14

Bacon USA – America’s Heartland


America’s Heartland is
made possible by…>>CropLife America-
Representing the companies whose modern
farming innovations help America’s farmers
provide nutritious food for communities
around the globe. The Fund for
Agriculture Education – A fund created by
KVIE to support America’s Heartland
programming. Contributors include
the following: ♪♪>>There’s meat…
and then there’s bacon. If I told you Americans
eat 5 billion pounds of bacon each year,
what would you say? Only 5 billion?>>There’s no time bacon’s
not good to eat…>>You can make it salty,
you can make it sweet.>>You can literally
put it on anything and make it delicious.>>It’s its own condiment,
but it’s a meat.>>Yeah, like… it’s perfect.
[laughing]>>It’s one of the
oldest cuts of meat… it’s been around
since the 1500s, and it’s as popular as ever. Here’s another round
right here.>>Oh, wow.>>Look at this.>>That looks amazing!>>Now this is an assignment! From beer and bacon
pairings in Chicago…>>There’s bacon quesadillas,
bacon cupcakes, bacon cookies,
bacon ice cream…>>To an annual festival dedicated to all things
bacon in Colorado. I’m gonna find out exactly
why we love bacon so much.>>This is my
second one today.>>If you don’t like bacon,
you’re an alien. Period.>>Bacon!>>Today we’re serving up bacon-wrapped
America’s Heartland, oh yeah! [package crinkles] ♪♪ [sizzle of frying bacon] Admit it… your mouth
is watering right now. You can’t smell it, but
you know the aroma already. It battles coffee for the best
scent to get you out of bed.>>[yelling] I love bacon!>>Breakfast is over. It’s the middle of the day,
and yet, here we are. The crisp mountain air
of River Run Village at Keystone Resort in Colorado is filled with that distinct
aroma of cured and fried pork Yes, I know you love
your BLT, who doesn’t. But BLT, I mean,
how creative is that? We’re talking about bacon
donuts, bacon ice cream, bacon sandwiches,
bacon samples. Every year, thousands of
folks come right here to Keystone Resort in Colorado to sample everything pork,
not on the fork. It’s known as the
Blue Ribbon Bacon Tour. And this guy gets most of
the credit for the idea.>>Mmm! How good is that? I guess my official title for the Blue Ribbon Bacon
Tour and Festival is…>>Founder.>>Founder, Chairman
of the Iowa Bacon Board, my friends like to call me
“the face of bacon,” I guess. A face only a
mother could love.>>Never heard of the
Iowa Bacon Board? Well it’s basically a
creation of Brooks and his bacon-loving buddies who are
responsible for this event.>>Hey, why not? ♪♪>>We started
celebrating it in 2001 in Spirit Lake, Iowa, at
the Porter family cabin and we just kind of
had a retreat. It was a weekend
getaway of about… you know, fifteen
or twenty guys, and we just-
we all love bacon. We’d have bacon with
every single meal, one of the guys really liked
bacon with just Mayonnaise which is kind of weird. We used to sit
around a camp fire and profess our
love for bacon. So each guy would get up,
y’know, say a little thing, “Hey I love bacon,
bacon loves me, I’m gonna eat it ’til
I’m a hundred and three,” and after that,
we would each toast or cheers with a great,
“O’ bacon!”>>I’m not sure the
mayonnaise is the weird
part of that story… but those late-night
bacon-worship sessions grew into a bacon
festival in Iowa that attracts tens of thousands. And like bacon grease
flowing around a skillet, the tour continues to grow. Colorado, Wisconsin,
even Iceland. Now in its fourth year
at Keystone, thousands of people will pay
anywhere from 20 to 50 bucks for unlimited bacon strip
samples and bacon dishes.>>Enjoy!>>Thank you.>>When you look around at
how many people are here, they’re here for bacon.>>Absolutely
freaking amazing. It’s grits with bacon,
jalapeños and cheese.>>Whoa, that
sounds delicious.>>It’s pretty amazing.>>The sliders were really
good, the sushi was strange. But it was good! [laughing]>>Have you ever met anybody
who doesn’t like bacon?>>Vegetarians.>>Vegetarians.>>But I think they
really do like bacon… they’re just in denial.>>[together] Bacon caramel
swirl ice cream.>>Mmhmm.>>This is like the best
lookin’ thing I’ve seen today>>It’s like triple bacon. Barbeque, cheesy
something yumminess.>>You need a defibrillator… that’s what you really need,
y’know, I mean…>>It’s that good.>>It’s that good.>>It’s really,
really, really good. ♪♪ [crackle of frying food]>>Brooks it smells good,
what do we got here?>>We got the Col- Colorado Mountain College
Culinary Institute doin’ a wild game bacon slider. It’s buffalo and elk, and
sautéed onions and some bacon>>Oh man, that looks good-
we gotta try one.>>Yeah, hey sure.>>So we got elk, buffalo,
onions…>>Onions, and bacon.>>[laughing] And of course,
it’s got bacon.>>Yes. They actually won
‘best savory dish’ at the 2013
Blue Ribbon Bacon Tour.>>Oh, let’s dig into
one of those.>>Yeah.>>There you go guys.>>Thank you!>>Oh man, look at that.>>That’s just tasty
right there.>>Hot off the grill.>>Well I suppose you eat
the bacon first, right?>>Oh yeah, look at that. [while chewing] Mmm…
this is my second one today.>>Well I’ll be back
for another.>>Oh man, it’s hard when
you eat for a living. I gotta eat all this
good food all the time.>>Keep your girlish figure.>>I know.>>I mean, it just- all
the flavors work together. The onions…
this is what it’s all about.>>It is.>>I mean, if somebody can
bite into this and enjoy it, you’re a happy guy.>>I know, it’s pretty neat,
y’know… A lot of great pleasure
eating this…>>[laughing] ♪♪>>How many you think
you’re gonna make today?>>We’re gonna sell about
eleven hundred today.>>Eleven hundred
sliders today.>>Eleven hundred of these. And how many of
those did you eat?>>Two… Maybe Three.>>[laughing] Awesome. ♪♪ In the winter this resort
attracts skiers to take on the slopes. But after the snow has
melted the Keystone Resort turns into a place for
summer festivals. [band playing hard rock] And this one is a
gluttonous gathering that includes live music… adult beverages… and quite simply,
lots and lots of bacon. The combination of the
sweet, savory, the music, the beer, the thin air,
well it’s all intoxicating. And it makes you do things
you wouldn’t normally do. And getting serious answers
about bacon… This seemed like a
good idea at the time. …Wasn’t happening here. ♪♪ [crowd cheering, music] ♪♪ [crowd shouting]
Three… Two… One! ♪♪ [whistling and applause
from crowd, music] ♪♪>>If any place would know why bacon is becoming so
popular, it’s Chicago. Poet Carl Sandburg
called Chicago, “Hog butcher for the world.” For decades after
the Civil War, Chicago’s Union Stockyards processed more meat than
anywhere in the world. Livestock came in from the
West by the railroad car-full 40-thousand people
were employed to move and butcher livestock. And hogs were at
the top of the list. During the Civil War 1.4
million hogs were butchered. Look at the sign
in this photo… The capacity to butcher
1,000 hogs an hour. In 1906! There was so much livestock
that needed food and water at one point half a million
gallons of water was being pumped from the
Chicago River every day. Refrigerated rail cars, a
growing trucking industry, and a changing meat industry led to the demise
of the stockyards. They were shut down
in the 1950s. But the stockyards left
a lasting legacy, and Chicago will forever
be known for its meat. ♪♪ And this place knows bacon. Since 2007, Paddy Longs
Beer and Bacon Pub in Lincoln Park
has been wallowing in the popularity and goodness
that is everything bacon. ♪♪ And get there early
to grab a table for their Sunday Bacon Brunch. ♪♪ The three-man kitchen crew
works magic with meat in what has to be the smallest
restaurant kitchen in Chicago ♪♪ They tried expanding,
neighbors resisted, so they dance around
cooler doors and griddles and somehow manage to
create bacon-centered dishes. ♪♪ One dish for
true meat lovers… something called “The Bomb.” They start with five pounds
of ground sausage, pork and beef and then wrap it in a
weave of brown sugar bacon. It’s enough to feed 8 people. But for the truly daring
can try to win a T-Shirt by eating their own Bomb with a
side of fries in 45 minutes. Only a handful of people
have actually done it. Kevin Bacon is
not one of them. But Paddy Long’s owner
Chris Latchford says Sundays at Paddy Long’s are
known for something else. [chatter and music]>>We were doing
different beer tastings here at Paddy Long’s. And we just decided one day, “Y’know what, bacon really
goes good with beer. Why don’t we just throw a
slice of bacon out there with each beer we do?” A hundred people showed up, we knew we were
onto something.>>Now, Chris must use an
online reservation system to keep up with the demand for $36 Paddy Long’s Beer
and Bacon Tastings. Squeezed into the back
of the dining room on communal tables, the raucous
tasters get their fill. One by one the tasting
flights come out. A beer carefully selected
to pair with a specific cut of bacon.>>How we doin’?
Ready for round two? Alright, good. So guys, this is one of
the bacons we do here at Paddy Long’s- this is
our cracked pepper bacon.>>And the tasters
quickly find out what we consider bacon is just one slice of the
worldwide bacon scene. The tasting is also
an education on different cuts of bacon. Here’s another round
right here.>>Oh wow.>>Look at this.>>That looks amazing.>>It does.>>Now if I’m not mistaken,
this is the jowl bacon.>>Yeah, what’d they call it?
The face bacon.>>[laughs] It’s from the face>>It is.>>How’s it go with
the bacon? Good combo?>>Oh, very good combo. This is probably one of
the best pairings. I think the IPAs actually
are better with some of- most of the bacon so far,
because of the like- the really, like hoppiness
of the beer versus like the sweet and saltiness of the
bacon, it pairs really well.>>So which do you prefer, like beer and bacon tasting
or wine tasting?>>I’m not a huge wine fan,
so of course beer and bacon.>>Hey, been and bacon wins.>>Beer and bacon wins.>>Sorry Napa Valley,
Chicago has got you beat. ♪♪>>It’s pretty amazing to
see how after a couple of beers and bacons people
start talking to each other about how they haven’t
tried this before, or they’ve been to this
particular brewery. It’s just, y’know,
opening up people’s minds to the different delights
of cured pork meats. Y’know, you look
at the Italians and they got pancetta; or you look at the
Irish and they’ve got a different cut of the
pig for their bacon. There’s different ways to-
to create different bacons and all of them
are interesting. I find most of them to
be very tasty and I find most of them
to be even tastier when I pair them up
with a beer, so it works.>>Did you have any idea it would take off
the way it has?>>We had no idea at the time. Obviously, we do now and it’s
been a great success for us. Long may it continue,
but as long as we continue to provide different bacons
and combinations with beers that people potentially
have not tried before, I think the interest is
always gonna be there. Even for people who’ve
perhaps done the tasting before but then they come
back a few months later and try a whole new
different selection. With my newfound knowledge
and appreciation of bacon… there was more
exploring to do. It was time to leave Chicago,
hog butcher to the world… [horns and drumroll] And visit hog farmer
to the world, Iowa. ♪♪ There are 3 million
people in Iowa… There are more than
20 million hogs. ♪♪ Jake Peterson farms near
Baldwin, Iowa.>>Dad farms, Grandpa farmed. Great Grandpa farmed
before that. So yeah, we’ve been doin’
it for quite a while.>>And- and you went off to
school and got a degree…>>Yup, got a 4 year degree
from Iowa State.>>Animal science…>>Animal science, yup.>>Jake’s farm is a bit
of a throwback to earlier Iowa farming. Besides growing corn and
soybeans and raising hogs, Jake has sheep and cows. His kids have some chickens. Most hog farmers today
are using large buildings called confinements where
thousands of hogs are raised.>>I’m kind of the minority,
I guess you could say, of the hog operations. Most of ’em are confinement,
nothin’ wrong with that. It’s just I choose to
raise ’em outdoors.>>What’s the advantage,
do you think?>>One of the main
advantages for me is I have extremely
low overhead. I don’t have the
building infrastructure. I mean, I have some hot wire
and some plywood huts, the downside of that is I have a lot more labor
per pig than they do.>>How ’bout the taste? Does it impact the taste at
all to have ’em out on grass?>>I think it does.
Yeah, I mean, they- I mean, clean fresh air…
they have an access to grass, the finished hogs
are in bedding, more of a natural
environment.>>When I think about a… kind of an old school,
traditional Iowa farm, your- your farm sure
feels like one, Jake.>>Yeah, it… it- yeah, it
does. Here, grab this one.>>Sure.>>And we’ll just walk in here
and give them a little feed. Just kind of push them back
so they don’t rub on you. Come on, girls.>>These hogs are purebred
Berkshire hogs. To understand why
the breed of hog has anything to do with
the taste of bacon… you’ll need to rewind
to the 1950s.>>Frank Farmer seems happy
as he pockets his check and heads back home. He has reason to be happy. He sold what the market is
looking for: meat-type hogs.>>The hog industry’s push
was the “meat-type hog.”>>Take a good look at them
as they come off the truck. They are not over fat,
but are long and meaty. With a well-rounded
turn over the loin.>>Farmers were encouraged
to raise hog breeds that were less fatty
and more lean. Why? One word: chicken.>>Here’s another familiar,
everyday scene: the American
housewife shopping. She’s the person everyone
in the meat industry- producer, packer, retailer-
is trying to please. Let’s follow this
determined young lady past the meat counter where
there’re all kinds of meat, each competing for
her attention. What does she buy?
Not the ham slice with all the fat that will
fry away in drippings. She doesn’t want these pork
chops, not enough lean meat. And she is passing up the
pork roast with too much fat. But here’s something
she likes, and the pork industry
has lost another sale.>>For decades the industry
marketed pork as a lean alternative to chicken, remember the
“other white meat.” And the “Berkshire” breed
didn’t fit the lean label as well as other breeds. Fortunately for bacon-lovers
a new pork push is underway, and that includes more fatty
breeds, like the Berkshire.>>It has a nice red color,
where a lot of meats pale, and it has a nice pH
and cooks nice and it’s kinda makin’ a comeback.>>Berkshire bacon
was center stage at the Blue Ribbon Bacon Tour
in Colorado. Iowa farmers Doug and
Priscilla England were handing out samples of
their Berkshire bacon.>>[laughs] We’ve never been
to a- a bacon fest before and this was, there was
a lot more people here than I ever expected and
I just couldn’t believe the amount of people that
really liked our bacon, they came up with
really nice things to say to us about the bacon.>>There had to be over
300 pounds of bacon we served right here,
I mean, yeah. I mean, we- there were pan
after pan after pan of it, we just couldn’t keep up…>>Along with Jake Peterson,
the Englands are members of a co-op of farmers
called “Berkwood Farms.” Instead of selling their
hogs on the market, they market and sell them
directly through the co-op. All of the farmers raise that heirloom
Berkshire breed of hog.>>We’ve tried to make it
so the farmers, the small independent guys, can thrive in this
pork business today and raise a quality product
and get paid for it.>>The meat-type hog
is the answer to better pork
in the meat markets, and more satisfied
Frank farmers at the livestock markets. ♪♪>>If the bacon craze
is good for the farmer, it’s definitely good
for James Wheeler. Six days a week,
he and his crew hit the streets of
Sacramento, California in his pink-pig colored
food truck- “BaconMANia”>>We’re pretty much a full
blown restaurant on wheels everywhere we go, so it gives
people the option to have, y’know, really good
home-truck-made food that we bring to them. We put bacon in everything, we put bacon in our pulled-
slow-roasted pulled pork, we put in our
hamburger patties, our mac-n-cheese, our chili,
everything that we have, we incorporate bacon
in it somehow.>>Today James is on his way
to a suburban office park for the lunch rush-
he’s running a little late. The other trucks are
already in place but James doesn’t seem
too concerned.>>As soon as we pull up and
we make the stop at our spot, we get everything fired
back up from the drive, we kick on our exhaust fans
and just the aroma of bacon just- we just fill the
whole air and, y’know, a good twenty, thirty feet
around us is just- just has the bacon floating
around in the air and just that sizzle and
that crackle that- that people love about bacon and
something about that smell just takes them into
‘I gotta have it mode,’ then they hopefully A-line
it straight to our- straight to our truck and get
to try some of our goodies. Here’s your Blast Off
Bacon Cheeseburger, and your side order of
chili cheese fries. Have a great day, man.>>It’s like a taste-bud
trump card… the power of bacon takes
on other food trucks. Although James insists it’s
a friendly competition, he most certainly wields
an unfair advantage. Take the Jack Back Sammie
grilled cheese sandwich. Oh my gosh… Let’s slice this thing up,
look at that….>>Yeah, melty cheese
on the inside and grilled cheese
on the outside, mac n’ bacon
stuffed inside…>>Looks good to me. [street sounds, chatter] Mmm-mmm-mmm, hog heaven!>>Yeah.>>And people can eat
the whole thing?>>Yeah, some people do,
kind of a little challenge. Sometimes people try to get
through these in a lunch and not go home, not go back to
the office and go to sleep.>>How much cheese do you end
up putting in this thing?>>About four cups
is the total cheese, we go from the inside
and out, so….>>Four cups of cheese!>>More cheese goes on
the outside than goes on the inside of
these sandwiches…>>And how much bacon?>>A handful of bacon,
about a half cup to three-quarters of a cup
just on the inside alone, and then there’s
bacon as well inside of the mac-n-cheese
that goes on there, so… This one has a little
double dose of bacon on it, which is always a good thing.>>The BaconMANia crew
will cook up about 30 pounds of bacon today.>>Fridays are always a
good day for us, I think it’s just that sizzle
and that taste of the bacon, that real crunchy, just,
soon as it hit your mouth, it’s just- it’s just amazing.>>If it feels like you’re
seeing bacon everywhere, you’re right- bacon sales
have been on the rise over the past several years. Restaurants are adding
bacon to their menus and people are frying up
more bacon at home. In short… bacon is hip. There’s turkey bacon, or
tofu-bacon for vegetarians. And… it’s not just
for cooking anymore. Check out this bacon
merchandise. There’s even the
Bacon Man video game, where you help Bacon Man restore his rightful place
on the meat throne. ♪♪ Scientists have even tracked
down why bacon smells so good The American Chemical Society says 150 volatile organic
compounds work together to create a
delicious combination.>>You know they call bacon
the meat candy…>>Amber Vandewarker doesn’t
need any science. Her family brings
bacon-wrapped goodness to the California State Fair
every year. Their booth is one of
the most popular.>>My husband and I own this. It’s a summer business
so we run seasonally and hire a lot of locals
to work for us. And we bring my dad with us;
and my mom is the nanny; and my brother-in-law
came to help set up and…>>And your dad is
on the grill.>>Yup. Put him on the grill. We all take the summer off
and come sell bacon. We got started here with
more convenient items, we started off with
churros and nachos and things like that. And in 2008 when the
economy kinda tanked, we started to get creative. So, we started off with the
chocolate covered bacon, which turned out to
be a huge hit. And then we started playing
at home when we came up with the beer battered bacon
that we do. It’s beer battered
in deep fried, thick cut pieces of bacon; and a bacon wrap
chicken on a stick. And now we’ve come up with- we do a bacon-wrapped
turkey leg, and we have kebabs
that are wrapped in bacon. All sorts of good stuff.>>Whether it’s served up
at the fair, complimented with cold beer,
covered in cheese or celebrated by meat-lovers,
there is no denying bacon has found a place
in Americans’ hearts.>>That is so good!>>Nothing in bacon processing
is more eye-appealing or mouthwatering than a
view of bacon as it emerges from the stainless
steel smoke chambers. A beautiful sight, isn’t it? ♪♪>>Okay, so we’ve learned
there’s a lot of reasons why bacon tastes so good,
and some of them scientific. But one thing we do know
is bacon aficionados, farmers, and chefs
pretty much all agree, they just feel it
in their gut. That’s gonna do it
for this edition of America’s Heartland. Thanks for joining us,
we’ll see you next time. Hey, before we go,
just a reminder you can connect to
America’s Heartland through your favorite
social media sites, and you’ll find video
from all of our shows at AmericasHeartland.org>>You can purchase a DVD or
Blu-ray copy of this program. Here’s the cost: To order, just visit us
online or call 888-814-3923 ♪♪ ♪♪ You can see it in the eyes
of every woman and man ♪♪ ♪♪ In America’s Heartland,
livin’ close to the land ♪♪ ♪♪ There’s a love
for the country ♪♪ ♪♪ And a pride
in the brand ♪♪ ♪♪ In America’s Heartland ♪♪ ♪♪ Livin’ close…
close to the land ♪♪>>America’s Heartland is
made possible by…>>CropLife America-
Representing the companies whose modern
farming innovations help America’s farmers
provide nutritious food for communities
around the globe. The Fund for
Agriculture Education – A fund created by KVIE
to support America’s Heartland
programming. Contributors include
the following:

Stephen Childs

14 Comments

  1. so appeasing looks delicious. . Greetings from Egypt in the middle east

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *