We Love National Bacon Lover’s Day!!

Come in and eat bacon with us on August 20th! Or any day, really.

by Marcy HarrisA basket of applewood-smoked bacon.

Bacon. It’s something so dear to us at Zingerman’s, every spring we throw a five day festival around it called Camp Bacon. What’s not to love? It’s crispy, salty, and smokey. The flavor lingers well after the bacon melts on your tongue, and wraps your soul in a way nothing else can. It is something to be savored, as it has been for thousands of years. So if there is one day out of the year that honors this sizzingly addictive treat, we are going to celebrate–with all the bacon.

Bringing it home.

The Chinese were curing pork belly as far back as 1500 B.C., In the broad timeline of things, however, pork as a culinary trend in America is a like a drop of bacon grease is a very large skillet, yet one that spread very quickly.

Columbus reportedly brought 8 pigs to Cuba, but the kick-off of the American pork industry began with Hernando de Soto, who brought 13 to Florida in 1539. By 1542 his personal herd boasted 700, and the domestication and trade of pigs became very popular with Native Americans and settlers alike. By the end of the 17th century, the average American farmer had 4-5 hogs, used to feed his family and to trade with. Because of its extended shelf-life due to curing, bacon quickly became a year-long staple and a provision for settlers as they moved west.

According to Ari Weinzweig, who wrote a book called A Guide to Better Bacon, “Bacon is so integral to the culinary history of this country. The roots are so deep in our cooking, I think of it as the olive oil of North America.”

Today, bacon can single handedly boost the pork market. Americans consume 70 percent of their bacon with breakfast, but there are so many ways in which we can enjoy its deliciousness.

The cure for any appetite.

At the Roadhouse, we primarily use Nueske’s bacon, fondly dubbed “The beluga of bacon, the Rolls-Royce of Rashers,” by R. W. Apple, New York Times. Made in Wisconsin, the bacon is smoked for 24 hours over applewood, giving it a perfect balance of salty and subtly sweet.  It is perfect on its own, a thicker slice giving way to a tender bite.

We also love creating dishes in reverence to the pig, and will look for any way we can add a boost of bacon. We use it in our braised collard greens, pile it high on our burgers, and layer it on our grilled cheese sammys. It adds a depth of smokiness in combination with our pimento cheese that is unparalleled, so if you haven’t tried the Pimento Bacon Mac yet, make sure you order it the next time you visit. We love topping off our Stas’ Pierogi dish with loads of bacon, creating something similar to a loaded baked potato along with the sour cream. If you are stopping in for breakfast or brunch, the Grits and Bits Waffle is a favorite, the batter packed with bits of Nueske’s bacon, Anson Mills’ grits, and Cabot cheddar cheese.

Buttermilk biscuits with chocolate and bacon "gravy".

Do you love chocolate as much as you love bacon? Our buttermilk biscuits smothered in chocolate-bacon “gravy” is absolutely hands down one of the best things you can treat yourself to for brunch at the Roadhouse. One of our favorite desserts at the Roadhouse is the Donut Mondae, or the Everything is Better with Bacon Sundae. We take our famous buttermilk Dutch donut, top it off with Zingerman’s Creamery real vanilla gelato, then drizzle it with buttery bourbon caramel sauce, the chocolate-bacon “gravy”, even more applewood-smoked bacon, Virginia peanuts, whipped cream, and a cherry. You have to experience this, our cakey donut soaking up Creamy gelato melting with rivulets of chocolate and caramel, and bits of smokey bacon candied by all this gooey goodness.

There are so many ways to celebrate bacon at the Roadhouse, on National Bacon Day or any other day! If you just want to come in for breakfast or brunch and order sides of bacon, we’d love to have you here enjoying one of our favorite treats with us!

Check out our menus for more dishes we make with bacon!