People love bacon.
And when I say love, I don’t mean flippantly, as in, “Oh, I love that hat.” The relationship many people have with bacon borders on spiritual.
Let’s start with the facts. One slice of bacon contains somewhere around two grams of fat and is often referred to as the heart attack snack.
It’s traditionally a cured meat that contains vast quantities of salt, and there are many cuts of bacon, depending on where the meat is taken from the pig. Some of the lesser-known bacons include jowel bacon, also known as pig cheeks, and collar bacon, taken from the back of the animal, near the head.
One of my friends, who is a bacon zealot, once told me that bacon is nature’s candy. I suppose that’s why you can find bacon ice cream, chocolate-dipped bacon, bacon doughnuts and bacon mints. You can also try an aperitif that includes bacon-infused vodka, and the Goose Island Beer Company created a maple bacon stout.
For the main course, it seems Wendy’s Baconator was a hot seller, to say the least. It’s reported that the fast-food giant sold 25 million Baconators in the first eight weeks it was on the menu. And here are some numbers for you: the single Baconator contains 34 grams of fat; the double contains 63 grams; and the triple contains 91 grams of fat. Based on gender, height and weight, most people should be eating somewhere between 60 to 80 grams of fat per day, total.
So it seems bacon’s siren song lures many a carnivore to its fatty shores. “The only thing better than bacon is bacon wrapped in bacon,” said Vladimir. There’s a BBQ Addicts website that shows you how to make a bacon explosion. It’s basically two pounds of bacon wrapped around two pounds of sausage and ends up looking like a meat brick.
“I could eat bacon all day,” said Kim, laughing. “But it has to be thin and crispy and no maple flavour. And no turkey bacon, that’s a complete joke. And never microwaved.”
See? People are passionate about their bacon. I suspect there are secret societies, much like the Masons, devoted to bacon worship.
Lucretia was recently on holidays in the States and had buffet meals of just bacon. “They flatten it out so it doesn’t curl up,” she said.
“And if you have bacon with pancakes and some of the maple syrup gets on the bacon, it’s even better.” Everyone has a favourite bacon presentation.
“The only thing better than bacon the first time is bacon the second time, as leftovers,” said Carol.
My friend Kathy made a bacon stir-fry and said her family loved it. Really? Bacon stir-fry?
Joseph, whose father was a chef, shares his favourite way of cooking bacon. “You bake it,” he said. “Put the oven at about 375 F, put parchment on a cookie sheet and just turn the bacon once. And it’s easy to clean, you just roll up the parchment paper and it’s done.”
Find a true bacon junkie and you’ll have someone who thinks veggie bacon is heresy and shouldn’t even be called bacon.
The website thinkgeek.com sells a My First Bacon talking plush. It has a mechanical mouth and says “I’m bacon” when squeezed. Because, as they say, “you’ve got a friend in meat.” They also sell bacon popcorn, bacon lip balm and other swine-inspired products.
It’s truly amazing how passionate so many people are about bacon. Besides chocolate, it’s hard to think of any other food that inspires such loyalty. There’s even a Royal Bacon Society and I don’t know how many other bacon-loving groups.
I’m wondering if our readers love bacon. Well, do you? Visit the Country Asides Facebook page and tell us why – you could win an Edmonton Journal prize pack. Maybe you have an unusual bacon recipe that we can print in a future edition. How about bacon-related photos? Send your pictures to firstname.lastname@example.org.
USELESS BACON FACTS!
• a 200-pound pig produces about 20 pounds of bacon.
• the people in Denmark consume the most bacon in the world
• the top bacon market in the U.S. is New York
• Bacon is Britain’s most frequently eaten meat
• Canadian bacon, also known as peameal bacon and back bacon, is literally from the back of the pig
• more than two billion pounds of bacon is produced annually in the US.