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International Bacon Day: Celebrating the Goodness That Is Bacon

Who doesn’t love bacon?  Even those who are not allowed to eat bacon – maybe especially those who are not allowed to eat bacon – love it! There is just something about biting into a crisp strip of cured pork that is absolutely irresistible, isn’t there? Bacon has even gone beyond being a simple food item that we like eating at breakfast. Believe it or not, you can now find products like bacon lip balm! For our purposes, though, we are focusing on what we can do with bacon in the kitchen.

Bacon

Bacon

How Bacon Is Made

We all know what bacon is, but just to make it official… Bacon is simply cured pork. Did you know, though, that there is such a thing as “green bacon”? No, this is not a Dr. Seuss creation. This is what they call bacon that has been freshly cured; that is, treated with lots and lots of salt. Bacon can be cured either by soaking pork in brine or by simply packing it with dry salt.

More often than not, green bacon is dried, boiled, or smoked. The bacon that we buy at the store is usually one of the three. Another important difference is that you have to cook green bacon and dried bacon, while boiled or smoked bacon may be eaten as is. However, you may still opt to cook the latter two.

Bacon Cuts

Bacon lovers will already know that there are different kinds of bacon to be enjoyed, and one of the classifications is the cut. Here is a quick look at the common cuts of bacon.

  • Side bacon – also known as streaky bacon and is taken from the pork belly. This is the most common kind of bacon you can find in the United States. Pancetta – Italian bacon – also falls under this group.
  • Middle bacon – taken from the side of the pig. It has lower fat content than side bacon.
  • Back bacon – also called Irish bacon and Canadian bacon. This has even lower fat content than middle bacon. This is the most common kind of bacon you can find in the UK.
  • Cottage bacon – taken from a shoulder cut. It is also very lean and thinly sliced.
  • Jowl bacon – as the name implies, it comes from the cheeks of the pig.

International Bacon Day

I would write about bacon any time – as much as I would eat it, actually – but this weekend, we are celebrating International Bacon Day and that makes everything extra special. Yes, there is such a holiday, albeit an unofficial one. International Bacon Day is the brainchild of bacon lovers (duh) Seth and his schoolmates at CU Boulder, Colorado. The first celebration was held in 2004, on the first Saturday before Labor Day.

What to do on International Bacon Day? It’s up to you, but you can start the day with bacon, have lunch with bacon, and then make dinner that has bacon as well! To help you with that, let’s take a look at some bacon recipes you won’t be able to resist – bacon holiday or not.

Bacon Recipes

Bacon for Breakfast

Maple Bacon Pancake

Maple Bacon Pancake

The most important meal of the day is breakfast, or so they say; so the best thing that you can have for breakfast tomorrow is none other than bacon! The simplest way to go about it is to fry those strips of meat and fat till they are golden, crispy brown. If, however, you want have other things to go with the bacon, here are some tasty breakfast treats that will get you up and about early on a Saturday morning.

First up is this Maple Bacon Pancake. Oh, I am such a sucker for pancake and waffles, so yes, this for breakfast is heavenly for me! Alternatively, you can try this recipe for Apple-Bacon Pancakes with Cider Syrup.

If you prefer waffles over pancakes, then this Brown Sugar Bacon Waffles recipe is going to make you oh so happy. It’s simple, but I think it’s still one of the best kinds of waffles.

Bacon for breakfast is not all about pancakes and waffles, though. This recipe for Bacon and Eggs Over Asparagus sounds heavenly to me! And of course, a Country Breakfast is always a great way to start a leisurely Saturday or Sunday.

Eat like a champion for breakfast with these recipes:

Bacon for Lunch or Dinner

Pork Chops Stuffed with Smoked Gouda and Bacon

Pork Chops Stuffed with Smoked Gouda and Bacon

After having a bacon-filled breakfast, you ought to think about the next two meals of the day. After all, you are celebrating International Bacon Day. It’s not a crime to have bacon all day long! If I were to choose, I would have this for lunch tomorrow: Pork Chops Stuffed with Smoked Gouda and Bacon. Come on – you don’t even have to see the recipe to know that this is going to be one awesome dish!

If you’re a pizza lover, I think this simple Bacon Asparagus Pizza will make you happy. But if it’s pasta that you are craving for, get out that pasta pot and start boiling some linguine to make Peppered Bacon and Tomato Linguine.

One thing that concern people when it comes to bacon is the fat and calorie content. We can’t really do much about that, but here’s a recipe that makes a compromise, I think: Bacon-Wrapped Salmon. Can food get much better than that?

Other bacon-infused dishes for lunch and/or dinner:

Bacon for Dessert

Maple Praline Bacon

Maple Praline Bacon

Believe it or not, bacon has made its way to the dessert table! I have personally not tried any bacon desserts, but from what I hear, they are actually delicious. If you think about it, if we can mix bacon in sweetish dishes like pancake and waffles, why can’t bacon be turned into a dessert, right? So I present to you Maple Praline Bacon – the ultimate dessert for International Bacon Day.

If you want to tone it down just a little bit, you might want to consider mixing bacon into your cookie dough. These Maple-Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies are a good way to try bacon out for dessert if you’re not utterly convinced about the first recipe above. And here’s an alternative cookie with bacon recipe: Chocolate-Chocolate Chip Bacon Cookies.

Now if you’re really adventurous, there is only one bacon dessert you should try this weekend. Think fudge. Then think bacon. What do you get? Fudgy Bacon Supreme!

I don’t know about you, but I am very much regretting not buying any bacon when I went to the supermarket earlier this week.

Bacon photo via Dave77459

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