I will apologize up front about today’s column.
No, it’s not politically incorrect (a term I generally dismiss with no regret). It’s about good ol’ bacon, so it may make you hungry or even cause you to have to go buy some if you don’t have any in the house.
Also, I might add, I’m at least a month late with this column because National Bacon Day was last month, and must’ve snuck right past me.
What I’ve discovered as of late is that bacon is popular with everybody. Well, nearly everybody: vegetarians, those not allowed to eat it because of religious beliefs, and health nuts are exceptions. Oh yeah, and pigs aren’t real happy about its consumption, either.
Bacon is everywhere it seems, graduating from a breakfast side order to be included in nearly any dish you can name, from salads to a donut topping.
Some love bacon on their cheeseburgers, bacon-wrapped shrimp, bacon-wrapped meat balls, bacon-wrapped tater tots, and so forth. I love it any way you can think of, even crumbled up in my grits. I’ve even had bacon and peanut-butter-flavored milkshakes. Really!
We use it as a flavoring to cook everything from green beans to tomato gravy, but did you know that it comes from the belly of the pig, usually?
The Chinese are credited as first coming up with it around 1500 B.C. and I’m guessing that happened because they decided their L&Ts (lettuce and tomato sandwiches) needed spicing up. Hence, that wonderful creation we call the BLT.
Many a BLT has fallen victim to my hunger, even times when I was “fakin’ bacon” by using Bacon Bits with lettuce and tomato to create a BBLT. Laugh if you want, but it works in a pinch.
Another interesting fact: Did you know that in the United States alone 1.7 billion pounds are consumed annually?
Considering that a 200-pound hog yields an average of 20 pounds of bacon, that’s a passel of pork, y’all. Thank goodness we get more from a pig than bacon. As the old saying goes, everything but the squeal goes into the pot.
The word bacon itself seems to be from Germany originally. Seems “bacho” is German for “buttock.” I’m not sure how that eventually related to the bacon we know today, unless they make theirs from the backside of the pig. Now I’m wondering if they sell bacho tacos over there at a restaurant called Bacho Bell.
Georgia has a county named Bacon, and Alabama has one named Coffee. Here in Florida we have a town called Two Egg. If only Mississippi had a place called Gritsville, we’d have the perfect geographical breakfast going on here in the southeast United States.
Bacon-flavored coffee exists, and if I could invent coffee-flavored bacon, I could probably retire a rich man. I’d like to think that the research would be delicious, but I’m pretty sure I’d be all wild and squirrelly while doing the taste testing.
And with the all the artery clogging that would be going on, with my luck I’d keel over just about the time I got the formula perfected.
There is an old saying that goes “You are what you eat.” With that in mind, I’m guessing that if bacon was at the top of my favorite foods, along with pork chops, ham cracklin’s, I’d be a “porker” indeed.
I will leave you with a better knowledge and appreciation for bacon, hopefully, plus an announcement. Go get your calendar and circle Sept. 3 for 2022, so you don’t miss International Bacon Day like I did this time around.
I’m not sure how it’s officially celebrated, or what we’re supposed to do, though. I’m wondering if the tradition is to go hog-wild and eat bacon with every meal, or perhaps that we abstain completely, and grant pigs everywhere a day of amnesty.
I’ll get back with you on that.
Meanwhile, I think I’ll scare me up a good ol’ BLT club sandwich for lunch and enjoy every bite.
That’ll do it for this week, so like our ol’ buddy Porky Pig says, “Th-th-that’s all, folks!”