We’ve been loyal members of the Bacon of the Month Club, on and off, for almost its entire ten-year history. When it started, the Grateful Palate, which operates the club, barely had a catalog. But now, thanks to the Great Bacon Bandwagon of 2007, not only does the club produce “A Field Guide to Bacon,” it has even recruited David Chang as a “pork ranger” and Danny Meyer as a “bacon ranger” to add their celebrity mugs to its already florid copy. (A typical quote: “Sweet, salty, lovely, delicate powerful like an iron fist in a velvet glove, the kind of bacon to write odes and sonnets about. Silk, silk, silk…”)
Every bacon slice in the book is accompanied with its place of origin highlighted on a map, space for tasting notes, and some kind of extra blurb. Meyer’s tend toward the enthusiastic (“This one deserves a steak knife. I’d love it with peanut butter and celery”), while Chang’s, befitting his role as pork god of American gastronomy, has a more magisterial note (“A favorite. Country ham meets bacon – meaty, salty, and smoky”). Its celebrity blurbs aside, the field guide will most certainly be a treasured piece of food porn for anyone with a weakness for the king of breakfast meats.