The scent of bacon frying can launch the lightest appetite or prompt a vegetarian to have second thoughts.

Recognizing America’s love affair with bacon, the American Meat Institute this week released a new brochure “Six Degrees of Bacon” that aims to address some common questions about its favorite “meat candy,” with the release of a new educational brochure, “Six Degrees of Bacon.”

The Chinese are said to have begun salting pork bellies as early as 1500 B.C.  Today, the refrigerated bacon category is a $2.1 billion industry, with volume sales up 7.5 percent in the 52 weeks ending January 24, 2010 – during the nation’s economic downturn. And it’s not just for breakfast anymore.

“Bacon is enjoying an almost cult-like following these days,” said AMI Senior Vice President of Public Affairs and Member Services Janet Riley.  “It is the subject of dozens of Facebook fan pages and bacon blogs with tens of thousands of members. Foods as diverse as vodka and chocolate are flavored with it.  Pork bacon is listed as #7 on JW Thompson’s list of “100 Things to Watch in 2010,” a list that also includes electric cars, 3-D television and Japan’s first lady.”

AMI’s “Six Degrees of Bacon” is a fact-filled guide that explains, for example, that the bacon lettuce tomato sandwich, better known as the BLT, became popular when fresh lettuce and tomatoes became available year-round after World War II.  The guide also strives to answer six commonly asked questions about this popular pork product:

• Where and when did the term bacon originate?
• Where does bacon come from and how is it made?
• What is Canadian bacon?
• What percentage of bacon is eaten during breakfast, lunch, dinner or snack?
• What are the top-selling bacon brands?
• What are the top 10 bacon consuming markets in the United States?

 “There’s no question that Americans are bringing home the bacon,” noted Riley. “But most people don’t know a whole lot about its history, or even where it comes from.  Our new guide pays tribute to this American classic.”

View the “Six Degrees of Bacon” guide. This brochure is the first in a series that will spotlight popular meat products.

Source: AMI