Tingo Tuesday

Tingo Tuesday: Tell Me About Your Grief Bacon

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It’s Tingo Tuesday!

The first Tuesday of each month, I share a word from The Meaning of Tingo & Other Extraordinary Words From Around the World by Adam Jacot de Boinod.

Today, I’m telling you about a German word.

You know that excess weight that you gain from emotional eating? Germans call that “kummerspeck.” It literally means “grief bacon.”

Now, I have to admit, I’m not big on the pig. I know Americans have this bizarre love for bacon that, frankly, has me bewildered. It has to be the most un-heart-smart food, since, like… ever.


I totally get the idea behind being so emotionally devastated that you tried to fill the hole with food. I remember how I felt when Tad dumped me when I told him I wouldn’t give him a blowjob.  I cried forever. I totally gorged on grief bacon.

And Ho-Ho’s.

I love that other cultures have language for the actions and concepts for which we haven’t necessarily got the right words.

So here’s the way it works!

Leave me a real or fictional comment about a time when you ate a lot of grief bacon.

I’ll pick one comment I love the most.

If you are a blogger, I will announce your identity and slip a photo of you into my side bar which will link to your blog so people can check you out all month. If you’re not a blogger, don’t worry. I will let everyone know how smart you are.

This month’s winner is Amber West from A Day Without Sushi.

THIS is where Amber left the comment that impressed TechSupport, and made her sweep this thing. Enjoy your time in my sidebar, Amber. You look so natural there.

Now, tell me about your “kummerspeck” moment. What happened, pookie? And what did you munch? You have until November 30th to be considered for the spot in my sidebar.

tweet me @rasjacobson

75 thoughts on “Tingo Tuesday: Tell Me About Your Grief Bacon

  1. Kummerspeck. Fantastic.

    Also, I feel so at home there on your sidebar. I need to think about what I’ll say this time.

    ‘Cause, you know, I’d like to go for a Three-peat.

  2. I’ve always been a grief-starver, which is just wildly healthy. Food tends to be a celebration, but I can actually get obsessively “healthy” with my eating to where it’s purely functional. One New Year’s I was thinking about resolutions (yes, I do those), and decided that “eat more bacon” was going to be my resolution. It’s like the representative of unhealthiness, but also joy-food. So, more bacon for me.

  3. When I am upset, hurt, grieving, I had no appetite. I, too, am a grief-starver. As has been mentioned, food is for good times and celebration, and quite frankly, as much as I love to cook and to feed others, I find having to eat myself rather a drudge. That’s why I only eat dinner.

    1. Another grief-starver. Fascinating. My very slender friend once commented: “There is nothing quite like a major illness or miserable divorce to make you look absolutely fabulous.” That is terribly sad and yet terribly true.

      I think I’m a grief starver. Except for the Ho-Hos. I need those. 😉

  4. I try not to vary my eating habits with my emotions, but my cat TOTALLY eats his feelings. When our lease is up and we move him into a new apartment, or we go on vacation and leave him for a few days, he eats WAY more food than usual because he feels so sad and stressed out. I actually started having my friend go check on him during the holidays when we would leave town, not just to make sure he had enough food, but to sit with him and pet him for awhile to keep him emotionally stable. :-/ Poor guy.

    1. I am soooo sad to hear about your pussy. It’s not good to have a stressed out pussy. Not good at all. (Instead of a cat hoarder, you have a cat who hoards. You could have your own reality TV show.) Think. About. It! I’m not kidding. Cha-ching. $$

  5. There was a long period of time I had “grief bacon” daily, sometimes multiple times a day. Fast food french fries, french bread and cheese (like a loaf of french bread and a pound of cheese!), chocolate…anything chocolate, peanut M&M’s, Snickers Bars, chocolate cake, brownies, ice cream, etc. It’s no surprise I was dangerously close to 200lbs when I finally started weight watchers. Now, I still occasionally have what I call “stress chocolate”, but I only have one bar instead of 3 king size. I tend to grief drink now, which probably isn’t a great plan either, but I can get by with much less of that than the food. Neither fill the void, but I seem to figure that out sooner with alcohol than with chocolate, maybe because while chocolate wont fill the void, it’s still great while trying!

  6. This is the best online contest ever! (A little buttering up never hurts, right?) As a card-carrying emotional eater, I can best describe my Kummerspeck moments with a diagram. Unfortunately, I have no idea how to insert one into the comments section so this will have to do. Imagine if you will …

    Hips: here is the kummerspeck from the pan of brownies I mainlined when the tree branch destroyed my new car.
    Gut: here is my kummerspeck from the M&Ms I down while waiting for comments on my latest blog post.
    Upper Thighs: here is my kummerspeck from the Cinnamon Buns I comforted myself with when I didn’t win last month’s Tingo Tuesday contest ;-).

    I’m considering hiding out with a big bowl of Halloween Kit Kats to soothe my frustrations over the outcome of today’s election. Or because it’s a Tuesday. You will see the kummerspeck on my ass in the coming weeks!

    1. This made me laugh out loud:

      “I can best describe my Kummerspeck moments with a diagram.”

      Made me think of Mary Cathrine Gallagher from SNL who could best summarize her emotions in a dramatic monologue. And then she smelled her armpits. And then she fell backwards and her underpants showed. Good times. Good times. 😉

  7. Kummerspeck. Grief Bacon.
    It’s a wonder it didn’t kill us…waiting for my dad to die
    Skeins of yarn, crochet hooks, every sandwich cookie known to humankind
    Lap robes, scarves, hats, rugs
    One strand, two, three or four, depending on how quickly we hoped to finish
    Oreos dipped in white chocolate chips
    Nutter Butters in chocolate and peanut butter bits
    Lemon sandwich cremes in raspberry drops
    Pecan Sandies coated in cinnamon
    “Pasteboard” sugar wafers with a side of Red Heart

  8. I’m not an emotional eater, unless you count the sashimi and Sake when I get stressed. Mmmmmm *drooling*

    I LOVE that word – kummerspeck. Maybe if the word applied to Long Island Iced Tea as well as bacon…. Food for thought I guess. Seriously though, kummerspeck is a cool word.

    Speaking of bacon, and the obsession many of us have with this food, let me toss in this little tidbit to show how extreme some go.

    1. I don’t even know where to start, so let;s start with the bacon lube. I wonder if it’s kosher. Hahahahaha. I can’t imagine wanting my partner to taste like bacon. Yuck. See, the thing is, I’ve been around real pigs. They stick. They absolutely smell like piss. So I just can’t find anything vaguely erotic about smearing the scent of bacon on my lover.

      Is this a deal breaker for us?

      Because I am not normally an emotional eater, but this just might drive me to eat the quart of raspberries in my refrigerator. I’m serious. I’ll do it.

      If it’s any consolation, I love sashimi. Give me raw fish any day of the week! That will make me kum-er… Awww, you know what I mean. 😉

      1. I hear ya on the bacon thing. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy bacon. But I don’t want erotic flavors mixed up with bacon. So no – this is not a deal breaker! 😉

        Would that be kum-shimi?? *wink wink*

  9. I eat a lot of grief bacon all the time. Even though I’m a Jew. I am partial to the Chick-Fil-A drive through where I can get a chicken sammich and their giant serving of waffle fries with the super sugary lemonade. But the buzzkill is that I hate their ice cream. So THEN I have to drive over to the McDonald’s and get a sundae off the dollar menu with caramel and nuts and I eat it so fast in the parking lot. The last time I ate grief bacon was Yesterday. And to add insult to bacon injury, there was leftover Halloween candy in the house. So: it hit me after I published a blog post about something shitty I did. And people laid into me. And I got backlash in the comments, in private emails, and I needed the grief bacon. I knew food would love me, even if no one else did. I knew the food would make me feel better even when no one else could. And I knew I’d hate myself for it later, but the call for grief bacon is too strong to resist for those of us who know it well and have discovered its allure. Shoveling salty fries to match the salty tears, the sweet ice cream cooling your flaming cheeks, the lemonade to wash it all down.

    And then you sit in your filth. And you hate yourself and all the grief bacon you ate. And you want to die. And you feel badly for everything you just consumed and suddenly you don’t feel better at all, but WORSE.

    1. Erin: I read that post early. It was awesome. And honest. Who are these holier than thou types who are coming down on you? What? They have never done anything wrong in their lives? I’m coming over to see what happened after I left Dodge. Because I will have to kill them with my word-hatchet.

      Anyway, I am worser-er than you are. I <3 you. And if anyone writes hate-filled comments on Friday, you won't know because I will have CHANGED their content so they are all glowing and wonderful. I have that SuperPower! 😉

  10. Kummerspeck – German is good for feelings – dark ones.
    But bacon is for happy times – and those that aren’t it can’t help cheering up. (Unless you’re a pig.)
    So I’m like Carl at the top there – no kummerspeck – I think it instead of eating it.

  11. Since I don’t eat meat, there is no bacon when I am grieving or otherwise emoting. However, that does not mean I am without my days of indulging in a little, or rather a lot, of kummerspeck. In fact, just the other day I sucked down a large order of Wendy’s french fries like they were the oxygen critical for my survival. Kummerspeck happens when your teen daughter sucks the life out of your last functioning brain cells with arguments over her French pronunciation. I suspect those fries were as healthy as bacon, though.

  12. Candy = kummerspeck. I gave it up for ten months while planning our wedding. I only missed it for a week or two and then it was forgotten, I had too much to do and I had to do it looking good. The twizzlers that were a major food group for me. Gummies, the regular and sour were always in a large pickle jar in my kitchen. Gummy coke bottles, remember those? Gummy frogs, fish, watermellon slices. I gave then all up, sigh. After the wedding I would have a private twizzler or two but it never got out of control. (Step children and husbands do this to a girl but I was in control, really.) This school year (I work in the Rochester City School District) began in early August for me with the demands of my job being in four school locations, emails from staff in bulidings times four and having to roll my office from building to building in a suitcase… today I was up to sixteen tootsie rolls, two jolly ranchers, cherry and grape and one bit-o-honey. I never even liked those but mary jane was unavailable. Halloween candy should be 75% tomorrow and I’m hoping that I can find some lemonheads….

    1. Oh Sara. I know you have been struggling. I know. Do you think you’d be allowed to have a little girl’s retreat? I know a third party who might love a full day at Mirbeau. Stay away from the Lemonheads. They were the most rejected candy at our house on Halloween. Those kids know things.

      So when can we start the second 1/2 of our careers? I’m not scared. I know we could make it work.

  13. This is one of those blogs where I always learn something, whether I want to or not. Like Tingo. Or like where R A S-J goes to write her sex stories… i.e. other people’s blogs. My door is always open, R A S-J…… I do not think I have had a Grief Bacon moment, and I am of German extraction.

    I think R A S-J should look up the girl Tad went with after dumping her and find out if he pulled the same stunt… and if he got his blow job.

    1. Oh Ted. (Not to be confused with Tad.) I KNOW he got what he wanted. His new chick was not shy about supplying the details. She’s probably a great mother now. Maybe she still uses her feminine wiles on her husband. You think?

  14. Kummerspeck. Ah, yes. I know it well.

    I remember the first time I packed on kummerspeck. I was only six years old. Don’t judge.

    I had just lost my hamster, Gerbie. A noble and selfless rodent, if there ever was one. *sniff* He gave his life for me.

    I was playing in my front yard, making a chain of clover as little Gerbie grazed on the tender leaves. He frolicked around me in the cool green. I made him his own little necklace.

    Suddenly, a vicious Rottweiler appeared on the sidewalk in front of us. He barred his teeth and snarled his intent.

    Terrified, I snatched up Gerbie. I scrambled backward across the grass until I was backed against the wall. The monster flew at me. I screamed. Gerbie squeezed from my hand and jumped down the throat of the homicidal hound.

    The canine stopped short. It gasped for breath, not a foot away from me. Pinned by my own fear, I couldn’t move. After a ten year minute, the dog’s eyes rolled back in his head and he fell over. Dead.

    A wave of relief washed through me. But then I thought of Gerbie. Gerbie! Mustering all of my courage, I pried open the dead dog’s jaws and pulled out my furry little bff. He wasn’t breathing. I tried mouth to mouth, but to no avail. Gerbie was gone. He’d given his life for me.

    Grief overwhelmed me. I stumbled inside, blinded by my tears. After wrapping Gerbie in my favorite left sock and tucking him gently inside a pencil box, I wandered into the kitchen to wait until my parents got home. And there it was. The pile of leftover bacon from breakfast.

    It called to me with its salty, applewood smoked goodness, and I answered. It started with one piece, but that piece was lonely in my stomach. It wanted a friend. Before I knew it, I was in a full tilt kummerspeck building binge. It didn’t end until every piece of bacon was gone. I burped.

    I awoke the next day a full size bigger. It was the beginning of a love/hate relationship of comfort and guilt that would last, well, . . . I have some bacon sizzling in the skillet right now, the need brought on by the memory of my sweet, brave Gerbie. I have a plate of cookies and a bag of chips,too.

    It’s okay. I have a pair of kummerspeck pants I keep around for just these occasions. Like I said. Don’t judge. *sniff*

    1. I cannot tell if this is fiction of memoir. And I love that. I kind of hope this is all a big #bazinga, but knowing you — well, I could picture you trying to recesitate your gerbil. It’s good to have the appropriate kummersperk attire for those especially rough days. Thanks for bopping by. You are definitely a contender here!

  15. Sidebar comment: I knew an exchange student from Ukraine who thought microwaving bacon was the best thing ever. His name was Viktor. And remembering that makes me smile. That and the way he pronounced Chicago. “Chick-uh-go” As in, “Today we are going to Chickuhgo.” 😀

    Ok: Kummerspeck. This may be the title of my next blog. Um, I guess that’s kind of public…my next journal. Oooh, or my cookbook cover! I already have lots of food pictures cut out; I just need to decoupage them onto my binder! True story.

    My Kummerspeck story: I am a salt fiend. Some people like their sweets, I like my salt. I will probably come back as a deer in my next life so that I may wander from yard to yard devouring salt licks, and confiscating them back to my very secret thicket hideout. Salt food and I go way back. Starting with my mother’s boycott to buy croutons. It didn’t matter where she hid them, I would find them, and when she wasn’t looking – or if she was foolish enough to go to sleep (Silly, Mother!) – I would devour boxes of croutons! They are the perfect late night snack when you stay up watching latin ballroom dancing contests on PBS.

    Sour cream and onion potato chips go well with cheddar cheese and reruns of the Beverly Hillbillies. During commercials, I would build houses out of my cheese slices and cut windows and doors in them. (No. No that’s not creepy.)

    When I wanted to be like my older brother, who played tennis, I ate pringles. I was better at pretending the pringle can was my tennis ball can, and if eating them was a sport, I would surely be called “athletic” in my ability.

    I once watched a roommate of mine melt butter and mix it with parmesan cheese then drizzle it over popcorn. I thought she should run for President. (j/k – little voting day humor)

    And then last year, I survived NaNoWriMo on a diet of cheetos and Dove chocolate. Using your cheesy fingers to highlight sections for editing saves you time and money from actually having to buy a highlighter.

    I should probably tattoo the Morton Salt Girl on my kummerspeck. 😉

    1. I love absolutely everything about this post. It is more satisfying than an entire bag of Salt & Vinegar chips. I, too, am a salt girl. But when I really have the blues, gimme some Ho-hos and leave me alone. This is brilliant writing. Brilliant. I adore this game so much!

  16. 1. I’m making this word a regular part of my vocab.
    2. Kummerspeck and I get down on a fairly regular basis.
    3. I’ve coming to terms it. It’s better than meth right?

    I first discovered emotional eating my freshman year of college when a silly boy broke my heart. It started out innocently enough. A few chocolate chips sprinkled atop a peice of PB toast. Fair. And then it was peanut butter on spoon with a few stray chocolate chips. Yea, ok. It was the first time I’d ever been dumped. But soon it was a bowl of chocolate chips to my right and a jar of peanut butter with a spoon to my left. Twenty minutes into a chick flick later both were empty and I felt terrible. I called my doctor dad from the floor of my dorm bathroom to admit to my shame, and make sure that depsite the way I was currently feeling, I was not in fact, going to die. He sat quietly for a few beats on the other end of the phone before asking, “Were the chocolate chips Ghiradelli?” Yes. Of course. “Then it’s ok.”

    1. Hi Nora! Much less kummerspeck now that you are married, no? I remember the story of the silly boy who broke your heart. What a dummy. And yes, I think Ghiardelli and a chick flick are better than meth. Probably. 😉 Coming over to check out your latest adventure!

  17. The problem with ‘grief bacon’ is that one has to stop eating it to eat it, if you know what I mean. I pretty much live on comfort food (though given the choice of bacon or chocolate, I know which one I go for… and it ain’t pig. I’d eat bacon if they could find a way to make it without nitrates and so much salt. Oh and if it tasted like chocolate. But they don’t breed chocolate pigs. Well, apart from me.)

    I did, however, stop being vegetarian for a ‘Full English Breakfast’ (it exists – Google it) many years ago. I was passing a cafe and there was this wonderful smell and I just had to go in and partake…

    1. Nothing fictional to make up? No story about how one of the kids spilled orange jello down your favorite blouse? Wait. What am I talking about. You run marathons. You are a good girl when it comes to the eating. Good for you, Mrs. Marathon! 😉

  18. After reading the first several comments, I now realize why I’m my spare tire(s). I’m a grief starver too, and now that life is good, I’m sporting a little more of me than I need.

    And Val ^^^ have you ever tried chocolate covered bacon? Yep, it exists, at least here in San Diego at the Del Mar Fair where they provide the public with an overload of artery blocking goodness.

  19. “kummerspeck” … am I the only one who feels that word has a kind of ewww-factor to it? Okay, never mind, I dive into the chocolate whenever. For happy. For sad. For confused. For writer’s block. For no good reason. I suspect it’s why I have my very own Tootsie Roll around my midriff. And chocolate-covered bacon? I’ll eat it if it means I have a chance of winning the big prize here. Schokoladespeck!

    1. I’m a non-eater. I know; it’s weird. I just so distracted that I actually forget to eat. It’s not good. I usually realize I’ve gone and entire day without food or water when I stand up and feel like I’m about to fall down. So if you ever in these parts and you plan to come over, I might have a little nosh on your midriff. You make yourself sound very delicious.

      I should go eat something, huh? 😉

  20. When *#%* happens, I lose my appetite. I have never been a grief eater. I eat when I am bored. Gained a few pounds (okay 25) during and after college when I was still looking for a real job! Lost it all when I started working as a medical illustrator. Not so much a bacon eater. Been in Boulder too long… 🙂

    For you, I’ll come up with a story.
    While I was in college, I went home for Thanksgiving break. I remember waking in the middle of the night starving! This was after eating all day. My mom could always cook and made us eat seconds and thirds. “Now finish your plate so I can serve dessert.” Anyway, I remember digging through the fridge and then I found it. The holy grail of fattening food: STUFFING! I am sure I was going through a break up because I wolfed half of the huge bowl. My sister caught me red handed. With my mouth full I asked, “Do you want some?”

    Nothing like satisfying an oral fixation when you are depressed. Somewhere along the line I lost my appetite, thank the lord or after all the stress I’ve gone through, I’d be 300 pounds!

  21. I’ve repressed most of my literal grief bacon eating, but I recall numerous times when my girl boner grieved the loss of sizzling….hot….bacon. *sniff* Not sure I can go there… *reaches for tissue*

  22. I’m not a big kummerspeck-er; depending on the situation I usually have one of two reactions – I wrap myself up either in gaming or exercising. However I could turn to food for comfort for the following reasons:

    1. I’m anxiously awaiting November 22nd for the grand unveiling of your new potential blog headers and am angry at myself for not getting an entry in;
    2. I’m still waiting for you to realise that I’ve commented on another post of yours and reply, particularly because I mentioned Skype-ing (I could always email I SUPPOSE, but then I’d have no need to eat, therefore nullifying this item and who wants that I ASK YOU?!);
    3. I hear the news that you have indeed made the cut for Survivor. This will result in supportive kummerspeck because I’ve seen a few episodes over the years and the contestants have so little food! So I’d have to watch and eat, so that you’ll be able to compete effectively knowing that all those carbs, proteins, vitamins, minerals and sweet sweet sugars are still being used for your benefit.

    That’s right Renée, I’d eat for you on the comfort of my couch while you battled the elements, fatigue and hunger in a non-temperature controlled, semi hostile and very uncomfortable environment. Because that’s how good a friend I am. I think I should start eating now actually, since the team at CBS would be CRAZY not to let you in this time.

  23. I don’t think mine counts, food is not my big thing never has been. Don’t get me wrong I love food but it is a celebration, a sharing something you do for and with those you love. Comfort food is simply what we southerns cook when family get together not something we eat when we are hurting.

    But then there is the kummerspeck I carry and have carried for twenty years. Is it grief bacon? I am uncertain, perhaps it is. Grief for life lost, or lives lost. Grief for innocence lost, theirs not mine. Grief for futures lost. Grief for futures wasted for hate and despair. Grief for for families torn apart. For me finally, screaming grief and fear for what would become a battle to regain a semblance of normal and a life without painful reminders and without pain.

    For those who don’t know me, it started on a night like any other and ended in a kidnapping and three gunshots that left me on the side of the road bleeding and forever changed. Kummerspeck? Maybe, but food took on a different flavor, what once sustained an active body now became the enemy to a body that could not move and would not obey even the simply command to walk.

    Grief bacon? Only that I grieve the losses all of us suffered that night.

    1. Oh Val. I know your story. And your blog is a powerful place for people to visit. I’m always amazed by your strength and your positivity. I imagine that food would taste slightly less delicious after something like that. Maybe writers aren’t emotional eaters. We seem to be too bust at our keyboards. 🙂 You are an inspiration.

  24. Seriously, I can’t compete with some of these comments. So I won’t. BUT…
    my grief bacon… (a term I love btw)
    I’ve never been an emotional eater. Sure, I may overeat from time to time, but never due to emotions. Or so I thought.
    Last spring when my grandma’s cancer started to take over, that changed.
    And then when finally cancer won.
    There was a hole that could not be filled. But I tried.
    Not good. Not good on so many levels.
    I was never an emotional eater… Turns out I just wasn’t sad enough before.

    1. Oh Elena. That is positively heart-breaking. I loved my grandmother so much. She died in 1982. She’s been gone for decades but not one day goes by that I don’t think of her. Not one. I have one of the plants she nurtured from her house, and I fuss over it. I love that I have something that is still living that her hands touched, even after all these years. It bloomed only once in all the years I’ve had it: the year my husband & I moved into our first home. I think she was pleased. Watch for signs. Pay attention. Whenever you think of her, she is near. I’m sure of this. Let that be a comfort to you.

  25. I am the QUEEN of grief bacon, grief booze, grief Hot Pockets… Does this word/phrase need a mascot? Slap my mustachioed mug right next to it in the dictionary.

    I can’t even think of a good example because there are so many mundane ones in the way. I guess the worst grief bacon moments have been when I was trying to diet (er, every other second of my life until recently) – then I’d just go into this terrible cycle of feeling deprived and obsessed with food, so I’d pig out and feel even more depressed. So. I don’t do that anymore.

    Not exactly the example you’re looking for, but… I have Hurricane Brain and it’s impeding my creativity! (And least that’s my excuse.)

  26. I finally realized what mine is! Little Man is nearing four years old. My husband has been urging me to get this kid potty-trained for almost a year-and-a-half now. My opinion on potty training is that kids will potty train when they are ready, and to force the issue is a waste of time and energy. I’ve been keeping my eyes and ears open for signs of readiness, and earlier this year, it appeared that we had a green light. Training began.

    I was using m&ms as incentive. Since I was hoping to be using a lot of them, I would buy a big bag, which I would then hide in the “treats shoebox” kept on the top shelf of the pantry. Good planning, but there was a fatal flaw: Because the bag was big, I didn’t feel guilty skimming some m&ms off the top now and then. It was fine at first, and really worked, but when Little Man started avoiding the toilet due to his increasing nervousness of doing a #2, the skimming escalated. It spiraled more and more out of control until I would just place the m&ms in a more accessible place, as constantly removing the treats shoebox was too much a hassle for my repeated pilfering. At the end of that toilet training skirmish I realized I was just buying the m&ms for myself.

    When we start toilet training, round two, I’m going to have to find a different incentive. I’m sure there’s not a word for grief stickers, or grief toy cars in any language.

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