Bacon Mania: A Retrospective

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

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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