Highlights from BaconFest Chicago

Whether you’re on the bacon bandwagon or not, there’s no denying the fact that people tend to go bonkers for tasty bacon.  Now more than ever, large cities like Chicago aren’t shy about embracing their love of the delicious pork product, organizing high-energy events to celebrate everything bacon.

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    Bacon Lovers Unite This past weekend 3,000 bacon lovers spent the day devouring bacon inspired creations from Chicago’s top chefs and restaurants.  Easily one of the hottest tickets in town, BaconFest Chicago sold out in only three hours online.  
    Marla Cichowski
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    Restaurants Get Creative This year’s event doubled in size from last year, featuring a total of 108 restaurants, split between lunch and dinner sessions. These are some bacon pancake pops soaked in a bourbon glaze crafted by Old Crow Reserve
    Marla Cichowski
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    Bacon in Your Cereal Bacon connoisseur, Rena Freeman fell for the bacon rice crispies cereal. “I love bacon so much. It kind of makes me melt a little bit.” Freeman admits she once flirted with the idea of giving up eating meat, but then reconsidered, “I thought I was a vegetarian for a minute and bacon brought me back.”
    Marla Cichowski
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    Bacon Crack BaconFest isn’t complete without tiny samples of “Bacon Crack,” chocolate covered bacon covered toffee.  And yes, it tastes as good as it sounds. 
    Nosh This
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    Flavored Milk with Bacon These bacon rice crispies were paired with milk flavored like chocolate-peanut butter and captain crunch. 
    Marla Cichowski
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    Dressing Up for Bacon Georgia Kay, 12, came to BaconFest with her Mom wearing a hand knitted bacon scarf.  Clearly there’s no need to question her love for bacon, “I love it (bacon) with all of my heart,” Kay told me as she polished off a sample of bacon-shepherds pie.
    Marla Cichowski
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    Getting Drunk on Bacon The creators of Bakon Vodka spent two years testing out the recipe in their kitchen before they finally got it right in 2009. Distilled from Idaho potatoes and infused with peppered bacon, this vodka is a real tribute to the swiney staple.
    Marla Cichowski
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    Drinkable Bacon Because bacon makes you thirsty, it only made sense to wash it all down with a “Wobble Stopper”  bloody mary (includes bacon). BaconFest-goer Sam Sansome from Salisbury, England summed the drink up best by saying, “they are bloody good, aren't they.”
    Marla Cichowski
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    Bacon for Dessert There were many bacon desserts at BaconFest, including smoked bacon baklava. Where does our obsession with bacon come from? BaconFest Chicago’s co-founder, Seth Zurer explains bacon this way. “It tastes good, it’s so versatile. You can use it as foundation for anything. It always incites passion… and the chefs go crazy for it.” 
    Marla Cichowski
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