Ladies and Gentlemen, Meet the Meat Straw

Forget plastic. Now you can sip your drink through a straw made of meat.

You probably think of straws as being made of one thing: plastic. But these days they could just as well be made of cookies, medical-grade stainless steel, pretty printed card-stock paper or meat.

A meat straw? Why, yes. You can now sip your drinks through straws made out of coiled bacon or a meat-pork blend, The Wall Street Journal recently noted in a story about unusual-straw options.

Some bars and restaurants make their own. Others, the Journal noted, just order up some meat straws made from a mixture of pork and beef from Benny’s Original Meat Straws. (At first, Benny’s straws were made only of beef, but their inventor, Ben Hirko of Coralville, Iowa, added the pork to improve the texture.)

Hirko, an erstwhile bartender, described the flavor of the straws, which you sip through and then eat, as “kind of like a summer sausage.” The company suggests using the straws for beverages like Bloody Marys and offers a host of recipes on its website — including a Bloody B.L.T. that features a slice of thick-cut pepper bacon, lettuce, cherry tomatoes and hunks of pepper-dusted mozzarella cheese along with a Benny's signature Original Meat Straw.

The straws, which are available in Original and Smokin’ Chipotle flavors, retail for $6.99 per five-pack. Iowa pub owner Marty Duffy credits them with helping his drink The Duffy collect the “best dressed Bloody Mary” award at a New York City Wine & Food Festival event. "That straw really took my Bloody Mary to a different dimension,” Duffy told the Journal.

A dimension known as … meat.

Photo courtesy of @BennysOriginal

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