Not one, or two, but five days of the year are celebrated in various places by various groups — mostly ‘unofficially’ — as Bacon Day. But why argue over dates? Just enjoy the bacon.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- Are you sick and tired of celebrating the same old winter holidays?
- Do you belong to a diverse group of individuals who all celebrate different gift-giving December holidays?
- Are you sick and tired of having different Christmas/Hanukah/Solstice/Kwanzaa/Tom Waits’ birthday celebrations?
- Do you just flat out love bacon?
If you answered "Yes" to any of these questions, there is a holiday just for you: Bacon Day, which is celebrated, at least by a couple of clever college students, every Dec. 30th each year.
Now, that’s not the ideal day to celebrate anything, since Dec. 30 falls during the post-Christmas period of recovery from weeks of holiday partying, and is primarily a rest day prior to the biggest party day of all on New Year’s Eve.
But the “inventors” of this appropriate, if somewhat untimely holiday, are a pair of out-there pranksters named Danya Goodman and Meff Leonard.
Goodman describes herself as “a raging psychotic vocalist who started her own death metal band Bloody Fusion, served as the host of a food dehydrator infomercial and spent four years lying to her parents about the tattoo of Satan stretched across her back.”
Leonard claims to have been born Jesus Stalin McCarthy in Moscow, Wis., and said she was voted “Most likely to kill an unarmed man while driving a tractor” in her junior high yearbook.
The young women wrote that they realized “Breaking sacred cultural laws has been a hallmark of Jewish people for thousands of years,” a revelation that initially resulted in Shellfish Day. But that was a flop, due to the fact that “shellfish just aren’t funny enough.” Thus, the epiphany about pork and the birth of Bacon Day on December 30th.
So they say.
According to Wikipedia, however, the original Bacon Day was supposedly conceived in 2004 by a group of graduate students at the University of Colorado-Boulder, presumably for its academic and pedagogical value. Since then, some celebrations have taken place on the first Saturday in January; others on Feb. 19th.
In Manchester, England, however, Bacon Day is celebrated by students there on the 14th of January as a distraction from the exams scheduled that month. In the USA, students at Bucknell University, a private college in central Pennsylvania, have created their own Bacon Day rituals, calling themselves “Meatheads” and gorging on as much bacon as possible.
Presumably, on more than one day a year.
A Cornucopia of Bacon
Officially, International Bacon Day, although an unofficial observance, is celebrated on the Saturday before Labor Day, which falls on the first Monday in September.
Bacon Day/Labor Day celebrations typically feature social gatherings during which participants create and consume bacon-themed breakfast, lunch and dinner items, as well as bacon-themed desserts and drinks. Bacon Day events are said to be inclusive of soy bacon or turkey bacon, but I’m here to tell you such fakin’ bacon products on International Bacon Day are oh-you-tee: OUT.
In, however, are not only traditional bacon dishes, but other edible products made with bacon, including:
- Bacon Mints from Uncle Oinkers, which are described as tasting like “a mint leaf delicately kissed by a slice of crispy bacon.”
- Bacon Gumballs and Jelly Beans, tasting exactly as named, from novelty candy retailer Archie McPhee.
- Bacon Chocolate Bars, made by gourmet chocolatier Vosges with applewood-smoked bacon, alder-smoked salt and, of course, lots of milk chocolate.
- Bacon Peanut Brittle, available from The Red Head restaurant in New York’s East Village, is a “crunchy, savory, sweet treat” made with chopped bacon, roasted peanuts and Vermont maple syrup.
- Bacon Lollipops from Das Foods, marketed as “100% natural, with no additives or corn syrup, made from sustainable bacon and pure maple syrup.”
- Baconnaise, L and L Specialty Foods’ answer to bacon fans’ demands for a spreadable bacon — which, surprisingly, is labeled as “vegetarian.”
What’s the takeaway from all this? Just that bacon is not only the star of numerous holidays and pseudo-holiday celebrations, it’s a product perfectly suited for both culinary and comic adulation.
Other foods may try to imitate it, but don’t settle for anything less than the real deal.
The opinions in this commentary are those of Dan Murphy, a veteran journalist and commentator