Bring on the Bacon

By: Nathan Ballard

Bacon seems to be extraordinarily popular and you can’t swing a cat without hitting a bacon-flavored product.  Where did bacon come from, was it always this popular, and more specifically, what is it doing now?

Apparently, bacon has been consumed for quite an extensive amount of time over a wide geographic range, possibly dating all the way back to 1500 BCE China and also to ancient Rome, according to Natalie Bacon of  Furthermore, the fairly favorable saying “bring home the bacon” comes from a 12th century England church challenge: couples that could abstain from quarrelling for one year would be given a side of bacon (Today, it is primarily a saying for prosperity).

Let’s move forward about 900 years.  Just about anyone (at least in the United States) can partake in this “bacon mania” where items such as bacon soda, bacon gum, various paraphernalia, and increasingly innovative recipes can be easily found.  Not only are there items, there are news articles, various websites, and events cropping up all over.  For example, websites, such as, give various sources of bacon enthusiasm from a shop to bacon-related restaurant reviews. There are also events for enthusiasts, as exemplified by a BBC news piece encouraging contestants to eat a pound of bacon within a 5 minute time limit.

Of course, there are concerns about the consumption of bacon and relations to cholesterol and heart disease.  To that, I would say to take everything in moderation (in other words, not trying to eat a pound of bacon in 5 minutes, perhaps). These are just a few of the many things bacon has brought about, and considering that it’s been around since ancient time, there’s a good likelihood bacon isn’t going away anytime soon.  Unless away is my stomach, in which case it may be going there shortly after I finish making this BLT.

Science Meets Food

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  1. Bacon is the BEST!!! Not too sure about bacon-flavored products though. I like my bacon flavor coming from bacon.

  2. Emery Mondy

    Bacon may be eaten smoked, boiled, fried, baked, or grilled, or used as a minor ingredient to flavour dishes. Bacon is also used for barding and larding roasts, especially game, e.g. venison, pheasant. The word is derived from the Old High German bacho, meaning “buttock”, “ham” or “side of bacon”, and cognate with the Old French bacon…^*`

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