Bacon: a pop culture icon

June 2, 2008

From the development of the heritage pork resurgence to the proliferation of porcine centric restaurants (Montreal’s Au Pied du Cochon and New Orleans’ Cochon are just two examples) to the media excitement over Jamón Ibérico arriving in North America, pork is enjoying gourmet glory days.

While I certainly agree that pork is worthy of adoration (I’m a bacon lover), I can’t help but wonder about the timing of en masse pork love. Is this trend a chef driven culinary odyssey whose time had finally come or is there a darker, political message behind our cravings for pork? Consider that the rise of pork as a trendy gourmet commodity happened after 9/11 and it’s easy to speculate about how our subconscious minds might be prompting us to celebrate food that our ideological enemies eschew.

Regardless of whether that theory holds warm bacon fat, there’s no doubt that pork currently has a remarkable influence on not just menus but also on pop culture. For instance, band-aids that look like rashers of bacon are available at skateboard chain West 49 (I bought some for Martin as soon as I saw them!). Then there is this piggy snout mug. These products must be evidence that bacon is cool, right?

For more examples of wacky bacon products, check out this great slide show that includes gems such as bacon flavoured breath mints and even a bacon brassiere!