Bacon Day 2019: Deals From Walmart, Target and More

Today, December 30, is National Bacon Day, which celebrates the salted, cured pork belly meat.

Bacon has been consumed for centuries and dates back to around 1500 B.C., when the Chinese were reportedly the first to produce the earliest form of bacon by curing pork belly meat with salt, according to Bacon Scouts.

The Romans and Greeks are believed to have learned about bacon production and curing through their conquests of the Middle East, which saw the Romans eventually spread pork production and improve pork breeding throughout their empire.

Bacon in the U.S. refers to the flat rectangular section of the pig on its side, after the loin, ribs and skin have been removed, according to the American Meat Science Association.

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But the ancient Romans are also believed to have served an earlier version of bacon from the shoulder of the pig, called "petaso," which was browned and boiled with dried figs, and consumed with wine. Bacon and bacon fat were very key ingredients for cooking among Anglo-Saxon peasants in the medieval times.

How to cook bacon

Once pork belly meat is cured and smoked, it becomes bacon and the abundance of fat is what gives the meat is sweet flavor as well as tender crispy texture.

Bacon can be cooked in various ways, including broiling to pan-frying and baking. The cooked meat is typically drained on a paper towel to absorb some of the oils from the fat before serving.

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There are several varieties of flavored bacon, from peppered to apple-smoked, while a lower salt bacon (cured with less salt), ready-to-microwave bacon and pre-cooked bacon are also available.

"Avoid crowding while cooking more bacon. Crispy bacon is a product of allowing some breathing room in between strips while cooking so heat can circulate evenly. Where you'd want to limit your frying pan or skillet to 3-4 strips, you can fit about one pound on a sheet pan for baking," advises Pork Checkoff.

The cooked bacon can be sprinkled on top of soups, pasta, vegetables, salads, and casseroles as a garnish and flavor enhancer.

Available in packets of slices, bacon can be sold as thin, regular or thick slices or in one solid piece which comes with a rind that must be removed before slicing the slab of pork.

Bringing home the bacon

The phrase "bringing home the bacon" is associated with earning money but the term can be traced back to 12th century England where it was used in connection with matrimonial harmony, according to The English Breakfast Society.

A church in the English town of Dunmow promised a side of bacon to any husband who could swear before the congregation that he had not argued with his wife for a year and a day. So a man who could "bring home the bacon," was highly regarded by the local community for his patience, forbearance and self-control.

Oscar Meyer bacon in Rafael, California
A package of Oscar Meyer bacon is displayed on a grocery store shelf on February 22, 2019 in San Rafael, California. Getty Images

Bacon deals

Get an 8 oz. packet of Applegate Natural Uncured Sunday Bacon for $4.99 at Target.

Bag a 22 oz. packet of Oscar Mayer Mega Pack Hardwood Smoked Bacon for 7.99 at Target.

Buy a 16 oz. box of Hi Mountain Buckboard Bacon Cure for $14.85 at Walmart.

Get 1-1.25 lbs. pack of Bacon Freak's Super Thick Hickory Smoked Bacon for $15.99 (reduced from $19.99).

Buy a Mountain Smokehouse 2 lb. "Everything" Slab or "Summer Herb" Slab for $14.99 (reduced from $19.99) from Back Freak.

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Bacon Day 2019: Deals From Walmart, Target and More | Culture