Let's face it, bacon makes everything better. Bacon has a special place in the hearts of most. Even vegetarians and vegans can't deny its phenomenal aroma. In my case, it was my most missed food when I was a vegetarian and part-time vegan for 11 years, so when I went back to eating meat, it was only appropriate that bacon be part of my first meaty meal (atop a slab of filet mignon, documented here). Jim Gaffigan is right on the money with his 5 minute schpeel on bacon (fast-forward to two minutes!).
Crispy or soft, turkey or pork, eaten alone or added to sandwiches and cupcakes, bacon has a flavor few foods can rival. For many, there is simply no acceptable substitute. Still, some of us take our love of bacon further than others. While the average person is content to enjoy a few strips alongside pancakes and eggs, others elevate their enjoyment of cured, smoked pork to record-breaking proportions. Let's take a look at several record-breaking bacon activities that are sure to whet your appetite, and perhaps, clog your arteries ;)
World's Longest BLT The bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich is a lunchtime staple from coast to coast. Some readers will no doubt recall days where they polished off several in one sitting. Few of us, though, could ever hope to contend with the largest BLT in recorded history. As Pitch.com quipped in August 2009, "you might have smelled it all the way up I-70" as volunteers at the St. Louis Tomato Fest assembled a record-breaking 179 foot long BLT.
You read it right -- 179 foot BLT. I bet your footlong Subway sandwich that you had for lunch seems pretty wimpy right about now. All told, it took some 500 pounds of bacon and over 1,200 pounds of tomatoes to bring this gigantic sandwich into being and unseat the previous record holder: a mere 168 foot long sandwich at Warren, Arkansas' Annual Pink Tomato Festival that required "only" 300 pounds of bacon and 60 pounds of tomatoes.
Happily, all of that bacon did not go to waste, as the Festival opted to sell it off in 6 inch increments before closing up shop. The record sandwich prior to that - 146 feet long - stood as champion for less than a year. There seems to be no limit to the ambition and ingenuity devoted to creating bigger, better, record-setting BLTs.
World's Smallest Bacon Explosion True bacon aficionados are familiar with the bacon explosion, a heart-stopping bacon weave layered with seasoning, sausage and barbecue sauce (among other things). In true artery clogging style, bacon explosions are typically cooked in large portions, but at least one chef broke from the ranks by setting the world record for fewest slices of bacon used to make a bacon explosion.
The Universal Record Database reveals that Chris Cantwell of Smoke In Da Eye Barbecue created a 4 and 1/2 inch long, 1/8 inch thick explosion using just two slices of Oscar Mayer bacon and 1/8 of a pound of Jimmy Dean Sausage. These were then wrapped "inside a woven roll made from three bacon slices cut into tiny strips." The new record was born in Green Lane, Pennsylvania on May 19, 2009 and stands unsurpassed to this day.
An impressive feat, but I'm sure most readers would prefer chowing down on a supersized version ;)
Fastest (Bacon Powered) Trek Across Antarctica For all of bacon's undeniable popularity, it has come under fire in recent years amidst the "health food" craze. As a society, we have increasingly swapped beer for bottled water, french fries for carrot sticks, and bacon for, well, just about anything without as much fat and sodium. But never let it be said that bacon is not a high-performance food. MrBaconPants.com tells the story of how three Canadian adventurers used bacon to break the world record for fastest trek across Antarctica to the South Pole in January 2009.
And make no mistake: these brave men did not persevere through "altitude sickness, vertigo and huge blisters" with Vitamin Water and Clif bars.
Rather, MrBaconPants reveals, the group consumed a "7,000 calorie a day diet of deep fried bacon, cheese and huge chunks of butter". Powered by the incomparable breakfast foods of champions, the three adventuring pioneers made their trek in 33 days, 23 hours and 30 minutes, easily besting the previous record of 39 days, seven hours and 49 minutes set just a month prior. Presumably, the high concentration of protein of fat allowed these competitors to avoid depleting themselves in their exhausting pursuit of a world record.
Largest Homemade Bacon Cheeseburger The bacon cheeseburger, like the BLT, is a favorite dish of bacon lovers nationwide. But some of us are not content with the measly portions served at restaurants and backyard barbecues. The man in this video set out to create a real man's bacon cheeseburger and succeeded in setting a world record for the biggest ever.
In total, the finished product weighed in at 31 pounds: one pound of tomato, one pound of cheese, one pound of lettuce, two pounds of bacon, twenty-one pounds of hamburger, a half-dozen eggs, and five pounds of buns. The Guinness Book of World Records recognizes the gigantic burger as the reigning size champion among all bacon cheeseburgers created to date.
*Hint to my friends: in lieu of a birthday cake this year, I want candles on this bacon cheeseburger instead.
Largest Hamburger Commercially Available Not impressed by the homemade bacon cheeseburger above? (I mean, it only has 2 pounds of bacon) Then take a trip to Mallie's in Southgate, Michigan, home of the world's largest commercially available burger (I should note that they made and broke their own record twice!). For $399, you can get the 185.8 pound "Absolutely Ridiculous Burger" (it really is). Considering my favorite one pound burger in San Francisco costs $10, this sounds like a steal! Don't wanna make it all the way out to Southgate? Well, for $2,000, plus shipping and handling, you can get it shipped to your door.
The 185.8 pound patty takes 16 hours to bake and three people to flip. Once cooled down, three slices of bacon and one slice of cheese are methodically placed on the burger for every half ounce. Lettuce, tomato, white onions and sliced dill pickles are also proportionally placed, totaling 10 pounds of assorted cheeses, 15 pounds of mixed vegetables, 4 pounds of crispy bacon, 3 heads of lettuce and a 20 pound bun.
You can check out this beast of a burger for yourself in this clip of Man vs Food:
When I'm not Lunching, I'm a jeweler, and an all around, self-proclaimed web geek. My passions include social media, the interweb, technology, writing, yoga, fitness, photography, jewelry, fashion, … more