The World’s Best Breakfast Meats, Power Ranked

People tell you all sorts of positive things about having a life partner. “You live with your best friend,” they say. “You share your joys and your sorrows,” they promise. “You have children and it’s such a miracle of — ” blah blah blah. You get the idea. And it’s all true, I suppose. But as far as I’m concerned, the #1 reason to be in a romantic relationship with another human being is so that when you go to brunch you can order two different dishes and split them.

Never having to decide between a heavily-meated breakfast dish and pancakes/waffles is THE ONLY THING THAT MATTERS IN THE SHORT, MISERABLE NANOSECOND THAT WE SPEND ON THIS DUMB ROCK, HURTLING IN CIRCLES AROUND A MASSIVE FIREBALL. Does each partner get to choose a dish? No. That would be insane. I choose both of them so I can make sure we’re optimizing our deliciousness — both in my own relationship and in yours. (Honestly, if you tweeted me pictures of your breakfast menu, I would be thrilled to order for you and your partner. #DreamJob)

Now, that we’ve gotten past the correct way to order breakfast (which is that I do it for everyone), we need to get into the nitty gritty of breakfast meats. Because breakfast is nothing without some cured flesh. Sure, there are people who have been Stockholm Syndromed into believing that their egg white omelets with tomato and feta cheese don’t need meat. These people deserve pity. They should be sent to rehab centers up north somewhere. They need quiet days reflecting in the woods, crafting misshapen bowls on a pottery wheel and reflecting on the importance of scrapple.

You may be asking, “But really? Is a breakfast meat vital in every single dish? What about pancakes?” Let me tell you something: There was this breakfast place I used to go to in Chicago where they stuffed like a pound of ham into a pancake. And. It. Was. Transcendent. “If it doesn’t have meat, it’s a snack,” Ron Swanson told us on Parks and Rec, and that’s a philosophy we absolutely stand by.

Today, I’m bringing you Breakfast Meats Power Ranked. In honor of the quote above, our scoring system will be “0-99 stoic Ron Swansons” — because he, above all people, knew how to do breakfast right. Still, the order is more important than the score, because I’m in charge… just like when I order your breakfast this weekend.

10. Turkey Bacon

Oh turkey bacon, you try so hard. You think because you have less fat, calories, and sodium that you are a competitive breakfast meat option. But you’re wrong. Not only is turkey bacon really not as healthy as you think, the flavor just isn’t as good. Turkey, you’re great at thanksgiving and in sandwiches. But as bacon, you’re the equivalent of Michael Jordan playing baseball. It’s just not the same, bro.

Interesting Fact: Turkey Bacon can also be played as a rousing breakfast meat edition of ‘6 Degrees of Separation’! “Okay — Julia Roberts was in Pretty Woman with Richard Gere who was in Shall We Dance With Jennifer Lopez Who Played Opposite A Piece Of Turkey Bacon in the hit film Gigli!” I win!

Score: ZERO Ron Swansons. Because it’s not real bacon, and in his words, “There’s only one thing I hate more than lying. Skim milk, which is water lying about being milk.”

9. Canadian Bacon