Americans Are Bringing Home The Bacon


It's Wednesday night and the Triple Rock Night Club is packed with fans wanting to savor the latest trend. It's not the band or the beer, it's the bacon.

They give it away by the basketful, some 50 pounds of crispy strips every week, reports CBS News correspondent Kelly Cobiella.

The delicious meat byproduct that everyone loves is taking America by storm. According to the American Farm Bureau, sales were up 10 percent in 2008 to a whopping $2.1 billion.

In fact, the lowly pork belly product is suddenly riding high on the hog with bacon garnishing everything from cupcakes and donuts to candy.

People are pigging out on bacon like never before. It's being celebrated on the Internet with bacon eating contests, a massive dish called a bacon explosion, even a bacon serenade.

No one is eating it up as much as Dan Phillips, a cured-meat visionary who calls himself Captain Bacon.

From his headquarters in Napa Valley, Calif., Phillips runs a virtual bacon empire, selling bacon popcorn, bacon brittle, even bacon soap. He is the bacon connoisseur, critiquing slices like fine wine.

Phillips' top picks end up in his Bacon of the Month club, 12 months, 12 varieties.

Even with the slow economy business here is sizzling, the Grateful Palate is sending out 2,000 pounds of bacon a month, Cobiella reports.

Orders come in from across the country, often from women as gifts to husbands who love the salty treat almost as much as Phillips, who admits he has a hard time taking his eyes off the stuff.

"Great foods have a visual quality so I mean just look at them is wonderful," he says. "I mean this is history, this is America this is my mom, this is the farm, this is where we came from."

Which may explain why bacon has become so hot. In these tough times, it can take you away with just a sound and a smell.
By Kelly Cobiella