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Hmmmn... in addition to being the tastiest of the cured pork products, it's also something of a cultural touchstone. It's fatty and decadent and often overused (one of our fast food chains has a sandwich festooned with six [!!!] strips o' the stuff). However, it's also oh-so delicious. As far as items which sum up the best/worst of America go, it's either that or Wal-Mart Supercenters (and I'll take the former... dipped in maple syrup, ideally).

I'm American and I don't get it either. Yuck.

Apparenty - and I have no problem being corrected - USA bacon is thin strips, and crispy, crispy. Not like what they serve here in RSA (especially in hotels) - large moist soggy bacon.

Well, besided being amazingly delicious, it is also incredibly bad for you, right? I mean, I know in America we know NOTHING about moderation, and I know in America we are the most obnoxious about KNOWING about health, but in fact are the fattest nation in the world. BUT, between the nitrates, the fat, the sodium - well, there's just nothing in it that's good for you. Eating something with no nutritional value whatsoever - eating something based on it's wonderfully yummy taste alone - well, it's DECADENT.

So, that is what I think is up with Americans and Bacon.

South African bacon is slightly different than American bacon-- in fact Americans call it "Canadian bacon".

American bacon is from the pork belly, a different, much fattier part of the pig. You can see all of the ripples of fat and it's super greasy. Definately not something you should eat every morning if you don't want to die of a heart attack. Here's a photo from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Bacongrease.jpg

We Americans definitely have lots of jokes about bacon, and how everything is better with bacon on it/in it. (We'll joke about sprinkling bacon bits on our ice cream--which of course no one ever does.....but it does sound kind of good!) (Although I HAVE had a chocolate bar with bacon in it. Not as good as a plain chocolate bar with a strip of bacon on top might have been, but interesting......)
I agree that we have sort of made bacon the pinnacle of bad-for-you deliciousness, and that's why you hear about it all the time. Strangely enough, my favorite bacon product isn't American, though; it's Lithuanian. Yeast rolls stuffed with bacon-onion filling. Bacon buns, we call them. We then proceed to tell non-Lithuanian guests that they are dry and unpleasant, so maybe they'll leave them alone and we can have them all to ourselves! But invariably they notice our moans of gustatory pleasure and the secret is out.

This weekend I visited my MIL & FIL out in the country, and they took my kids to go visit a neighbor who's raising 2 pigs. Named Pork Chop and Bacon. Heh.

I agree - our "bacon" is different from what you probably perceive as bacon. We use it for so many other things - cooking it with green beans, wrapping it around chicken breasts (or shrimp or jalapeno peppers stuffed with cream cheese - excuse me while I wipe away the drool), crumbling it to put on top of baked potatoes or salads...

American and not a fan (I don't eat pork). However, I do like the flavors they smoke the bacon with -- for those flavors alone, I eat vegetarian bacon (mmmm....soy!). BUT, bacon is used in oh so many things -- wrapping shrimp or scallops, my husband layers it over the top of the thanksgiving tukey while it bakes...

And to the previous commenter, in re.: bacon ice cream. It exists. I've seen it. At an ice cream parlor that also has made "sweet corn" ice cream among others. Sadly, I didn't get there with any pork eating friends in time to find out if it was any good.

Must I defend the bacon love? LOL!

For me, as a lazy American, its a treat because its messy and dangerous to cook so I rarely have it. I'm also a salt addict and there is nothing so salty as bacon.

There. I can't speak for all Americans but that is why I love bacon (when I love bacon).

My husband and I are vegetarians and don't serve meat to our children in our home. When we are out, we let them have meat if they choose to, and bacon is the one item that they are completely obsessed with. They'd pass up just about anything else for a strip or two of bacon! I'm not a regular watcher of The Simpsons, but isn't "mmmmm bacon" a Homer Simpson quote?

Yeah, I hate that we get blamed for the fatty, soggy bacon (Canadians). Me, I like the thin and crispy stuff, same as the next person. And it's salty, horribly bad for you, oh-so-wrong . . . but it's great in sandwiches, on pizza, with breakfast, in a car, on a plane, with or without Sam I Am.

thin, crispy, salth strips of bacon. Yum. It's very terrible for you, but it is so good that in the moment you wouldn't mind dying if death tasted like bacon.

We only eat it once a month on blts and then again as part of Christmas breakfast.

Mmmmm. Bacon.

Canadian "bacon" is not bacon.

Just had to add - they totally DO have bacon flavored ice cream! I've never tried it (ewww, can't even imagine...) but it does exist!

And regarding your last post - so sorry Kate is still feeling miserable! Poor thing - I hope the pain managment works out a little better today.
:) Becky
http://www.stinkylemsky.typepad.com/

You know about the Forbidden Fruit, right? Well, bacon is the Forbidden Meat. ;)

With the cholesterol, fat & sodium in bacon it's yumminess makes it all the more enticing.

We LOVE what we're not supposed to have.

Me? I'm all about the bacon cheeseburger. :)

I'm American and I have no idea! I did not realize we were so obsessed with bacon. But our bacon is different from the bacon my English sister in law eats/serves. It is flavorful. But I'm not too into it. We eat very little meat here.

Quite un-American actually.

I'm also an American Vegetarian and I eat soy bacon on my lunchtime sandwiches every day. I was not a big real-bacon fan, but the soy stuff is great. I do see why meat eaters love the real stuff - it's crispy and very flavorful and full of fat (which I don't like on most anything, but I see why people do).

http://www.seeveggiesdifferently.com/product_detail.aspx?id=352

I was watching a show on the Food Network last night and one of the cocktails featured was bourbon and bacon drippings. The guy who tried it loved it.

American bacon is thin and crispy, like a pig cracker. I'm not a huge fan, but there are times and places when only bacon will do.

I'm also an American Vegetarian and I eat soy bacon on my lunchtime sandwiches every day. I was not a big real-bacon fan, but the soy stuff is great. I do see why meat eaters love the real stuff - it's crispy and very flavorful and full of fat ( I don't like the full-of-fat in most anything, but I see why people do).

http://www.seeveggiesdifferently.com/product_detail.aspx?id=352

Mmmmm....bacon.

It's everything bad for you...salty, full of saturated fat. It's also crispy and sizzly (is that a word?) and in a country that has just begun to list calorie counts on restaurant menus (New York City with other cities soon on the way), it's a bit of decadence that says "screw you and your calorie counting, bring on the lard!"

What poor timing for this conversation...I only packed a salad for lunch. It pales in comparison to a bacon cheeseburger. ;)

Reminds me of this Beggin' Strips commercial! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WvxgM3lr-mg

I'm american and bacon is ok, I can take it or leave it. We do not eat it much around here. I hate cooking it (tons of grease everywhere) and if I do buy it, I get the microwave type. The only thing I have to say I really like are BLT sandwiches but only make those a few times a year. I really don't know anyone who just is in love with it, maybe it's regional! It is really bad for you, and anyone who is health conscious really won't eat much of it!

Mmmm... bacon!

Salon has a lovely article that explains the American obsession with bacon: http://www.salon.com/mwt/feature/2008/07/07/bacon_mania/index.html

Well, darnit, I think the whole Salon link didn't show in my previous post:

http://www.salon.com/mwt/feature/2008/07/07/
bacon_mania/index.html

I've never been to SA (sadly), but spent a semester in London. If SA bacon is like English bacon (and I bet it is), then it's quite different from American bacon.

I'm more or less vegetarian, but I simply cannot give up bacon. Even though it's horrifyingly bad for me. It's just sooooo yummy and salty and crispy.

Mmmm....bacon....

Ok, Im a S'effrican but here is my 2 cents...

As a 'good' Jew, I dont eat pork or mix meat and milk or even eat shellfish, but once in a while (really really) when we go out for breakfast, I will eat the bacon that comes with Pauls meal (he usually orders his meal with no bacon), I always ask for extra crispy and I relish every moment. Its bad for me, its oily and greasy and my arteries cry when they see it coming and of course its completely forbidden but it is so yummy and such a treat I cant help myself...

I couldn't eat it after reading an account by a slaughterhouse worker in the book "Skinny Bitch" that pigs are intelligent, friendly animals who sometimes come up to him and snuffle him (not unlike a dog would) before he kills them by ramming a spike into their brains through their eyes. Bacon? No, thank you.

Tertia -- now you can become a multi-millionaire by introducing the wonders of bacon to a virgin population!!

Don't know if it's been mentioned ... but it is critical that bacon be served hot, right off the griddle. Buffet bacon is just not the same. Ditto re-heated microwave frozen bacon from (most) fast-food outlets.

Bacon, it is the forbidden meat. Fatty, messy to cook, terrible for you, but delicious. I'm 34 and just recently bought and cooked bacon at home for the first time ever (thick-cut pepper bacon no less). It was part of a recipe I had to try. After doing that I told my husband I hoped he enjoyed it because I was not buying bacon again for another 10 years. I'm afraid if I let myself buy it it will become a staple around here.

Last night I watched a show where they chocolate coated bacon, and then topped with with almonds.

How's this for a timely post on the subject of bacon?!

http://offsprung.com/ltbd/2008/07/10/everything-tastes-better-with-bacon/#more-30

Oh, and we have a bakery out here who puts bacon on top of maple bars. YUM!!!

Oh, and we have a bakery out here who puts bacon on top of maple bars. YUM!!!

It's just delicious. It's just a long thin strip of fat and muscle, but I find it oh-so-yummy. It's high in sodium and fat, so I eat it very infrequently. I like mine very well done - crispy, wheras my Dh likes his "run through a warm room." (blech!)

It's also very good wrapped around a scallop & grilled, or wrapped around two pieces of asparagus and sauteed in butter. No, wait - that's prosciutto wrapped around the asparagus. Ooooh, that's lovely.

Yes, it's awful that animals are killed the way they are, but dagnabit, I really enjoy meat, although I don't eat it often.

I'm an American. I eat in moderation and am NOT fat OR lazy, thank you very much! Have a lovely day, Tertia! Hope all these responses help with your bacon query. :)

As an American, I love bacon, and probably shouldn't. It's just the crispiness of it...and mmmm, so good with maple syrup. But if you really want to get into weird foods, you should read up on scrapple...delicious!

We like it because it's delicious and fattening, which means that we (the people constantly trying to diet) can never have it, except for an occasional treat. However though, I am quite fond of turkey bacon, which is not nearly as bad for you. But your bacon looks quite different from ours, Google "oscar mayer bacon" to see what ours looks like. I think ours looks like it has more fat in the pieces, which is probably why people here are so crazed over it.

I am entirely hugely fond of bacon. I've even purchased bacon-flecked chocolate from Vosges.

Most people like their bacon crispy, but I prefer it a little on the soggy floppy side. I'm also really, really fond of proscuitto ham. Maybe this explains the liking-floppy-bacon?

It's good stuff.

I'm a safa but live in the US..LOVE BACON, out here they have maple flavored bacon and quite honestly there is nothing more delicious, also love bacon with my pancakes or waffles...it is slightly thinner strips than what you get in SA. It's the only reason I can't become a vegetarian :) oh and I have never heard of anyone having it with ice-cream, as much as I love it I couldn't do that!

I do not eat pork (Jewish), but my fellow Americans are correct in describing bacon as the "forbidden" meat. It is loaded with fat and salt and is absolutely horrible for you, but Americans typically eat it in excess. As they do everything else...in excess...

Here it is sliced very thin, marbled with lots of fat, and cooked very VERY crispy. It is quite delicious! I can't quite put my finger on what makes it so good, but it just is. I think that part of the pig is just full of flavor. Oh great, now I am craving bacon...which I can't have....damn you! All you bacon eaters!

http://www.mapleleaf.com/Consumerproducts/images/brands/ml_bacon.jpg

BACON!!!!!!!!!!!

I was just reading about bacon the other day (I know, how completely random, and who would have thought that this info. would come in handy at all in my lifetime) and it turns out that what Americans refer to as "Canadian bacon" is actually back bacon, but what Canadians refer to as "Canadian bacon" is actually peameal bacon. Mmm...peameal bacon...so good.

This must be the most boring comment ever, but I felt like someone else needed to know the random things that I keep finding out!

What I find more intriguing about Americans than the bacon issue (or possibly it's just the American hotels I've been in, and therefore I apologize to all Americans if this is indeed the case)is the obssession with biscuits and gravy for breakfast. Bacon for breakfast I can see , but gravy seems a bit over the top (and this is coming from a person who LOVES gravy, just not as a breafast food).

I'm from SA and I LOVE LOVE bacon, oooh my favourite, cherries wrapped in bacon, Bacon on flapjacks with syrup, Bacon, egg and cheese toasted sandwiches. Chicken breasts stuffed with bacon and mozzarella.

But that said I only buy the "like it lean" bacon, all those fat, super gross or I cut the fat off and feed it to the cats.

I must be in the minority. I don't like bacon at all, the American kind. I like the ones in your picture, what we call Canadian bacon.

Yeah, your bacon is what us crazy americans call "Canadian Bacon" which is really like a thicker Ham cut...

I have no idea where or why there's so much obsession w/ Bacon in this country. BUT... my husband is obsessed w/ it. So much so that I got him for his birthday last year a membership to the "Bacon of the Month" club. They sent him (to work!!! so all the people in the mailroom could see his box come in w/ "BACON OF THE MONTH" printed all over it!!! Priceless.) bacon from various gourmet bacon places once a month for an entire year. Oh, and a commemorative T-shirt, too. He had it on yesterday. LOL.

http://www.gratefulpalate.com/?p=Category_11

Enjoy.

This is how much we love bacon:

http://www.scalzi.com/whatever/004457.html

Goddamn. Just reading the comments has made me want bacon.

I'm american thru and thru and I have asked this same question many many times. I DO NOT GET the whole bacon is the best food in the world thing. At all. Of course, I'm not a pork eater, but I've had turkey bacon and beef bacon and bacon salt and it does literally nothing for me. NOTHING.

Now, a pastrami on rye. THAT is worth dying for.

Thank you, Akeeyu!! A week or two ago I was trying to remember the name of that nice science fiction writer whose blog I so enjoyed reading a few years ago. Couldn't remember his name for the life of me, and now here you are today providing a link!

Or perhaps I should be thanking the American love of all things bacon?!

Its true what they say, American bacon is quite tasty and another thing alltogether from the bacon I have sampled abroad. Its forbiden fruit to a lot of women.. so salty, crispy, and dripping fat.

I wish I could buy Canadian Bacon rashers. Every time I shop for bacon (in Seattle) I try and find the big pieces like at home but they only have this stuff that is mainly fat. I am envious of your bacon.

Also, my dad used to fry up the rind into crackling crispy things for breakfast and we all loved that best. The bacon doesn't come with that rind on it here. Ugh.

Crispy fried bacon strips on tomatoes, lettuce, mayonnaise, whole wheat bread sandwich. Bacon strips wrapped around scallops or water chestnuts or filet mignon or shrimp and grilled. Crisp bacon bits to top a wilted spinach and scallion salad, using the grease with the vinegar and sugar as a dressing. Fatback bacon simmered with fresh picked green beans, onions, a bit of sugar, all day! Crisp bacon bits to top a baked potato covered with sour cream. Crisp fried bacon served with eggs, any style; pancakes or waffles and maple syrup or honey; oatmeal sprinkled with brown sugar.
What's NOT to love about bacon?!? (Well, except the calories, salt, fat, etc etc etc!) :)

Oh Tertia, that ain't bacon! OK, we call it Canadian bacon, but bacon is thin strips and it crisps up and it tastes quite different from Canadian bacon, aka ham. You been douped girl, you got the wrong stuff!

This is one of my new favorite products - Bacon Salt! http://www.baconsalt.com/

And this might explain why 61% of Americans are overweight! I can say that because I am in that category... and I have bacon in my fridge.

Bacon brought me back from three years of vegetarianism. Yum, bacon!

I'm another Seth Efricen but have also lived in the UK and USA. SA Bacon, UK Bacon and Canadian Bacon all very similar and close to ham in flavour and texture - tend to be thicker and not crispy unless you get the streaky bacon in SA. USA bacon, is much crisper - gotta lurv that Oscar Meyer stuff - heart attack on a plate so just so yummy !

Bacon ice cream! BLECH!! We Americans love our indulgences, but that's going a little too far. LOL

If you want to try it, you can get "American" bacon in RSA -- it's called "rindless streaky bacon." I liked the brand at Spar that you could find near the deli section. I can't remember the name, but it's with the fancier packaged deli meats. I always cook it in a pan on about medium heat until it's crisp-ee. Mmmmm.

I'll tell you, there is plenty I like about the rest of the world, but America really has the market cornered on breakfast.

freshly.smoked.bacon.right.from.the.farmers.market.is...
amazing.

I have no idea who the guy is that does it, but there is a very funny bacon comedy act you can find on youtube. I have dial up so I can't easily look it up.

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