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Published August 28, 2012, 11:32 PM

Fargo man's porky parody: ‘Fifty Shades of Bacon'

FARGO – Parodies of “Fifty Shades of Grey,” the scandalously erotic novel, were (pardon the pun) bound to happen, but twists as tasty as Ben Myhre’s “Fifty Shades of Bacon” are fit to be fried. The Fargo man’s meaty cookbook offers a salty spin on the scandalous best-seller.

By: John Lamb, INFORUM

FARGO – Parodies of “Fifty Shades of Grey,” the scandalously erotic novel, were (pardon the pun) bound to happen, but twists as tasty as Ben Myhre’s “Fifty Shades of Bacon” are fit to be fried.

The Fargo man’s meaty cookbook offers a salty spin on the scandalous best-seller.

Like E.L. James’ original, “Fifty Shades of Bacon” introduces readers to two characters with a shared carnal hunger. Instead of Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey, Myhre and his co-author, Jenna Johnson, introduce readers to Hamastachia Pink who “teaches Mr. BBQ all about the different ways to cook bacon,” explains the book’s website, www.fifty

shadesofbacon.com.

“Obviously it has some tongue-in-cheek descriptions,” says Myhre.

Of course, using any bodily turn-of-phrases like “tongue-in-cheek,” becomes dicey in the context of the kink-tacular “Fifty Shades of Grey,” and Myhre and Johnson serve them up hot. The section on appetizers is called Afternoon Delight. And what to call the chapter on desserts? Multiple Orgasms.

While the titles may be suggestive, Myhre says the recipes aren’t food porn.

“I wanted to make it palatable for everybody. We talked about spicing up the recipes and making them more risqué but decided against it,” he says.

Myhre (pronounced like Meyer), says the idea came to him one morning earlier this summer as he was having coffee. He was trying to think of a new blog for his work (he writes about popular culture and the Internet at Sundog).

He’d noticed his wife had ordered the “Fifty Shades” trilogy, and his porky parody popped into his head. He called his friend Johnson, and by the end of the day they’d organized a handful of recipes, many of which she’d posted on her own blog, www.recipe-diaries.com.

“I thought it was pretty nuts, but I was all for it,” Johnson says, adding that she contributed the bulk of the recipes, but the idea for the introduction and the characters was Myhre’s.

Asked if he’s read “Fifty Shades of Grey,” Myhre says he’s only perused “enough to get me through the introduction and give me a sense and feel for the book.”

He relied on Johnson and his wife, Ashley Myhre, who edited the cookbook, to flesh out some of the other references.

While “Fifty Shades of Grey” was a guilty pleasure for some, with tales of avid readers hiding the book behind a more acceptable cover while turning the tawdry pages, Myhre says “Bacon” emphasizes the pleasure and not the guilt.

“It’s maybe PG-13. It’s meant to give people recipes in a fun and entertaining way,” he says.

And just like the pulpy original, Myhre’s “Bacon,” just released on Aug. 22, is firing up sales online. On Amazon the title is No. 52 of the top 100 meat-cooking cookbooks.

Since it’s based on the “Fifty Shades of Grey” trilogy, Myhre says he and Johnson have discussed at least one follow-up.

“I keep on coming up with more bacon recipes in my head, and I’ll write them down for a sequel,” Johnson says.

The major part of the appeal is the main ingredient, Myhre says.

“It’s been really fun to see the social media reaction to it because bacon really is kind of a meat that everybody loves, but on the Internet it really seems to have this special power,” Myhre says, adding that the term “bacon” has “exploded” as a popular online search term since 2008.

“It’s become a meme or a subculture among the social media,” he says.

But is it the most scandalous meat?

“It is the most scrumptious,” he says.


Readers can reach Forum reporter John Lamb at (701) 241-5533

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