Gather-round the frying pan everybody because National Bacon Day is December 30 and it’s enough to make any bacon-lover squeal. Just saying the word makes us hungry. It’s an incredibly versatile food. You can eat it on a burger if you’re ready for a major calorie-fest. Or, you can crumble it over a salad if you’re trying to be kind of healthy (but let’s be honest, nothing is healthy with bacon on it). You can even make it the star of the show by simply pairing it with eggs. No matter what you do, bacon is greasy, delicious, and the most beautiful thing we’ve ever seen strip. If you, too, want to climb a tall building and scream at the top of your lungs, “I love bacon,” then please join us in celebrating National Bacon Day on December 30 .
Though the holiday was created in 1997 as a way to take a break from celebrating the traditional winter holidays, the consumption of pork dates back thousands of years to 4900 B.C. where the Chinese domesticated pigs and preserved pork bellies with salt. This practice is believed to have made its way to the Romans and Greeks through conquests in the Middle East and by 1500 B.C. had largely impacted both production and preservation of pork in the Roman Empire. Ancient Roman’s early form of bacon, or “petaso,” was pig shoulder broiled with dried figs, browned and served with wine.
The word “bacon” can be traced back to various languages from before the 12th century. Most notably from the French word “bako,” the Germanic “bakkon” and the Old Teutonic word “backe,” all of which specifically refer to the rear of the pig. During the 16th Century, the word “bacoun” was used to refer to any kind of pork. And it wasn’t until the 17th Century that “bacon” was used solely to refer to the salted and smoked pork belly that we know today.
Considering how easy and cheap it was to own pigs, its no wonder during Medieval Times bacon was very common among Anglo-Saxon peasants. Each family and butcher had their own recipe for curing and smoking bacon. The sheer variety of bacon, sausage, and black pudding that you could buy in Victorian England created an almost golden age of pork.
The popular phrase “bring home the bacon” can be traced to the 12 century, in the English town of Dunmow. The church promised to reward a side of bacon to any married man who swore before God and the congregation that he would not quarrel with his wife for a year and a day.