Let’s start with the not-so-great-news: the hard truth is that because bacon is a processed food that’s high in sodium, nitrates and saturated fat, it’s probably something that’s best to have in moderation. But the good news is that generally bacon is a side dish (and in some cases just a topping or garnish), meaning a serving is actually relatively small, which leaves lots of room on your plate for healthier, wholesome foods to balance out the bacon!
Somehow everything really does just seem better with bacon, so why not enjoy it every now and then?
In fact, it’s possible that North Americans have been enjoying bacon for almost 500 years! An explorer named Hernando De Soto, often called the father of the American pork industry, brought the first 13 pigs to America in 1539.1 That tiny herd grew to 700 in just three years, and now there are an estimated 110 million pigs in the United States.2
Bacon is such a well-loved treat that it even has its own day. Celebrated on February 25, National Bacon Day is the perfect excuse to get out your frying pan and cook up some of that crispy, smoky deliciousness!
Of course you can simply fry it up and serve it with scrambled eggs and a pile of fresh fruit – even for dinner – but why not try something a little different to celebrate this delectable treat?
Check out these delightfully different ways to use bacon!
- Nigella Lawson’s bacon brownies
- Maple bacon cookie dough truffles from Genius Kitchen
- Bacon jam, courtesy of Chin Deep
- Hot and cheesy bacon dip from Today’s Creative Life
- Maple Bacon pancakes from A Thousand Threads
- Bacon and cheddar scones from My Baking Addiction
- Bacon crusted beer mac and cheese from Melanie Makes
- David Lebovitz’s Candied bacon ice cream
If weird and wonderful just isn’t your thing, you can still try these tips from Food Network3 for frying the perfect slice of bacon:
- Bacon is best cooked from room temperature, so take it out of the fridge 15 – 20 minutes before cooking.
- Don’t preheat your skillet. Lay your bacon in the skillet, without overlapping, if possible, and then turn on the heat. This allows for the fat to render slowly, making for more consistently cooked bacon.
- Cook over medium heat, turning each piece as needed until desired crispness is achieved. This usually takes 8 – 12 minutes.
- Drain well on a paper-towel-lined plate.
416896 A CAN/US (02/19)