It’s fitting that in the week when Kevin Bacon has a new TV show, and we celebrate the 452nd birthday of British statesman, Sir Francis Bacon, that we pause to celebrate the most popular and tasty part of a pig: pork belly.
Just kidding, it’s bacon.
White haired comedian, Jim Gaffigan, says this of bacon: “You know how good bacon is? To improve other foods we wrap it in bacon.”
During the drought that shriveled US crops in the summer of 2012, a report came out of the UK that raised concerns beyond an immediate corn shortage. Corn is the primary grain used in pig-feed. No corn meant less pig food, which meant skinnier pigs, and potentially a bacon shortage in 2013. That rumor was more than most of us could bear. For three terrible days, fear gripped the nation’s brunch lovers. Then we figured out that pigs eat just about anything, and the crisis was over.
That’s how much we love bacon. A shortage of our favorite breakfast protein was headline news for days.
Of course, if you want to branch out from the bacon part of the pig, Atlanta has some porktastic chefs running some outstanding restaurants, too — from local boys, Kevin Gillespie and Eli Kirshtein who showed off their chops (pun intended) on Top Chef a couple of years ago, to the new breed of daring chefs like Tyler Williams (who’s leaving Abbatoir to take Kevin Gillespie’s spot at Woodfire Grill), Kevin Ouzts at Spotted Trotter, Ryan Smith at Empire State South, Josh Hopkins at STG Trattoria (right now, but he’s on his way to White Oak Kitchen), Linton Hopkins of Restaurant Eugene, and Livingston and Proof & Provision’s Zeb Stevenson.
Heck, Kevin Rathbun — he of the Iron Chef Elk-thrashing of Bobby Flay — does Pig and Paella at Krog Bar every November to celebrate the bar’s anniversary with a whole roast pig and a giant paella pan which has a diameter of about 10 feet.
And if that seems like too far in the future, you could try heading to Dad’s Garage in Inman Park on March 30th to witness the spectacular Baconfest 2013 which will feature beer, bands, and bacon. And if it’s anything like last year’s event, you might catch sight of…yes, Kevin Bacon.
Photo Credit: Anna Moderska