Bacon is everywhere these days. Besides being a popular breakfast (or any meal) item, you can find it in toothpaste, peanut brittle, dental floss, popcorn, vodka, mints and even candles. Want to know more about that salty, smoky food? Here are 10 bacon bits to share over the breakfast table.
1. Bacon is a cured and salted pork product made from the side and back cuts of a pig.
2. Sept. 3 is International Bacon Day
3. Did you know bacon has a patron saint? It’s St. Anthony The Abbot, a patron of pigs, swineherds and butchers (among many other things), who is commonly portrayed with a pig. As a result he has come to be commonly known as “The Patron Saint of Bacon.”
4. Bacon helped make explosives in World War II. In addition to planting victory gardens and buying war bonds, households were encouraged to donate their leftover bacon grease. This rendered fat created glycerol, which was then used to make bombs, gunpowder and other munitions.
5. While research is still underway, here are three things bacon might do: cure hangovers, due to the amino acids in bacon; improve a fetus’s brain development, since it contains choline; and lower a man’s sperm count (like many other processed meats).
6. Sliced bacon is a $2 billion market. The average American eats about 18 pounds of bacon a year, almost the amount of bacon a 200-pound pig will yield (20 pounds).
7. Bacon dates back to 1500 BCE. It is believed that the Chinese were the first to cook salted pork bellies more than 3,000 years ago, making bacon one of the world’s oldest processed meats.
8. The phrase "bringing home the bacon" is believed to have originated in 12th century Great Dunmow, Essex, England, when a flitch (side) of bacon was awarded to married couples who could show their devotion and swear to not having regretted their marriage for a year and a day. This old tradition still survives in some pockets in England.
9. Oscar Meyer patented the first packed, sliced bacon in 1924.
10. Canadian bacon is not bacon … rather it is fully cooked, smoked pork loin.