touches, even in name alone, becomes a phenomenon. Jack in the Box-which rolled out a new ad campaign with the slogan 'if you love bacon so much, why don't you marry it'- isn't the first franchise wedded to the flavor. Denny's introduced a Maple Bacon Sunday, along with a whole menu of bacon-dressed meals, as part of a 'Baconalia' promotion. Wendy's Baconator burger, boasting six strips of the snappy meat-sold 25 million in the first eight weeks of the promotion.

Outside of fast food, Bacon has become a big favorite for dessert fiends with dare-devil palates. Artisan chocolate boutiques have added the smoke to their bars and morsels. Bacon-infused donuts, cookies and cupcakes are also making their way into bakeries across the country. No room left your stomach? There's a bacon-scented cologne to absorb through your pores, while you're busy digesting lunch.

One theory behind the cult of bacon: it's addictive. A recent study found that fatty foods like cheesecake, frosting and, yes, bacon, had a similar effect on the brain's pleasure center as cocaine. In an experiment on rats, scientists at the Scripps Research Institute found that overindulging on bacon releases the brain's 'feel-good' neurotransmitter, dopamine. When the initial sensation of euphoria passes, along with the indigestion, the craving for another fix kicks in. If your need to feed gets bad enough, you'll take your bacon flavor any way you can get it. Mainlining through a straw, however, may be a sign you've hit rock bottom.

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