And how did you celebrate this past long-weekend, bacon lovers? Did you spend some time at the cottage, swimming in the lake or sunbathing with family and friends? Did you go camping or hiking? Or perhaps did you stay home, reading peacefully on the front porch in the morning and barbecuing in the back yard later in the day?
Though it’s often a sign that summer is coming to a close (and the most ominous sign of back to school season) the long weekend at the beginning of September might be one of my favourite weekends of the year.
Of course, it’s not just the promise of cooler Autumn days and the excitement of new classes that makes this weekend extra-special, not is it just Labour Day (which takes place the first Monday of September in the United States and here in Canada). Nope, the other reason that this weekend is so special is that the Saturday of the Labour Day weekend is one of the most important North American holidays for Bacon Lovers: International Bacon Day.
The Origin of International Bacon Day
This tasty end-of-the-summer holiday was founded in 2000 by a bunch of graduate students in Bedford, MASS. Three students – Alexa Haflord, Seth Rittenhouse and Evan Salim – decided that bacon was so delicious it deserved its own holiday. They started a blog and celebrated that first bacon day cooking and eating their favourite food. Since it’s inception, the holiday has spread all over the United States and up to Canada. Participants in the annual International Bacon Day celebrations often chant “bacon is a vegetable!” to indicate their love and appreciation for this most perfect meat.
International Bacon Day Celebrations
Every city that recognizes International Bacon Day has a unique way of celebrating the occasion. The most important part of the celebrations, however, is the cooking and eating of bacon. As long as you have this covered, there is nothing stopping you from having your own International Bacon Day wherever you are!
This year, I celebrated International Bacon Day by combining two of my favourite foods in the entire universe: I whipped up a huge batch of super mac and cheese – which is not only loaded with rich cheese goodness, but also features smoked bacon, veggies, and crunchy bacon crumbs – for me and my friends. There was something about the combination of comfort food and bacon that seemed just about perfect – saying goodbye to all the great fun that was summer, and welcoming in the new start of Autumn.
Iowa Officially Declares Bacon Day
Well, Iowa is starting to look a lot like heaven on earth for bacon lovers. Aside from the Blue Ribbon Bacon Festival, (an event which happened last Saturday, and which we’ll give you the full details on in a different post), the state legislature decided to name February 26th the state’s Official Bacon Day. We think that every day should be named an Official Bacon Day, but one day is a good start. More info, and the full text of this historic and ground-breaking declaration, follows after the jump.
A Day That Will Go Down in History
Iowa is a bacon-happy place. Nearly 5% of their state’s income comes from the production of it, and they are the U.S.’s biggest producers of pork products. It’s no surprise that they’d host what is probably the biggest bacon festival in the country, and that their state legislature would be so happy to promote it.
Even so, the declaration shows to what extent the state is bacon-crazy. They even say that Iowa is famous for bacon – “nature’s perfect food”! Here’s what the state officials officially put onto the record when they declared Saturday, February 26th, Official Bacon Day:
“WHEREAS, the people of Maine have lobster, the people of Idaho grow great potatoes, and the folks of Texas make great chili, we Iowans have bacon —nature’s perfect food; and WHEREAS, whether plain or apple-wood smoked, whether store-bought or artisan-made, bacon is a meat for any meal; and WHEREAS, as America’s top pork producer, Iowa stands tall as the nation’s source of high-quality bacon; and WHEREAS, the 4th annual Blue Ribbon Bacon Festival is set for Saturday, February 26, 2011, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., in Des Moines; NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, That the House of Representatives recognizes February 26, 2011, as Iowa Bacon Day and invites all Iowans to take part in the festival and to celebrate bacon.”
Iowa: An Inspiration For Us All
Surely this is a declaration that we can all be inspired by. We should also struggle to have it implemented wherever we live. After all, Canada has a lot of great bacon and bacon products – we are the home of Maple Leaf Foods, for instance – and we really need to recognize the importance of bacon to our national economy. And to our national mood! What food can make the long and cold mornings of our winters even bearable? The only food that could do this, is – as the Iowans say – “nature’s perfect food.” BACON.
It Shall Hereafter Be Known As The Day of Bacon
So, what are we going to do about it? I would like you to spend some time thinking about how important bacon is to your life. If you feel as strongly about as bacon as I do, please call your government representative and ask them – no, tell them! – that we need an official bacon day in Canada. In the meantime, to endure the pain of having to wait for this announcement, I recommend eating some bacon.