Bacon mania refers to the enthusiasm for bacon in the United States, and has also been described using the phrase Bacon Nation. The popularity of novel bacon dishes, as well as other bacon items, has been spread through the internet. Bacon's popularity in the United States has been traced to the 1980s and 1990s when high-protein foods came to be considered an important part of a balanced, healthy diet due in part to the Atkins diet and American lifestyle where fitness is not always paramount. Passionate bacon enthusiasts have identified themselves as bacon fanatics or "bacon freaks."
Newer bacon creations have joined more traditional foods like the BLT, Cobb salad, clams casino and club sandwich, besides bacon's most frequent appearance alongside eggs and other breakfast foods. Bacon has also been adapted into products including bacon bubble gum, bacon band-aids, and bacon air freshener. The growing popularity of bacon has encouraged product introductions such as bacon salt and baconnaise.
Bacon food oddities include the bacon explosion, chicken fried bacon, bacon ice cream, and chocolate covered bacon, all of which popularized over the internet. A 2009 Baltimore Sun story describes bacon as being "more than bacon," and stated that for "obsessive and adoring Bacon Nation it's about cheap thrills and a chance for Internet fame." Calling it "like an extreme sport," the article described the innovators and enthusiasts celebrating bacon in all its incarnations.
The increased interest in bacon has led to Bacon-of-the-month clubs, bacon recipe contests, blogs, and even "bacon camps" have formed to satisfy the hunger for bacon in all its forms. Seattle hosted a "bacon camp" where bacon was celebrated by purveyors of an assortment of bacon dishes and other bacon-related items. The phenomenon has been described as bacon mania.
The Portland Monthly noted that "Bacon is such a quintessential breakfast staple, even vegetarians stake a claim to their own versions." A website called "Bacon Today" was started to provide updates about bacon related happenings.
The San Francisco Weekly reported on the first "BaconCamp" held "in solidarity with the growing popularity of events (see the recent Grilled Cheese Invitational)" and reported that the event "demonstrated just how much of a high bacon is currently on in terms of notoriety and how far people are able to stretch one culinary theme". The event included lectures on bacon as art, a Power Point presentation of the Obacon project (a recreation of the famous Obama Hope poster), as well as judging and awards. The slide show from the event includes a wide range of innovative food and decorative bacon entities. The San Francisco Weekly advised those attending to live, breathe, and smell like it" and to bring a bacon dish.
In and around Baltimore, Maryland, bacon has featured at various eating and drinking establishments. At Bad Decisions bar in Fells Point people clamor for the "Bacon and Beer Happy Hours" and bar in Baltimore redoes its whole menu for "Bacon and Beer Happy Hours" and serves big bowls of bacon on the bar (using up 30 pounds of bacon in two hours). A cafe in Hampden offers the Bacon Bulleit, a cocktail of bourbon, lemon and maple syrup with applewood smoked bacon replacing the swizzle stick.
The "Bacon Takedown" competition in Brooklyn, New York was held March 29, 2009 and featured 30 contestants vying for the best bacon dish. The winner was bourboun-bacon ice cream. The "Bacon Mania" ABC News segment on the event noted that $2 billion in bacon was sold in the United States in 2008 and that "with the bacon business booming... you might say our love affair with the breakfast meat is more passionate than ever".
February 28, 2009 the second annual Blue Ribbon Bacon Festival in Des Moines Iowa hosted a sell out event for more than 300 people. The event was first held March 1, 2008 on National Pig Day. It was founded by Brooks Reynolds, a Des Moines insurance salesman who had been going on summer weekend bacon pilgrimages before deciding to bring the fried feast to the masses.  The event included a bacon eating contest. Atwood's Tavern in Cambridge Massachussets hosts an annual bacon eating contest.
- Hepola, Sarah (2008-07-07). "Bacon mania: Why are Americans so batty for bacon? It's delicious, it's decadent--and it's also a fashion statement". Salon.com. Retrieved 2009-03-15.
- Jenkins, Kathie (2008-11-06). "Baconmania is sweeping the nation". TwinCities.com. Retrieved 2009-04-05.
- Lapan, Tovin (2009-04-03). "Bacon Mania: Are U.S. Pigs Magical?". San Diego Union-Tribune. Retrieved 2009-04-05.
- "Robin Roberts also talked about Bacon-mania, and the country seemingly going bacon obsessed. 'Baconographers' say this is because bacon is a comfort food, and people are taking guilty pleasure in eating something that's nutritionally taboo, and then extracting even more bliss by exponentially increasing the decadence factor!" Tamsen, Trevor. "Robin Roberts Chats With News10 Goodmorning". KXTV. Retrieved 2009-04-05.
- Bacon Mania March 30, 2009 ABC News
- "Dan Taylor slathers Baconnaise on turkey sandwiches and has used it as a sauce to dunk steamed shrimp. The Lutherville foodie also makes a dip by crumbling bacon into warm cheese that he calls 'life-altering.' Phillip Kerrigan... recently tried bacon bread pudding, bacon peanut butter cups, bacon toffee and bacon rum. For a friend's birthday, he whipped up a batch of homemade bacon and egg ice cream. Here are just two proud soldiers of the burgeoning Bacon Nation, marching forward boldly and bravely, if somewhat greasily, striving to push the conventional limits of a once-ordinary breakfast meat." Rosen, Jill (2009-03-25). "Bacon nation: Devotees take this cheap meat to extremes". Baltimore Sun. Retrieved 2009-04-05.
- Meehan, Peter (2009-04-04). "Bacon is dead! Long live bacon!". Salon.com. Retrieved 2009-04-05. ]
- Marvel, Bill (2009-04-04). "We are living in the Golden Age of Bacon". The Dallas Morning News. Retrieved 2009-04-05.
- "'I'm a bacon fanatic,' he said. 'When I go out to breakfast, I order oatmeal with bacon on the side. Nothing tastes like bacon.'" "The fat of the land: popular, high-protein diet helps fuel bacon blitz". Rocky Mountain News. 200-06-06. Retrieved 2009-04-05. Check date values in:
- "So why are so many people suddenly so into bacon? James thinks it's about people taking guilty pleasure in eating something that's nutritionally taboo, and then extracting even more bliss by exponentially increasingly the decadence factor. A hot dog is bad for you. A hot dog wrapped in bacon and sandwiched between two oblong maple doughnuts is hard-core food porn." Jill Rosen, "Bacon nation."
- Carter, Noelle (2008-12-17). "Bacon will make it better". Anniston Star. Retrieved 2009-04-05.
- Carter, Noelle. "Daily Dish: The Bacon Explosion". Los Angeles Times Blog. Retrieved 2009-04-05.
- Carter, Noelle (2009-01-15). "Coffee cake to please a bacon lover". Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved 2009-04-05.
- Lazor, Drew (2009-03-24). "Bacon Salt: Don't Snort It". Philadelphia City Paper. Retrieved 2009-04-04.
- Cochrane, Kira (2009-03-05). "Going the whole hog". Mail & Guardian. Retrieved 2009-04-05.
- "Candied bacon ice cream". DavidLebovitz.com. Retrieved 2009-04-05.
- "Get Your BBQ On: Bacon-Infused Webinar Sheds Light on Social Media Marketing Viral Marketing Sensation BBQ Addicts Join Marketbright for a Free Webinar on Marketing 2.0". Marketwire. 2009-03-24. Retrieved 20009-04-06. line feed character in
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- "Bacon of the Month Club". The Grateful Palate. Retrieved 2009-03-15.
- "Food Gifts That Keep On Giving: From Utensils To Treats, Bobby Flay Likes To Give (Or Receive) These Presents". CBS. 2007-12-13. Retrieved 2009-03-15.
- "It inspires big-city chefs, down-home cooks and local food fans alike. It shows up at breakfast, lunch and dinner--even in dessert. The secret ingredient? Bacon... With a growing number of bacon blogs such as IHeartBacon.com and BaconToday.com, fans of the flavorful meat have plenty to talk about." Ketzenberger, Jolene (2009-03-24). "Bacon: An old favorite goes upscale". NewarkAdvocate.com. Retrieved 2009-04-06.
- Bacon camp.org
- Bacon camp.com
- Barker, Brian (March 2009). "B... Is for Bacon: Pork-Drunk Love". Portland Monthly. Retrieved 2009-04-06.
- "Bacon Today". Yards Media. Retrieved 2009-04-06.
- Tamara Palmer Saturday Gluttony: BaconCamp March 23 2009
- BaconCamp slide show
- Michael Leaverton March 13, 2009 Food Apocalypse San Francisco Weekly
- Weekend Scheduler Bacon Takedown New York Magazine
- Bacon takedown website
- Blue Ribbon Bacon Festival
- Bacon Fest 101 February 24, 2009 Des Moines Metromix
- Tom Perry 'Best' bacon made in Iowa February 25, 2009 Des Moines Register
- Bacon Festival NPR Blog
- Blue Ribbon eating contest 2008 video
- Blue Ribbon eating contest 2009 video
- Micah Bellieu Greasy does it at the Atwood Tavern Pig outing February 7, 2007 Boston Phoenix
- Video coverage of Atwood's 2008 event
- Nina Garin BACON PRANK: SqueezBacon, real or not? April 1, 2009 SignsonSanDiego.com
- Joanna Pruess Seduced by Bacon: Recipes & Lore about America's Favorite Indulgence October 1, 2006 The Lyons Press 192 pages ISBN-10: 1592288510 ISBN-13: 978-1592288519
[[Category:In popular culture]] [[Category:Pork]]