America’s favorite savory treat has sizzled beyond breakfast and into dishes as varied as martinis and ice cream. In fact, it’s become so popular that bacon as an ingredient accounts for nearly one-third of all bacon consumption and studies show that more than half of all households (53 percent) report that they always have bacon on hand in the kitchen.

"People are starting to realize that bacon is no longer just a breakfast staple,” says James Villas author of The Bacon Cookbook. “Bacon is, without a doubt, one of the most versatile and flavorful options in the grocery aisle. Most importantly, a little bacon goes a long way. A sprinkle can enhance not only the flavor, but also the aroma and appeal of nearly any dish. We’re seeing chefs and home cooks add bacon to dishes you wouldn’t expect, like popcorn or cookies, and take traditional tastes to another dimension.” 

International Bacon Day, scheduled for Sept. 5, marks the fifth anniversary of the holiday created by the Bacon Boys, a blogging duo from Colorado. The holiday has sparked a rally cry to celebrate, led strongly by the Royal Bacon Society.

“Who doesn’t love bacon?” said Marianne Clark, founder of the Royal Bacon Society. “We’re amazed to see how many people share our love for the greatest meat on earth and the attention it has received in recent years – from festivals and tasting events to cookbooks and Web sites. We‘re stepping up this year’s celebration to be bigger and better.”

According to a recent National Pork Board survey, 81 percent of Americans say they’re eager to join the celebration. To whet the appetites of bacon enthusiasts NPB is offering mouth-watering rasher recipes courtesy of TheOtherWhiteMeat.com and Villas’ The Bacon Cookbook:  

  • For brunch, start with a freshly baked Overnight Bacon Casserole, a classic union of bacon and cheddar cheese.
  • To quiet afternoon cravings Villas’ “Bacon-Almond Cheese Spread” or “Guacamole and Bacon Canapes” are perfect smooth, smoky and satisfying snacks.
  • For dinner, indulge in Barbecue Bacon-Wrapped Shrimp with Basil and Stuffing, a perfect combination of bacon, fresh basil, shrimp, parmesan cheese and garlic.
  • Sweet meets savory with delicious Bacon and Peanut Butter Cookies, and bacon adds fun to snacking with Bacon-Cheddar Popcorn.

Americans are familiar with the salted, smoked and sliced variety, but bacon has “cousins” around the world, including dry-cured, unsmoked Italian pancetta and the leanest of the bunch – Canadian bacon. Because it comes from the loin, Canadian bacon is leaner and lower in calories, with only 4 grams of fat and 11 grams of protein per 2-ounce serving.

NPB has everything bacon fans need to get a bacon fix and find fun and unique ways to celebrate Bacon Day. Visit TheOtherWhiteMeat.com for tips, fun bacon facts and more than 30 bacon recipes to share with friends and family.

Source: National Pork Board