Ooh…bacon. The bad boy of the food world, with its high-fat, high-sodium, preservative-laden attitude. And yet…we can’t stay away, whether it’s a breakfast buffet at Big Boy, an appetizer at Coastal Flats (love their brown sugar-cured bacon/deviled eggs with spiced pecans dish), or the humble BLT.
Interesting bits about bacon (haha):
- Up until Shakespeare’s time (late 16th/early 17thc), the term bacon – sometimes spelled “bacoun” – was used to mean all pork in general, and originated from several French and German dialect words that meant “back” (of the animal, of course).
- Bacon hazard: in 1131, a wandering pig scares the horse that Philip of France was riding. The horse throws him and he dies from his injuries, proving that even the heir of France is not safe from pigs running amok. After that, the government tries to ban city folks from raising pigs, but they like their bacon more than they like their future kings, apparently, and it really wasn’t enforced.
- Although bacon was cheap and easy to make – which is why it was a staple peasant food in early England – Englishman John Harris sets up the first bacon-making operation in Wiltshire in the 1770s. Wiltshire, England is still considered the “Bacon Capital” of the UK.
- In 1924, the Americans get into the large-scale bacon-making business when Oscar-Mayer packages (and patents) pre-sliced bacon for the American housewife (no more brine tubs in the back yard! Yay!).
- A typical American consumes 17.9 pounds of bacon a year. Wow.
- Scientists have found that choline (a micronutrient in bacon and other foods) improves fetal brain development.
- Denmark leads the world in pork consumption.
Unconventional forms/uses of bacon:
Bacon Bandages (not real bacon, of course)
Bacon Roses for your sweetie, from Pamela V. Mason’s blog (which you should check out; there’s even more bacon there):
Van Gogh’s “Starry Night” – the bacon version:
Gummy bacon – looks like raw bacon (“eat it and scare your friends!”), but it’s really strawberry-flavored gummy candy:
…Diet Coke (really? why not regular Coke? And, no, I don’t know where to get it):
…chocolate (I love bacon. I love chocolate. Hey, I have an idea…):
…coffee (perhaps you can dunk your bacon in your morning java, and get the same effect?):
…dental hygiene products (eww, aren’t we trying to clean the bacon taste OUT of our mouths?):
And, finally (if you’re still corresponding or paying bills the old-fashioned way), bacon-flavored envelopes:
Maybe bacon-scented keyboards will be next, LOL.
So, there you have it! A short trip through bacon-land. There are many more examples, but we have a weekend to get started on.
Have you run across other unusual uses for bacon? Any recipes you’d like to share? What’s your favorite can’t-resist-even-though-it’s-bad-for-you food? I’d love to hear from you!
Until next time,