National Bacon Day
National Bacon Day is an unofficial U.S holiday which falls on December 30th and is celebrated on an annual basis. The purpose of this holiday is to celebrate that tasty morsel of cured pork belly that is commonly known today as bacon. It’s a great day to enjoy bacon as a snack, with one of your meals for that day or even incorporate it into a tasty dessert. After all, everything goes better with bacon, so they say. This holiday shouldn’t be confused with International Bacon Day – a holiday which falls on the Saturday before Labor Day.
The History of Bacon
In Central Asia, about 10,000 years ago, the first wild pigs were domesticated in Central Asia. Not long after that, people began to enjoy bacon. A dish that was salty, fatty and really good. However, not everyone thought that bacon was a good food. Many cultures in the Mideast thought that pigs were dirty animals and as a result, many religions from the area forbid eating the flesh of the pig. Regardless of this ban, bacon still managed to travel to the Roman Empire and was an almost immediate hit.
The Romans knew this food as petaso and was eaten not only as a breakfast food but also as a dinner food. It was widely eaten because it was inexpensive, easy to cook and it was very tasty. From Rome, it would spread to Germany where it was known as Bak. The name for this cured meat would continue to evolve until the 16th century when it became known as bacoun. Eventually, the word for it would get whittled down to simply bacon.
In 1539, Hernando de Soto brought 13 pigs to the Americas and within 3 years he had a herd of them that was 700 strong. Which is probably why he’s credited as being the father of the American pork industry. Over the years, the popularity of bacon continued to grow. Today, it is one of the most popular food items on the planet.
Until the 20th century, most types of bacon made in the U.S were what would now be called artisanal bacon. It was hand crafted using locally obtained ingredients. However, that changed in 1924, when Oscar Meyer received a patent for packaged, sliced bacon and began selling it to the American public.
Today, there is a wide variety of different types of bacon on the market, including both commercial and artisanal varieties. Bacon has also made it into a great range of products which include bacon mayonnaise, bacon chocolate, bacon brittle and even bacon popcorn. Bacon is one of the most popular foods in the U.S with sales in the billions of dollars. Over $4 billion dollars of bacon was sold in 2014 and bacon sales increase each year after that.
Types of Bacon
Of course, no two types of bacon are the same and there’s a significant difference between the various types. For instance, Canadian Bacon is made from the back of the pig and looks quite similar to American ham. Irish bacon is also made from the back of the pig, but it is generally sliced thicker. American bacon is made from the fattier belly of the pig and then there is speck – an Italian bacon which is from the legs of the pig and is cured with various spices which include juniper, garlic, nutmeg, and salt.
And that’s just the tip of the pig, so to speak. Other types of bacon are made nowadays and not all of them come from pig meat. Some of the more popular forms of bacon include duck bacon, gypsy bacon, slab bacon, pepper bacon, elk bacon, lamb and beef bacon, venison bacon, turkey bacon and soy protein bacon. However, not all bacon enthusiasts agree that these types of bacon are bacon at all.
Sizzling Bacon Facts
- A bust of Kevin Bacon was once made from Bacon
- Bacon & Eggs are eaten together 71% of the time
- A 250 pound pig will yield approximately 23 pounds of bacon
- 53% of American homes keep bacon on hand at all times
- New York And Los Angeles are the top American consumers of bacon
- The average American eats 18 pounds of bacon a year
- Bacon grease was used to make explosives during WWII
Popular Bacon Dishes
There are a variety of popular bacon dishes. The following is only a partial list: BLT sandwich, Bacon Explosion, Fool’s Gold Leaf, Candied Bacon, Chicken Fried Bacon and Griebenschmalz.
Celebrating National Bacon Day
The best way to celebrate National Bacon Day is by serving or eating bacon in one of it various forms. You can have eggs and bacon, a BLT sandwich or maybe just bacon by itself. If you want a more exotic bacon dish, you can try bacon Guacamole, peanut butter & bacon sandwiches or bacon muffins.
You can also throw a bacon-themed party, order bacon novelty products or take pictures of your bacon creations and post it to social media using the hashtag #NationalBaconDay. And if you want to share this holiday with a friend or family member, you can send them a bacon gift such as bacon roses, bacon scented underwear or maybe a “Making Bacon” T-shirt.
National Bacon Day is the perfect holiday to celebrate a food product that is commonly known as “meat candy.” If you love bacon, and who among us doesn’t, then you might think that this holiday is almost as good as bacon.