‘You Had Me at Bacon’

If you’ve noticed a growing trend of bacon memes over the years, you’re not alone. Bacon is deliciously unstoppable and has steadily made its way into everything from ice cream (we kid you not!) and bacon-flavoured lip balm (yes, it exists and people actually use it!) to a dating app which claims ‘when you're looking for love, you can only hope to find someone you love as much as bacon. While Sizzl can't guarantee that, it can guarantee your match will love bacon as much as you do.’

Suffice it to say, much of the world loves bacon so it makes sense that it would have its own unofficial holiday – International Bacon Day, celebrated on the Saturday before American Labor Day, which this year makes it 31 August.

But where did our love of bacon first begin? According to Bacon Scouts, bacon dates back thousands of years (1500 BC) to China, but it’s said that the Ancient Romans also had an early version of bacon called ‘petaso’. The etymology of ‘bacon’ itself can come from a variety of sources – it could be the French word ‘bako’, the German ‘bakkon’ and the Teutonic ‘backe’ all of which denote the back of the pig and were in use before the 12th century. Four hundred years later ‘bacon’ came to mean any kind of pork, but by the 17th century, it had come to exclusively mean the delicacy we enjoy today.

Cuts of bacon can roughly be divided into five types:

  • Side or streaky bacon which is taken from the pork belly – pancetta is an Italian version of this
  • Back bacon which has meat taken from the loin in the middle of the back
  • Collar bacon which is cut from the back of a pig near its head
  • Cottage bacon – more commonly known as shoulder bacon, and
  • Jowl bacon which is taken from the cheeks of the pig – very popular in the Southern United States

If pork is your meat of choice then N1 – leading Johannesburg and Cape Town meat wholesalers – offer a wide variety of products to choose from, ranging from various bacon cuts to ribs, schnitzels, cold meats, burgers and sausages. And for those unable to eat pork, N1 also offer macon – cured and smoked cuts of mutton produced in a similar way to pork bacon.

In conclusion – and speaking of bacon memes – we’ll be closing with The Bacon Poem:

‘Roses are red.

Bacon is also red.

Poems are hard.

Bacon!’