I knew there had to be a food angle to this whole Braunstein mess. Ok, so he bought a bunch of incriminating crap on ebay: fireman uniform, police badge, chloroform, and now as it turns out, saltpeter. Just because he impersonates one of New York’s bravest and molested someone for over twelve hours doesn’t necessarily mean the perv is making explosives. He could be making bacon, for all anyone knows. The November 9th, New York Times had an article about curing your own bacon and corned beef (granted, this was after the 8.8-pound saltpeter purchase) and calls for the use of sodium nitrate, a.k.a. saltpeter. It inspired me (though I’ve yet to try my hand at homemade charcuterie), maybe Braunstein was bitten by the d.i.y. smoky meat bug, too. Let’s not jump to hasty conclusions.