While we always knew it within the thickening walls of our heaving hearts, Wired.com has managed to prove it empirically: Bacon does, in fact, make (nearly) everything better.
It's a clever methodology: Cliff Kuang and his team broke down 49,733 recipes on the Food Network website by category (ex: "lettuce"), split the categories by whether the recipe called for bacon or not, and then used the site's 906,539 ratings to calculate the average score for the bacon and non-bacon recipes. Bacon generally improved ratings—as you can see in the graphic above—but it dramatically bumped up sandwiches and asparagus. Desserts and pasta (!) were the only two foodstuffs that saw a decline.
These scores may be inflated by the recent bacon craze that's swept the country, as the rare few who don't like delicious pig fat have been bullied into submission. Wired.com took a look at which other foods have been the trendiest in recent years, based on the volume of ratings for these ingredients. Quinoa and salted caramel are the taste sensations of the moment, while the reign of cupcakes seems to be drawing to a blessed close.
There's plenty more great data over at Wired. Go check it out.