Review: Phoney Baloney’s Coconut Bacon

Phoney Baloney's Coconut BaconI have this habit of becoming obsessed with certain foods and then craving them constantly.  I could almost track the years by which foods were being bought in bulk.  There was the artichoke obsession of 2003, the Castelvetrano olive obsession of 2007, the collard green obsession of 2008, and the sauerkraut obsession of 2010.   I’m still quite fond of all of the aforementioned, but inevitably I find something new, and it takes my attention.  My obsession of late?  The coconut bacon from Phoney Baloney’s.  I first picked up a package of their coconut bacon at Food Fight Grocery when I was in Portland for Vida Vegan Con.

food fight, portland oregonThe bacon is made with organic coconut, organic tamari, grapeseed oil, liquid smoke, maple syrup, sea salt, pepper, and spices.  Since the bacon is made with coconut flakes, it does have a slight coconut flavor to it.  However, it’s something I stopped noticing altogether after the first handful.  The dominant notes are of smoky saltiness with a peppery edge, giving it a bit of bite and heat.  On the package it notes that the bacon should be eaten within 2 weeks of opening, but after about a week it loses some of its crispness.

After I finished off my bag and was then a plane trip away from Oregon, I decided to make my own coconut bacon.  My version was oil-free, and I baked the coconut on parchment paper.  While the smoky saltiness was there, what it missed was the satisfying fattiness that you get from the grapeseed oil and the specific pepperiness of their spices.

The Phoney Baloney’s coconut bacon is dry to the touch and doesn’t leave oil on your fingers like potato chips, but once you pop a handful in your mouth, there’s a really pleasant fattiness that feels so indulgent in a way that I’ve never experienced in another plant-based bacon.

Coconut Bacon from Phoney Baloney's

My favorite way to enjoy the coconut bacon is by the handful, right out of the bag.  It’s a fun late afternoon or after dinner snack.  It’s also great for packing BLTA lunches since the bacon doesn’t need to be heated.  I just put a tablespoon or two of the bacon in a small container and pack it with toast, sliced tomatoes, an avocado, and a leaf of romaine.  It also makes for a can’t-stop-eating salad when used as a topper, especially on green leaf lettuce salads that don’t mask any of its flavor.  Another idea?  Toss it with popcorn, nutritional yeast flakes, and a drizzling of vegan butter.

Roasted gnocchi in pesto with chickpeas & coconut baconI find myself sprinkling it anywhere I’d typically put other salty toppings like sliced olives.  One example is this roasted gnocchi tossed with pesto, cherry tomatoes, and roasted chickpeas.  (Above, I used this pesto recipe, but I substituted walnuts for almonds and hempseeds.)  The combination of flavors and textures ticks all of the pleasure sensors.  (Not a fan of gnocchi?  Toss millet or brown rice with pesto instead.)

Roasted gnocchi in pesto with chickpeas & coconut baconI picked up a couple more packages of coconut bacon in Chicago at Green Grocer while in town for my birthday, and then I found a great deal to buy 3 bags and get one free from Rations Foods.  (The offer is no longer valid, sorry.)  I should now be well stocked with coconut bacon for a while at least!  To see if Phoney Baloney’s is available in your town or where it can be purchased online, check out this retailers page.

37 thoughts on “Review: Phoney Baloney’s Coconut Bacon

  1. I love love this. I was so spoiled when he had his sandwich shop here he made the best sandwiches ever… With this of course… Kyle is such a good guy to…. I’m glad his yummy bacon is spreading

  2. Now, I’m craving another bag! Your favorite way to eat it is also my favorite way.I swear, most of the coconut bacon went straight from the bag to my mouth. I don’t think I had it properly on a salad except once.

    • There’s no shame in that! :) When I told David I was going to write a review about Phoney Baloney’s, I was in the middle of stuffing my mouth with them. He said, “So let me guess… It’s going to be pretty negative?” With a satisfied smile I told him, “Scathing.”

  3. I’ve been thinking of either making or buying coconut bacon — I like the idea of a slight coconut flavor. Now that I’ve read your review, buying it seems so much easier, except for using it up within two weeks. I’m usually pretty slow at consuming snacks, but maybe I’ll become obsessed, like you, and put it on everything. I know just where to get some, too.

    • I seriously doubt you’ll have any trouble finishing a bag in two weeks! So far I’ve only barely made it a week. I wouldn’t mind trying to make my own again at some point, but I do love the convenience of buying pre-made things sometimes. I make so much from scratch already, sometimes it’s nice to let other people do the work! And that’s especially true when I like their finished product BETTER, and all of the ingredients are of the same quality that I would use anyway. Do you have a place locally that sells them?

      • We have a vegan store kind of like the one in Portland, only I like ours better! It’s called Vegan Haven, and it’s walking distance to our house. You really should just move to the PNW.

        • Oh, my gosh! How lucky for you! I was tempted by the idea of moving to the PNW until we went to VVC and it rained the whole time we were there. I prefer rain to snow, but I like sunny days best of all. For our next move, I’d like to retreat back to warmer weather!

          • It’s been warm and sunny for months, and today when it rained it was a real relief. But, you’re right about lots of rain in winter. I’m adjusting and it seems better than it did at first.

            BTW, you were right about the two weeks not being a problem.

  4. I love their coconut bacon, too! I took a bag on a trip to St. Simons (not the most vegan-friendly beach town), and it saved the day! When all you can order on most menus is a salad and a dry baked potato, packing coconut bacon and nooch changes the game!

    • That is such a great idea!! This coconut bacon is easy to transport, doesn’t need to be refrigerated, and it could easily fit in a bag. It would definitely take a ho-hum salad or potato to a much more exciting level. I’m totally going to remember that for future trips! (David is really going to laugh at me when he sees me packing coconut bacon. He already thinks I’m obsessed. This isn’t going to dispel that idea at all!)

  5. How funny! I was just at Food Fight Grocery two weeks ago! I love Phoney Baloney’s Coconut Bacon, they are so good in salads especially on creamy pasta dishes and pizzas! A vegan blogger/friend sent me these and I was already in love! Hmmmmm yummm, that roasted gnocchi looks so good with the chickpeas & pesto (everything looks incredibly good in it)! Beautiful dish!

  6. I saw this advertised in a VegNews, so I thought I would try it. I’ve always liked Morning Star frozen fake bacon and fake bacon bits you can buy in any grocery store. So I tried this one, and ooohh, not very good. To me it tastes like very burnt bacon with a very strong coconut flavor. The very strong coconut prevents me from even imagining much bacon.

    I like almost every “fake” version of food that I’d had, but I will pass on this product. It has a good texture, but I can’t get away from the coconut taste. I’m not sure I would even consider it bacon flavored coconut, because I don’t much bacon flavor, its more bacon burned to a crisp flavor. I will stick with my other products which really do taste like bacon.

  7. Wow, I love the recipes you came up to use the bacon! I first saw coconut bacon in a raw recipe book I bought a few years ago, and it looked so good – and healthy, of course. I’ve yet to make it, and I haven’t seen it in stores, but I’m going to keep my eye out for it. I smiled when I saw how you just really like to eat it by the handful right out of the bag. You’d do well with my family on our couch.

  8. Hi ! Yesterday my lovely husband brought home a bag of Phoney Baloney’s coconut bacon from the New Leaf Market. So he brings it in and said check this out…I was happy to try a bite. Love me some bacon but don’t really want to eat pork.

    What I will say is : the first couple of seconds on my tongue was a yay!
    However the follow-up was so bad I ran to the kitchen sink (good thing no one was in my way ) gagging, spitting and going ewew! Ewew ! EWEW!!!!

    Followed those comments up with: “that doesn’t work !!!
    What the hell ! That is positively revolting ! Yucko!! ”

    So my advice for anyone who wants to try this stuff is : as a practical joke (like my husband did to me) let your favorite loved one who LUVS bacon have a go with this great idea… PS pick one with a good sense of humor & don’t sprinkle it on perfectly good organic food!

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