Bringing home the bacon
Bacon historyUntil well into the sixteenth century, bacon or bacoun was a Middle English term used to refer to all pork in general. The term bacon comes from various Germanic and French dialects. It derives from the French bako, Common Germanic bakkon and Old Teutonic backe, all of which refer to the back. There are breeds of pigs particularly grown for bacon, notably the Yorkshire and Tamworth.
In England, a side of bacon is called a gammon, and a slice of bacon is known as a rasher. Seventy percent of the bacon in America is consumed at the breakfast table.
You are probably familiar with the phrase "bring home the bacon." In the twelfth century, a church in the English town of Dunmow promised a side of bacon to any married man who could swear before the congregation and God that he had not quarreled with his wife for a year and a day. A husband who could bring home the bacon was held in high esteem by the community for his forebearance.
In this health-conscious day and age, you would think that bacon would be low on the list of preferred foods due to its fat content. Yet, as anyone who dabbles in pork belly commodities can tell you, bacon is solely responsible for giving a boost to the pork market. Bacon has become so popular as a sandwich ingredient and a favorite of chefs in fine dining establishments that bacon shortages have caused prices to soar. However, bacon is still a bargain that can't be beat when it comes to adding flavor. With low-sodium and lean varieties available, even the dieter can partake in moderation.