Crisp, salty and sweet, bacon can be the perfect remedy to any morning. But when it starts showing up in your cupcakes and in your local grocery condiment aisle, does it still whet your appetite? Apparently when it comes to pork, most Americans just can't get enough.
From bacon to sausage to ham, pork is getting more and more play in restaurant kitchens. Technomic, a restaurant industry data monitor, found that pork products on menus increased seven percent in the past year.
Some of the most-lauded restaurants in the country highlight pork products on their menus. Incanto in San Francisco experiments with lesser known cuts of pork and Blue Hill at Stone Barns in New York raises its own pigs. In Charleston, S.C., Husk incorporates a pork product into roughly one third of its menu. Sean Brock, the executive chef of Husk, not only raises his own pigs but is even developing his own breed.
Why the sudden jump? Bernadette Noone, the Director of Technomic MenuMonitor says that, "The higher cost of beef has made pork a nice substitute in combo dishes. Where customers were once seeing chicken and beef on the menu, they may now see more affordable chicken and pork dishes." The research shows that there has been a 15 percent increase in dishes combining pork and shellfish, 13 percent increase in pork and chicken dishes, and an eight percent increase in beef and pork dishes.
According to Noone, "The popularity of bacon is another key factor. For the last few years we've seen bacon-related menu items increase by over seven percent annually." And that is pretty easy to believe, with the appearance of bacon in, well, pretty much everything. From lollipops to marmalade, will the bacon ever stop?
CORRECTION: This story originally identified the location of Husk restaurant as Charlotte, S.C., when in fact it is in Charleston, S.C.
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