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Bacon: A Love Story: A Salty Survey of Everybody's Favorite Meat

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“[A] paean to pork.” —Boston Herald   A love letter to the “best meat ever,” Bacon, by unabashed bacon enthusiast Heather Lauer, is a wondrous collection of bacon bits—filled with fun facts, recipes, history, and smoked porcine worship. The Memphis Commercial Appeal says, “If you can make it to the end of this book without craving just a taste of the savory stuff, then you’re “[A] paean to pork.” —Boston Herald   A love letter to the “best meat ever,” Bacon, by unabashed bacon enthusiast Heather Lauer, is a wondrous collection of bacon bits—filled with fun facts, recipes, history, and smoked porcine worship. The Memphis Commercial Appeal says, “If you can make it to the end of this book without craving just a taste of the savory stuff, then you’re probably the world’s strongest vegetarian.” Adoring, entertaining, and informative—sizzling with Lauer’s infectious passion for her mouthwatering subject—Bacon is the next best thing to bacon wrapped in bacon.


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“[A] paean to pork.” —Boston Herald   A love letter to the “best meat ever,” Bacon, by unabashed bacon enthusiast Heather Lauer, is a wondrous collection of bacon bits—filled with fun facts, recipes, history, and smoked porcine worship. The Memphis Commercial Appeal says, “If you can make it to the end of this book without craving just a taste of the savory stuff, then you’re “[A] paean to pork.” —Boston Herald   A love letter to the “best meat ever,” Bacon, by unabashed bacon enthusiast Heather Lauer, is a wondrous collection of bacon bits—filled with fun facts, recipes, history, and smoked porcine worship. The Memphis Commercial Appeal says, “If you can make it to the end of this book without craving just a taste of the savory stuff, then you’re probably the world’s strongest vegetarian.” Adoring, entertaining, and informative—sizzling with Lauer’s infectious passion for her mouthwatering subject—Bacon is the next best thing to bacon wrapped in bacon.

30 review for Bacon: A Love Story: A Salty Survey of Everybody's Favorite Meat

  1. 5 out of 5

    Dan Schwent

    My girlfriend gave this to me as an early Christmas present weeks ago due to my lifelong love affair with a certain salted cured meat. Bacon: A Love Story details the many facets of baconology: the origins of bacon, how pigs have been selectively bred to produce more meat and less fat, important figures in bacon history, and ways to eat the Best Meat Ever. My heart pounded in my chest as I read about bacon wrapped tater tots and other delights, though I don't know if that was bacon lust or my he My girlfriend gave this to me as an early Christmas present weeks ago due to my lifelong love affair with a certain salted cured meat. Bacon: A Love Story details the many facets of baconology: the origins of bacon, how pigs have been selectively bred to produce more meat and less fat, important figures in bacon history, and ways to eat the Best Meat Ever. My heart pounded in my chest as I read about bacon wrapped tater tots and other delights, though I don't know if that was bacon lust or my heart warning me of something. To wrap it up quickly, Bacon: A Love Story is a must have in any bacon lover's house.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Richard Houchin

    Unlike bacon, this book is light on substance and easy to forget. The book is at its best when it is presenting interviews of chefs and descriptions of local eateries, but that only accounts for a small fraction of the book's content. There's a lot of potential for a book of this sort that is well researched and hefty with weight, but this book too often goes for repetitive and unconnected comments about bacon being The Best and Don't We All Know That Anyway. Render it down and you're left with Unlike bacon, this book is light on substance and easy to forget. The book is at its best when it is presenting interviews of chefs and descriptions of local eateries, but that only accounts for a small fraction of the book's content. There's a lot of potential for a book of this sort that is well researched and hefty with weight, but this book too often goes for repetitive and unconnected comments about bacon being The Best and Don't We All Know That Anyway. Render it down and you're left with about one ounce of interesting interviews and eleven ounces of watery fat.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Julian

    I started this book hoping it would add to the vast array of high-end food ethnographies, or at least well written and well researched books on a given food item. But no. It is a book written by a fan of bacon who seemingly has relied on 4 to 5 sources on Wikipedia to write a homage for bacon. While I can acknowledge that some interesting facts were scarcely added, the author clearly ran out of new material after the third chapter and started repeating her desire for all things bacon in every pa I started this book hoping it would add to the vast array of high-end food ethnographies, or at least well written and well researched books on a given food item. But no. It is a book written by a fan of bacon who seemingly has relied on 4 to 5 sources on Wikipedia to write a homage for bacon. While I can acknowledge that some interesting facts were scarcely added, the author clearly ran out of new material after the third chapter and started repeating her desire for all things bacon in every paragraph. I had expected to find at least a marginal amount of critical thinking, but this flyer-turned-book did not deliver much. The recipe section was novel and is the only reason this book deserves 2 stars. All in all, not worth a read.

  4. 5 out of 5

    R.C.

    I've always wondered if it were possible to have too much bacon. Then I read this book. Without a doubt, the answer is yes. I'm not sure why I didn't enjoy this book. The prose was okay. Interesting facts were sprinkled throughout like salt across a strip of bacon. There were intriguing stories—like the one about the Boise street vendor—and tons of tidbits from chefs and producers alike. Maybe I didn't like it as much due the the author referring to bacon as The Best Meat Ever throughout the book— I've always wondered if it were possible to have too much bacon. Then I read this book. Without a doubt, the answer is yes. I'm not sure why I didn't enjoy this book. The prose was okay. Interesting facts were sprinkled throughout like salt across a strip of bacon. There were intriguing stories—like the one about the Boise street vendor—and tons of tidbits from chefs and producers alike. Maybe I didn't like it as much due the the author referring to bacon as The Best Meat Ever throughout the book—thankfully, The. Best. Meat. Ever. was left out. While cute in the introduction, having The Best Meat Ever used time and time again instead of bacon was like, well, being hit on the head with a piece of bacon. Eventually, it just gets old. As do her one liners, but I'll leave those gems for you to discover. Then there was the repetition. Did you know that Davld Lebovitz is an American cook, author, and blogger who now resides in Paris? If not, do not worry, dear reader, for you will be reminded each time he is mentioned—at least four times I recall without sifting through the book once more. There are facts mentioned in one chapter and then presented again, chapters later, in 'Did You Know' tables. Why yes, yes I did know. Because you just told me a few pages ago! The organization of information also seemed a bit off. Each chapter jumped all over the place. Don't get me wrong though, the author's enthusiasm for the topic shines through. And there is a lot of stuff to chew on, some good recipes to try out, etc. Ultimately, the fault may be found with me. I expected to find a tome about bacon, tracing it back through the ages, how it evolved, and the modern bacon obsession we now have with it. Instead, most history that didn't start last century is glossed over, replaced instead with page after page of filler about this producer or that chef. The whole thing read like a giant blog post, or perhaps a Food Network special. In the end, like the various ways to cook and consume it, this might be just how you like it.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

    Hooray, Bacon Nation! First of all, it's great to know that there are tons of equally, if not more obsessed bacon-philes out there. Lauer does a great job of exploring the history of The Best Meat Ever as well as how it continues to rise in popularity through is prevalence in pop culture and fine dining. The recipes look lovely, although I have yet to try any, and the history is comprehensive, but I still think this book lacks a bit of body, and I think that's because of the subject at hand. Lauer Hooray, Bacon Nation! First of all, it's great to know that there are tons of equally, if not more obsessed bacon-philes out there. Lauer does a great job of exploring the history of The Best Meat Ever as well as how it continues to rise in popularity through is prevalence in pop culture and fine dining. The recipes look lovely, although I have yet to try any, and the history is comprehensive, but I still think this book lacks a bit of body, and I think that's because of the subject at hand. Lauer is dependent upon a mere handful of bloggers and chefs for interview information and continues to quote the same figures throughout the book. Plus, I must admit that I'm still uncomfortable with the thought of a tangible book that bases its assumptions largely upon blogging trends. This book was a great idea for a quick read, and thoroughly entertaining, but perhaps a bit longer than it needed to be. A great gift for any bacon lover.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Terri

    As a serious bacon lover, it's a shame I have to give this book one star, but sadly, a delicious subject does not make for a delicious book. This book is yet another example of a blog turned book that really did not merit being made into book form. The writing is atrocious, topics and interview subjects repeated in different chapters multiple times, and some of the content was just horrible and did nothing to elevate the status of bacon (Do people really need to read a whole page about the bacon As a serious bacon lover, it's a shame I have to give this book one star, but sadly, a delicious subject does not make for a delicious book. This book is yet another example of a blog turned book that really did not merit being made into book form. The writing is atrocious, topics and interview subjects repeated in different chapters multiple times, and some of the content was just horrible and did nothing to elevate the status of bacon (Do people really need to read a whole page about the bacon offerings of Denny's?) Also, I found it interesting in the author's description of small, locally-produced bacon producers versus the big manufacturers like Oscar Mayer. She basically says, "in the end" the way bacon is made is essentially the same ("...the fundamentals of the slaughter process are pretty much the same regardless of the size of your operation..." she writes). I don't buy this AT ALL, yet she is telling people not to worry, due to "the efforts of your friendly neighborhood USDA inspector.") Clearly she is over-simplifying things. Some recipes were included throughout the book, which were interesting to read (some from chefs across the U.S., some from bacon bloggers, etc.) I did learn more about bacon that I expected, and I have a new list of bacon-related blogs, websites, products and events I would like to check out, however I imagine I could've found these sources elsewhere. If you're looking for a serious, well-documented and well-written book about the history or usage of bacon, you'll need to look elsewhere.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Stephen

    It cannot be said that Heather Lauer's book on bacon is really a "cookbook" when one has to read 112 pages of gushing paean before reaching the first recipe. The recipes included are, however, worth waiting for. To call Lauer a bacon enthusiast is an understatement. She has written the blog BaconUnwrapped.com since 2005. Much of the material in this book is drawn from that blog. She consistently refers to bacon as "The Best Meat Ever" and to the farmers who raise hogs, the processors who cure po It cannot be said that Heather Lauer's book on bacon is really a "cookbook" when one has to read 112 pages of gushing paean before reaching the first recipe. The recipes included are, however, worth waiting for. To call Lauer a bacon enthusiast is an understatement. She has written the blog BaconUnwrapped.com since 2005. Much of the material in this book is drawn from that blog. She consistently refers to bacon as "The Best Meat Ever" and to the farmers who raise hogs, the processors who cure pork belly, the chefs who use bacon in their recipes and all of the people who love bacon as "The Bacon Nation." Lauer is heavily into the use of capital letters for emphasis. Of the recipes included (some from restaurant chefs and some from fans of her blog), the best are a great recipe for bacon biscuits, an interesting recipe for pepper-bacon chili, one for jalapeno-bacon pizza and (of course) David Lebovitz' near-classic recipe for candied-bacon ice cream. This is a very good book, especially for those who love bacon, and should be read together with James Villas' "The Bacon Cookbook: More than 150 Recipes from Around the World for Everyone's Favorite Food (Hoboken, NJ: Wiley, 2007) and Ari Weinzweig's "Zingerman's Guide to Better Bacon: Stories of Pork Bellies, Hush Puppies, Rock 'N' Roll Music and Bacon Fat Mayonnaise: (Ann Arbor, MI: Zingerman's Press, 2009).

  8. 5 out of 5

    Wendy

    This was a fun little book, entertainingly written, replete with all kinds of information about the origins of the world's favourite meat. My favourite bit of pork trivia from history relates to the measures taken by old-time Manhattanites to keep the pigs out of people's houses and businesses; they erected a brick wall to keep them in a particular part of the island. And modern-day Wall Street is the site of said wall. Lots of stuff about the culture of pork, particularly bacon, and how the maj This was a fun little book, entertainingly written, replete with all kinds of information about the origins of the world's favourite meat. My favourite bit of pork trivia from history relates to the measures taken by old-time Manhattanites to keep the pigs out of people's houses and businesses; they erected a brick wall to keep them in a particular part of the island. And modern-day Wall Street is the site of said wall. Lots of stuff about the culture of pork, particularly bacon, and how the majority of cultures (except those who eschew it entirely) almost revered the easy-to-raise, delicious-to-eat pig. Lots of information about the best places to get bacon, but of course it's focused on the USA. Interesting, but of minimal use to anyone living outside the continental US. I think there are recipes, too, but I confess I switched to another book before I got to that part of things on the first read.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    I am torn between giving this two stars or three - but I suppose the fact that I actually finished it (though, admittedly, I skimmed much of the second half) means I should go with three. This book...well, I guess my reaction to it can be summed up as "It reads like a blog." I realize the author is a blogger, but I felt like that fact was, somehow, painfully obvious. It wasn't necessarily badly written, but it's clear that the author is used to writing things that are much shorter. The book is qu I am torn between giving this two stars or three - but I suppose the fact that I actually finished it (though, admittedly, I skimmed much of the second half) means I should go with three. This book...well, I guess my reaction to it can be summed up as "It reads like a blog." I realize the author is a blogger, but I felt like that fact was, somehow, painfully obvious. It wasn't necessarily badly written, but it's clear that the author is used to writing things that are much shorter. The book is quite repetitive (it could easily have been half the length) and she uses the same cutesy stock phrases over and over again. After a while, I found it quite grating. I will say this, though -- every time I even glanced at this book on my nightstand, I had a bacon craving. I can only assume that this is the reaction the author was hoping for -- and in that, she certainly succeeded!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Emily Gilson

    This vegetarian remains unconvinced that this book is the best at depicting the history and popularity of bacon. What could have been an interesting read instead was a fangirl's frantic attempts to slap different terms for bacon and "best ever" on the page. Information and facts were recycled throughout in a very disorganized way, despite the book's chapter structure. The only part I appreciated was the resources, which a quick flip-through would help any reader find the perfect bacon-themed res This vegetarian remains unconvinced that this book is the best at depicting the history and popularity of bacon. What could have been an interesting read instead was a fangirl's frantic attempts to slap different terms for bacon and "best ever" on the page. Information and facts were recycled throughout in a very disorganized way, despite the book's chapter structure. The only part I appreciated was the resources, which a quick flip-through would help any reader find the perfect bacon-themed restaurant and/or bacon accessories more than the actual book itself. Overall, bacon isn't the meat-product that I miss most - that would be Cajun-style boudain - and this book failed to convince me to rejoin the carnivores based on its merits.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Steve

    I am not a baconphile, but I'm enjoying this book written by a friend--and former political consultant. It's history, culture and cooking all in one fairly brief book. You'll learn more about bacon than you ever thought possible and more about the people who love bacon than you ever wanted to know. My favorite thing about reading this book was the reaction from people who saw me reading it. This book claims that there are millions upon millions of people who are bacon fanatics. I've met quite a I am not a baconphile, but I'm enjoying this book written by a friend--and former political consultant. It's history, culture and cooking all in one fairly brief book. You'll learn more about bacon than you ever thought possible and more about the people who love bacon than you ever wanted to know. My favorite thing about reading this book was the reaction from people who saw me reading it. This book claims that there are millions upon millions of people who are bacon fanatics. I've met quite a number of them while reading this book at Starbucks, Four Peaks Brewery and a few random airports. Whether you like bacon or not, read this book in public and you will instantly find yourself in conversation with all kinds of random baconphiles.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Michelle Rittler

    As a lover of bacon, I wanted to love this book, but I struggled through it. While the book offered factoids about the different varieties of bacon and a handful of intriguing-sounding recipes, it was not organized very well. The chapters, by theme, made sense, but the content within each chapter was disjointed and awkward to read through. The book was saturated with praise for bacon, which makes sense given the tome's title, but I felt it was overdone and over-exaggerated.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Meredith Ann

    yeah, this book probably should've just stayed as a blog. at first, a book about bacon was amusing, if not a bit boring on and off. i liked learning about the history of bacon (cause i like the history of pretty much everything). once the writer started making comments about how could anyone be vegetarian and deprive themselves (and insinuating there's something wrong with them, if it's not for religious reasons), i decided it was time to give up on this one.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Greg

    Many reviews of this book make note that this book is better suited to a blog format. I disagree. It is a concise collection of all you ever need to know about bacon in bound format. Maybe even more than you need to know. Sure, I could live without list of hot dog carts in Los Angeles that sell bacon-wrapped hotdogs; but the recipes! Bacon-wrapped tater tots! Bacon-wrapped omelettes! Bacon stroganoff!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jliongrrrl

    Some of this (ie the history and process of making bacon) was very funny and interesting, other parts read like an advertisement for meat products in a bad Sunday circular. It did contain some interesting recipes that I plan to try. I am pretty sure I could live without knowing that there are bacon lollipops out there though. Perhaps I just don't love bacon enough to fully appreciate this book?

  16. 5 out of 5

    Robert Jordan

    This book provides a whimsical account of all things bacon. The author presented some interesting historical and cultural facts about The Best Meat Ever. Also, I found a few very interesting recipes for preparing bacon. I got bored after the first few chapters and skimmed the remaining part of the book. If you love bacon, you will enjoy this book. I did.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Lindsay

    This book is yucky. It's clearly different blog pieces slapped into a book, but not in a good way. I read 25% of it, and that was 24% too much. I'm glad I just downloaded this as an ebook from the library on a whim, because I don't feel bad about not finishing it.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    Eehh. Reads like a blog, not a book. Did not make me desire bacon, which is kinda why I checked it out from the library.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Nikki

    This was a pretty dry collectionon of facts about bacon. Some of the recipes and restaurant suggestions might be helpful but otherwise it just made me want to eat bacon, not know where it comes from.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Awjtf

    lots of interesting info about bacon!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Martin

    Bacon: the gateway meat. Well-written and funny homage to one of my favorite things. Some good info in here too, and I can't wait to try the bacon chilli recipe!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Cecelia

    Good information if somewhat sophomoric writing

  23. 5 out of 5

    Rick Segers

    It's a book on bacon. What's not to like? And to top it off, my daughter gave it to me. There are some pretty good recipes in it as well.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Lance Taylor

    Learn the true meaning of chewing the fat. You'll be hard pressed not to crave salty meat snacks whilst reading this "Bacon Bible!"

  25. 5 out of 5

    Mark Moxley-Knapp

    An excellent, if dated, compendium of bacon facts, recipes, and love. Lots of interesting info. Plenty of recipes and ideas for bacon use. Lists of suppliers, restaurants, etc. But, since it's about 15 years old I would be careful about assuming these are still around and making the same things. Written with love. I could almost smell the bacon.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Sadie-jane (Say-dee-Jane) Nunis

    Everytime I picked up this book... I start to salivate as I think of bacon... mmm bacon.... As I ate my breakfast which sorely lacks any pork (muslim country)... I took comfort in finishing this yummy bacon book. Honestly... it is a 3 star read.. however.. my generous heart gives it an additional star simply because it is about one of my favourite things ever.. bacon:)))

  27. 4 out of 5

    Glenda

  28. 5 out of 5

    Sam Nerby

  29. 5 out of 5

    Kevin

  30. 5 out of 5

    Rita Szollos

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