Best Party Date Ever: Bacon-Wrapped Dates

Who could turn down an attractive bacon-wrapped date? No, no, no…not that kind of date! A medjool date! Traditionally grown in Morocco and the Middle East, these sweet and moist dates are cherished for their large size. Aside from religious reasons, few people would turn down a bacon-wrapped date if pressed. Why? Simply because bacon has become a national obsession over the past 15-20 years. The popularity of the Atkins Diet in the 1980’s and 1990’s may have contributed to its early fame. However, it is the small subset of bacon extremists on the loose, peddling their bacon ideologies on the internet who have helped birth a Bacon Nation.

On Pinterest, I searched for bacon and the list of products, recipes, expressions, and much more, were seemingly endless! I am convinced that if there’s not already a Bacon-Addicts Anonymous, it is surely coming to a city near you. Consumed in moderation however, it has transformational power. We all know how delicious bacon is on its own, but when added to a normally good dish, it launches into orbit! Take just about any flavor profile, add bacon, and its a likely conversion experience for the first timer.

One of the most common bacon transformations occurs through the art of “wrapping.” The morsel of seafood, meat, fruit, or vegetables is wrapped tightly with bacon love, possibly secured with a toothpick, and then cooked. My first encounter came when I was invited to a cocktail party in Louisiana, featuring the slain doves from a recent hunt. The grizzly host smiled big behind the grill and confidently handed me his prized creation: a bacon-wrapped dove bite containing just the right amount of fresh jalapeno poking out of it. The smell alone pointed to a smoky, salty, fatty goodness.  But the taste…it was extraordinary.

I am not advocating a high fat, high carcinogen, and high sodium diet! Metaphorically speaking though, what is wrapping around us, transforming us, in order that we might smell and taste of something deeper, truer, and far more succulent in this “fat-free,” “smoke-free,” and “sodium-free” world?  To me, our souls are a bit like frozen boneless and skinless chicken breasts – on our own.  When cooked, we often resemble cardboard!

Now, imagine Jesus’s tight wrap around us in which he humbly bastes us with His stunningly unique and rich flavor. Presumably, we would possess an aroma and taste reflecting His secret but revealed recipe: faith, hope, and love by His Spirit. Said a different way, through Christ, who lived a perfect life and died in our place, we can receive His wrapping of righteousness as declared in Isaiah 61:10, and experience a transformation that far surpasses a bacon-wrapped date!

“I will greatly rejoice in the Lord; my soul shall exult in my God, for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation; He has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself like a priest with a beautiful headdress, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.”

The question remains, “Not what, but WHO is our wrapper?” (Hint: It’s not Iggy Azalea or M.C. Hammer!) ~ Lauren

Warm Bacon-Wrapped Sopressata and Dates

18 slices bacon

18 pitted and halved Medjool dates

12 ounces hot sopressata salami, sliced 1/4 inch thick

toothpicks

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees and line two rimmed baking sheets with foil or parchment paper.  Adjust racks in oven so that there is an upper middle rack and a lower middle rack.
  2. Place bacon evenly on the trays so that the pieces do not overlap.  Bake until half of the fat has rendered on the bacon but is still flexible – about 10 or 12 minutes.
  3. Let bacon cool until able to handle.  Then cut each piece in half.
  4. Place a piece of salami in each date half and then wrap each piece with a piece of bacon.  Secure with a toothpick.
  5. Arrange pieces on clean, lined baking sheet.  Bake until bacon is crispy – about 10 minutes.

Serves 8-10

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