If you say the word bacon around a group of people these days, chances are that you'll elicit some pretty strong reactions. Bacon mania has swept the nation for years now, but where did this fatty and salty meat originate?
Let's check it out on What the Food Wednesday.
Today we'll be traveling to the far east, namely ancient China. The ancient Chinese were the first in recorded history to salt pork belly for later consumption. Further on up the timeline, we have the Anglo-Saxon peasants, who called any cut of the pig "bacon." They adopted the routine practice of salting pork belly from the Romans. The Romans, of course, picking up the skill from the Chinese.
This fatty delicacy, as we know it now, didn't really pick up steam until 1924. In the quaint town of Chicago, two German brothers would make history by being the first to prepackage America's soon-to-be breakfast staple. Maybe you've heard of them? Oscar and Gottfried Mayer. Yeah, I thought you might have.
However, at the time the Mayer brothers put their bacon to market, Dr. John Harvey Kellogg had convinced much of the influential public that cereals were far superior for a healthy lifestyle than meat and eggs. That's where marketing comes in! The brothers Mayer turned to none other than Sigmund Freud's nephew Edmund Bernays for help. Also knows as the father of modern public relations, it didn't take Edmund long to turn bacon and eggs into the breakfast staple that we know and love today!
Though, I'll say that I do enjoy eggs and bacon with a bowl of corn flakes.
Want to know how much bacon costs have varied by year?
Check it out: