Chicken-fried bacon with creamy gravy from Sodolak's
Chicken-fried bacon with creamy gravy from Sodolak's
Cara Fealy Choate (Wikimedia Commons)

Bacon Mania: A Retrospective

If you thought the bacon trend had peaked long ago, turns out you're wrong. But it actually may have happened one week ago in Chicago with the opening of a restaurant that serves sandwiches that are topped with different types of bacon, including Chinese bacon, chicken liver-bacon banh mi spread, and jalapeño bacon jam. To mark the climax of this annoying-albeit-mouthwatering food fad, Chow Bella presents a history of America's love affair with bacon.

circa 1975: A restaurant in Denver called Colorado Mine Company serves a sandwich called Fool's Gold Loaf, a hollowed-out loaf of bread filled with an entire jar of peanut butter, a jar of grape jelly, and a pound of crispy bacon. Elvis Presley -- known for lovin' the combo of peanut butter, banana, and bacon -- was a repeat customer.

See also: Rogue Voodoo Doughnut Bacon Maple Ale

Early '90s: Chicken-fried bacon is invented at Sodolak's Original Country Inn in Snook, Texas.

May 2002: Heston Blumenthal shares his wildly popular bacon and eggs ice cream recipe.

2005: Experiments with the oddly delicious combo of chocolate and bacon ensue. The following year, Vosges Haut Chocolat introduces its bacon bar.

January 15, 2007: The Maple Bacon Bar from Voodoo Doughnut in Portland, Oregon, gains even more worldwide fame when it's featured on Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations.

March 29, 2009: Bourbon-bacon ice cream wins best dish at the first Bacon Takedown in Brooklyn, now an annual event.

May 2009: Bacon-flavored vodka is a thing.

March 2010: Bacon craze goes beyond food to fashion with inventions like the bacon bra, made by "bacontarian" Nicky Stein-Grohs, who ate the one-pound finished product after modeling it.

March 2012: Bacon Mania gets full-on crazy with the introduction of a bacon coffin.

August 20, 2013: Celeb Chef David Burke launches his latest concept, Burke's Bacon Bar in Chicago. Vegetarians need not set foot on the premises. (Just kidding -- there's a smoked eggplant "meatball" parm.)

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