Perhaps carrots aren’t the first thing that comes to mind when you think of bacon. Tyler Steeves, founder of Carrot Bacon, wants to change that. For the last year and a half, Steeves and his team have been transforming the humble carrot into deeply flavoured types of crispy vegan jerky. “We’re not trying to replicate pork,” explains Steeves. “This is meat-free, without the filler. The sweetness of carrot lends well to taking on the umami flavours sometimes missing for people who don’t eat meat.” The team sources Nantes carrots locally from Pfenning’s Organic Farms in New Hamburg and transforms them using charcuterie techniques like curing, brining and dehydration. “Our flavours are big but balanced,” says Steeves. “We’re always looking to maintain the equilibrium of salty, savoury and sweet while incorporating other massively flavourful ingredients.” Carolina Smoke, one of three flavours, provides an immediate sensation of salty-sweet-umami, followed by background smoke and lingering heat. Applewood and Toasted Tokyo Sesame offer their own unique, well-balanced taste combinations. In the coming months Steeves hopes to develop more flavours of Carrot Bacon and begin experimenting with other vegetables, or perhaps even jackfruit. “I think of Carrot Bacon as a feel-good ingredient or snack,” says Steeves. “It’s great on a hike, it can hit those junk food cravings, and anywhere you’d want crispy bacon, I think you can incorporate Carrot Bacon.” Can the carrot BLT be far behind?