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International Bacon Day

In January of 2004, three graduate students at University of Colorado Boulder—Seth Rittenhouse, Evan Salim, and Alexa Halford—came up with the idea for International Bacon Day, and began celebrating it on the Saturday before Labor Day. On International Bacon Day, some people cook with bacon at home, some have bacon at restaurants, and some attend bacon-themed parties.

In the United States, bacon refers to meat from the belly of a pig, known as the pork belly. Bacon from the loin is called Canadian bacon. To make bacon, the pork is cured using salt and is then dried, boiled, or smoked. The smoking of bacon is often done with hickory, mesquite, or maple wood, and flavors such as brown sugar or maple may be added. More often than not, bacon is pan-fried, and it is popular as a breakfast food, in sandwiches like the BLT or club sandwich, as a complement to salads, and in wrapping other foods.

"Bacon mania" has swept the United States and Canada since the late 1990s, where there has been a great increase in the amount of bacon being eaten, and in the number of new bacon recipes. The high sodium and nitrate content of bacon that lower its health benefits has not seemed to much slow down the bacon craze. And being that International Bacon Day was created in the United States in the mid-2000s, it is reflective of the continued rise in the popularity of bacon throughout the country at the time.

How to Observe International Bacon Day

The day should be celebrated by eating bacon! The creators of the day suggest eating bacon waffles with a side of bacon for breakfast, eating BLTs with a side of bacon for lunch, and tasting various types of bacon recipes for dinner, perhaps by cooking them on the grill. They encourage everyone to celebrate the day, mentioning that vegetarians can eat soy bacon, while those who don't eat pork on religious grounds can eat turkey bacon. They also suggest the watching Kevin Bacon movies, and movies where pigs get the lead roles, such as Babe.

Bacon-themed parties have become an important part of the day, and have been held all around the world. Celebrate by hosting your own bacon party, or attend someone else's. Make a bacon dish or appetizer for other guests to try.

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