The rise of the Internet also gave rise to the popularity of bacon, with a lot of people declaring their love and addiction to bacon, putting up websites and clubs in the name of bacon, and sharing their delicious and sometimes bizarre recipes, innovations, and reinventions of bacon. Bacon is perhaps one of the most loved and addictive foods in the world, and has in recent years, become the national meat of America.
Any lackluster dish can be made more flavorful and delicious with the addition of bacon. A sprinkling of bacon on sauté, stews, soups, casseroles, pasta, salad, vegetable, fish, and meat dishes can make them tasty, aromatic and sumptuous, and can turn the ordinary to great. The chain lards in bacon has a pleasant savory taste called “umami,” which enhances the flavors of other dishes.
The phenomenal craze for bacon is called “bacon mania,” and has resulted in outlandish recipes like bacon doughnuts, bacon-infused vodka, bacon whisky, bacon coffee, deep-fried bacon, chocolate-dipped bacon, chicken fried bacon, bacon explosion (two pounds of bacon wrapped around two pounds of sausage), bacon mints, candied bacon, baconnaise, bacon cookies, bacon cupcakes, bacon salt, bacon sauce, and hard-boiled eggs coated in mayonnaise and wrapped in bacon.
When the popular fast food joint, Wendy’s released “Baconator,” a half-pound cheeseburger with six strips of bacon on top, it sold 25 million Baconators in the first eight weeks. Other fast food joints soon followed suit and made their own version, offering various bacon burgers to the public. The ice cream company, Ben and Jerry’s introduced the Ice Cream Bacon, while Burger King came up with the Bacon Sundae. Jack in the Box, not to be left behind offered limited-edition Bacon Shake, which included vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, maraschino cherry, and bacon-flavored syrup.
Restaurants around the United States hold bacon and beer tasting nights, while celebrity chef Bobby Flay endorse such events as “Bacon of the Month” online and on national television. Some people feel that America’s obsession with bacon is a fitting reflection of over-consumption and the culture of obesity. Others find it refreshing and a direct rebellion to the health-conscious trend that is also so ubiquitous nowadays.
The love for bacon goes beyond food and many people have expressed their adoration for bacon by using it as material for art, crafts, and even science. There are bacon roses, bras and underwear made of bacon, bacon paintings, bacon sculptures, and bacon science experiments.