What Is Breakfast Bacon? The Ultimate Guide

Bacon is a beloved breakfast food that has become a staple in many households. But have you ever wondered how it became such a popular morning meal?

The history of breakfast bacon is a fascinating one, involving marketing schemes, public relations pioneers, and even a little bit of psychology.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the origins of breakfast bacon, how it became a quintessential part of the American breakfast, and its place in breakfast traditions around the world.

So grab a cup of coffee and let’s dive into the sizzling world of breakfast bacon!

What Is Breakfast Bacon?

Before we delve into the history of breakfast bacon, let’s first define what it is. Breakfast bacon is a type of cured pork that is typically sliced thin and fried until crispy. It is often served alongside eggs, toast, and other breakfast foods.

While bacon can be made from different cuts of pork, breakfast bacon is typically made from pork belly. It is cured with a mixture of salt, sugar, and spices, and then smoked to give it its signature flavor.

Now that we know what breakfast bacon is, let’s explore how it became such a popular breakfast food.

The Origins Of Breakfast Bacon

The idea of breakfast as a meal has had its ups and downs throughout history. In the Middle Ages, fasting was prescribed in the mornings due to religious aversion to gluttony. Breakfast was typically consumed by travelers, laborers, the elderly, or anyone who needed to be awake earlier in the day. However, the introduction of chocolate to Europe in the 16th century created such a craze among the upper classes that the Catholic Church was forced to declare the drinking of liquids like chocolate, coffee, and tea acceptable to the fast. This helped make breakfast a part of everyday life, particularly for workers during the eventual Industrial Revolution.

In the 1920s, Americans typically ate light breakfasts of coffee, orange juice, and rolls. In order to increase sales of bacon, Edward Bernays, a public relations and advertising expert hired by the Beech-Nut Packing Company, asked his agency’s internal doctor if a heavier breakfast would be more beneficial than a lighter one for the American public. The doctor confirmed Bernays’ suspicion and wrote to 5,000 of his doctor friends asking them to confirm it as well. This ‘research’ of doctors encouraging Americans to eat a heavier breakfast – namely ‘Bacon and Eggs’ – was published in several major newspapers and magazines to great success. Beech-Nut’s profits increased rapidly and bacon became a staple breakfast food in America.

Despite its origins as a marketing ploy, bacon has remained a beloved breakfast food for many Americans. Its crispy texture and savory flavor make it a perfect complement to other breakfast staples like eggs and toast. And while it may not be the healthiest option on the menu, for many people, there’s nothing quite like starting their day with a plate of sizzling bacon.

Marketing And Public Relations: How Bacon Became A Breakfast Staple

In the early 1900s, American breakfasts were considered modest and consisted of simple foods like porridge, fruit, and coffee. However, the Beech-Nut Packing Company faced a dilemma in the 1920s – they had an excess supply of bacon that was not being sold. To increase their pork sales, they needed to create a greater demand for bacon.

This is where Edward Bernays, a PR consultant and nephew of Sigmund Freud, came in. He believed that to change the behavior of the American people, he needed to leverage the opinions of individuals in influential positions. Bernays convinced an internal agency doctor to write a letter to 4,500 respected physicians, stating that a heavier breakfast was better for people’s health. The overwhelming majority of physicians agreed with this statement, and newspapers across the United States published headlines like “4,500 Physicians Confirm a Heavier Breakfast is Better for Your Health.”

This PR stunt created a demand for a heavier breakfast, which included bacon and eggs. Beech-Nut Packing Company confirmed to Bernays that after this campaign, bacon sales had increased dramatically. Bernays’ success in shaping public opinion did not stop there; he also helped the United Fruit Company organize a coup to overthrow the government of Guatemala.

Bernays’ ability to manipulate public opinion by linking products to feelings or ideas and appealing to people’s emotions or subconscious is what made him successful in the field of PR. His influence on American breakfast habits is undeniable – today, bacon and eggs are considered a classic American breakfast staple.

The Psychology Of Breakfast Bacon: Why We Love It So Much

The love for breakfast bacon goes beyond its ability to fulfill nutritional desires. According to experts, bacon triggers all of the senses, making it perfect for activating the flavor area of the brain, which is strongly linked to the brain’s reward system. This means that when we eat bacon, our brains release dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with pleasure and reward.

The popularity of breakfast bacon in America can be attributed in part to marketing genius Edward Bernays. In the 1920s, the Beech-Nut Packing Company hired Bernays as a public relations consultant to boost Americans’ taste for bacon. Bernays used psychology to market products and employed Freud’s theories to increase the appeal of bacon as a breakfast food.

One of Bernays’ tactics was to appeal to people’s health concerns. He went to a physician and found that a heavy breakfast was sounder from the standpoint of health than a light breakfast. He then asked the physician to write to 5,000 other physicians and ask them whether their judgment was the same as his. The physicians all concurred that a heavy breakfast was better for the health of the American people than a light breakfast. This was publicized in the newspapers, and many of them stated that bacon and eggs should be embodied with breakfast. As a result, the sale of bacon went up.

Another reason why we love breakfast bacon so much is its taste and texture. The crunchiness of bacon is a simple joy that can make our day brighter. It is also a versatile food that can be paired with almost anything, from ice cream to vegetables.

Moreover, breakfast bacon is high in protein and provides essential vitamins and minerals such as thiamin (Vitamin B1), niacin (Vitamin B3), Vitamin B12, and zinc. It is also low in carbohydrates and can help curb hunger because it is high in saturated fats.

Breakfast Bacon Around The World: Variations And Traditions

Breakfast bacon is a beloved food item around the world, and different regions have their own unique variations and traditions when it comes to this delicious meat.

In Ireland, the Full Irish Breakfast includes Irish bacon and sausage, as well as white pudding, Irish soda bread, and Irish potato cake. The breakfast is designed to provide energy to farmers and workers to keep them full throughout the day. In Northern Ireland, the same breakfast is called the Ulster Fry.

Hungary is home to gypsy bacon, which is cured bacon that still has the rind. This type of bacon is said to be rich in flavor and has a distinct aroma. It is often cooked using a campfire, making it an ideal slice for the avid outdoorsman or outdoorswoman.

America has taken its love for bacon to new heights with a variety of wild bacon-based concoctions such as bacon chocolate, bacon cotton candy, and even bacon caramel apple pie. The regional variants like the Scottish or Irish full breakfast are usually the same dish with slight changes to the ingredients depending on local tastes and preferences.

Each region of Great Britain has its own unique breakfast that contains pork, usually sourced from local farmers and made using a local recipe. Famous British sausage producing regions of note are Lincolnshire and Cumberland.

The history of breakfast bacon can be traced back to ancient Egypt, where peasants would consume beer, bread, and onions in the morning before going to work. During the Middle Ages, breakfast was not commonly eaten as it was seen as gluttonous by the Catholic Church. The term breakfast originated in 15th century Europe but eating in the morning didn’t become a daily ritual in Europe until the 1600s as this is when many people began going to work each day.

In Brazil, breakfast typically consists of French bread, coffee, cassava, fresh fruit like papaya, ham, and cheese served with coffee and milk.

Cooking And Serving Breakfast Bacon: Tips And Tricks For The Perfect Meal

Cooking bacon can be a bit tricky, as there is a fine line between perfectly crispy and overcooked or undercooked bacon. However, there are a few tips and tricks you can use to ensure that your breakfast bacon turns out perfectly every time.

One of the most popular methods for cooking bacon is to bake it in the oven. This method eliminates the need for a frying pan and reduces mess and clean-up time. To bake bacon, simply lay your desired amount of bacon slices on a baking sheet (which can be lined with foil for easier clean-up) and place it in a cold oven. Turn the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and set your timer for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, check the bacon to see if it is golden and looks just about done. If it needs a bit more time, let it cook for another 2 minutes or so, but be sure to watch it closely so it doesn’t get too brown.

Another popular method for cooking bacon is to pan-fry it on the stove. To do this, place bacon slices in an unheated skillet (or preheated electric element) and cook over medium heat for 8-10 minutes or until your desired doneness, turning occasionally. If the bacon browns too quickly, reduce the heat slightly. Drain well on paper towels.

To serve your perfectly cooked breakfast bacon, consider pairing it with other breakfast foods like eggs, toast, or pancakes. You can also get creative with how you serve your bacon – try breaking a strip in half and making a breakfast sandwich using baked egg bites or adding it to a breakfast burrito.

If you want to meal prep your breakfast bacon for the week, cook it 90-100% of the way and then reheat it when you’re ready to eat. This will save you time in the morning while still ensuring that your bacon is perfectly cooked.