Finding vegetarian bacon that actually tastes like bacon has, for a long time, been a more daunting task than the quest for the Holy Grail. That's why these mushrooms that taste like bacon are something of a revelation for the vegetarian and vegan set. Produced by Sonoran Mushrooms, a company based in Tuscon, Arizon, these mushrooms taste like bacon when cooked. As John Jacobs, whose family owns the mushroom-producing company, told KVOA in Tuscon, "This mushroom’s flavor happens to be very similar to bacon when it’s cooked, so it has a meaty kind of smoky bacon flavor" without any added flavors or preservatives. The flavor is all-natural, and comes from the variety: a pink oyster mushroom that, according to the company's website, has a "meaty bacon flavor." And the naturally occurring light pink color of the mushrooms even make it look a little bit like bacon.
To make the most of the bacon flavor, the folks at Sonoran Mushrooms recommend slicing the bacon mushroom into small pieces and sauteeing it in butter with a dash of salt, just until they're crispy. In a Facebook comment to a customer, Sonoran Mushrooms explained, "Mushrooms release their flavor at about 140 degrees."
If you've been on the hunt for a vegetarian bacon alternative but live outside of the Grand Canyon state, unfortunately, you might be out of luck. Sonoran's bacon mushrooms are available only in some grocery stores and restaurants in the Tuscon area, or on Sundays at the St. Philip's Plaza Farmers Market.
So while you're waiting for Sonoran Mushrooms to expand, you could also make vegetarian bacon with king oyster mushrooms—though there's something about a baby pink mushroom that tastes like bacon that's just too delightful to pass up.