N = C + {fb (cm) . fb (tc)} + fb (Ts) + fc . ta

Science time! The formula above is a recently discovered rule of life that could lead to great pleasure for a huge number of people. To establish it, 700 variations of the same experiment had to be carried out, taking more than 1000 hours for expert researchers from the University of Leeds to complete. 50 volunteers were needed to participate to gain a viable quantity and quality of result interpretation.

Care to guess what it is?

No, sadly we haven't yet discovered the cure for cancer or a formula for world piece. What we do now know however is how to make a good bacon buttie. For the uninitiated who may find "buttie" an unfamiliar word, the New York Times spelt it out for its American readers in the following way.

For Britons, butties come in a variety of guises - chip butties (French fries between slices of bread), crisp butties (ditto with potato chips) or even sugar butties, which are self-explanatory. None are viewed as especially healthful.

We're talking nice late-morning, hangover curing, artery-clogging British cuisine; bits of warm dead pig shoved between pieces of bread slavered with fat. Mmm.

The researchers tried many different types of bacon, cooked in numerous oils with different methods and different times and temperatures of cooking. Computers tested some physical characteristics of the lardy snack, before they were handed over to some rather lucky volunteers for consumption and rating. Those of you who think this is the most ludicrously pointless waste-of-time experiment ever invented will be shocked to hear the most unexpected of results came forth:

We often think it's the taste and smell of bacon that consumers find most attractive. But our research proves that texture and the crunching sound is just - if not more - important.

said the lead researcher, Dr Clayton. This lead to the aforementioned

N = C + {fb (cm) . fb (tc)} + fb (Ts) + fc . ta

equation of bacony-tastefulness. In case it's not immediately apparent how to apply such a thing, here's the dummies guide courtesy of the BBC

  • N=force in Newtons required to break the cooked bacon
  • fb=function of the bacon type
  • fc=function of the condiment/filling effect
  • Ts=serving temperature
  • tc=cooking time
  • ta=time or duration of application of condiment/filling
  • cm=cooking method
  • C=Newtons required to break uncooked bacon

For those of you illiterate and/or innumerate fools who still aren't ready to present the Poorhouse with the perfect piggy treat upon the next visitation, here's the cheat sheet:

...two or three back bacon rashers should be cooked under a preheated oven grill for seven minutes at about 240C (475F). The bacon should then be placed between two slices of farmhouse bread, 1cm to 2cm thick.


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