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Micro Bakn! Artificially Flavored Bacon Strips 

49 cents
535 South Kingshighway
Cape Girardeau

What's the best thing at the Hucks convenience store in Cape Girardeau? Maybe it's the Mallow Burger, a sugar, glucose syrup and gelatin concoction formed into the shape of a cheeseburger. Or maybe it's the Rainbow Treat, a chewy square of Froot Loops bonded together with marshmallow cream.

But for my money you can't beat Micro Bak'n! Artificially Flavored Bacon Snacks.

One hundred percent vegetarian and low in fat, Micro Bak'n! Artificially Flavored Bacon Snacks looks less like bacon and more like a breath strip engineered by the American Pork Council.

But don't be fooled by the thin, chip-like larval stage of Micro Bak'n! Artificially Flavored Bacon Snacks. Place the clear bag inside the package in a microwave on high for 25 seconds and these brittle squares will metamorphose into puffed curls of ersatz bacon right before your eyes.

Twenty seconds more and Micro Bak'n! Artificially Flavored Bacon Snacks emerge as a textural cross between Styrofoam peanuts and pork rinds, only with red and white stripes.

And thank God for those stripes! It turns out they will be your only clue (aside from the name) that Micro Bak'n Artificially Flavored Bacon Snacks are meant to approximate real-deal bacon.

The only thing these dry little arches of wheat flour, salt and partially hydrogenated canola oil have in common with bacon is the salt. And although the ingredient list includes artificial flavorings, all you taste is salt and pepper.

A 25-gram serving packs in 588 milligrams of sodium, about one-fourth of the recommended daily allowance. It's enough to make you want to head for the reach-in and pull out a can of Monster Energy drink, which, seeing as how we're at Hucks, is easily accomplished. It's just an aisle away.

Seen a foodstuff you're too timid to try? Malcolm will eat it! E-mail particulars to

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