Episode 1010

From BLTs to breakfast, bacon is a staple on the menu for most Americans. With new recipes incorporating bacon into all kinds of dishes the popularity of bacon knows no bounds. Jason Shoultz visits a bacon festival in Colorado, a Chicago pub serving up beer and bacon pairings, a state fair bacon-booth and a bacon-themed food truck hitting the streets of Sacramento, California.

We begin at the 4th annual Blue Ribbon Bacon Tour festival at the Keystone Resort in Colorado. Thousands of visitors partake in bacon samples and bacon-themed dishes. Everything from bacon-s’mores to bacon ice cream is served up. The festival’s origins date back several years to some friends gathering around a campfire professing their love of bacon. From there it blossomed into an Iowa bacon festival and has grown. Now bacon-aficionados from Colorado to Iceland partake in Blue Ribbon Bacon Tour events. Organizers expect 30 thousand people to visit their events in 2015.

Jason also visits Paddy Long’s Beer and Bacon Pub in Chicago. Every Sunday dozens gather for "beer and bacon tastings." Guests are treated to various cuts of bacon paired with different styles of beer. The owners pride themselves on helping guests explore the wide variety of cured pork available.

Berkshire Hogs in IowaAfter Chicago, we go to the top hog farming state in the U.S. In Iowa hogs outnumber people 3 to 1. A hog farmer explains how the breed of hog impacts the taste. The Berkshire breed has recently grown in popularity and that's good news for bacon-lovers. The fattier meat gives the bacon a robust fatty flavor to the bacon.

Chocolate Covered Bacon at the California State FairAt the California State Fair we meet a family who is taking bacon-based fair food to new heights. From calorie-packed bacon-cheesecake to giant bacon-wrapped turkey legs, it is one of the most popular food booths at the fair.

Finally we hit the streets of Sacramento, California to find out how the "BaconMANia" food truck is bringing in customers by incorporating bacon into comfort food classics like mac and cheese.


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