Out and about: Baconopolis

How did I spend my Friday night? Why, ensconced in the aroma of sizzling bacon, of course!  

After work I headed downtown with a PCC posse to Palace Ballroom, an event space that's part of Seattle chef Tom Douglas's local restaurant empire. There, we partook in Baconopolis, a celebration of all things bacon. And I mean all

We were met at the door with Oscar Mayer bacon (above), a taste from childhood that served as a sort of ground zero for our taste buds. It was all uphill from there. Ten stations served up bacon hash, pea salad with bacon bits (my fave), a hot peanut butter, banana and bacon "sandwich" ala Elvis, a deconstructed BLT, butterscotch bacon bites, tempura fried bacon, braised bacon in pork and beans, bloody Marys with bacon garnish and a carbonara with pancetta. Mmm...

Above is that delightful bacon hash, cooked up in a cast-iron skillet (love that phrase) with Benton's Smoky Mountain bacon from Tennessee.  Local pork purveyors Salumi Artisan Cured Meats, Bavarian Meats and Hempler's represented Washington. 

Here's the crowd. The funniest part of the evening: a bacon-themed slideshow interspersed with shots of -- who else? -- actor Kevin Bacon. We loved the door prizes, which ranged from cookbooks to bacon air freshener to a bacon-print lunch box.

I headed home with a bacon-scented wardrobe as my souvenir. By Sunday I grew curious about the bacon options at PCC. I dodged Fremont Sunday Market traffic to check out the natural, uncured and nitrite-free merchandise.

Now to find the perfect recipe! I really enjoy this smoky beef and bacon chili but hope we're finally past chili weather here in Seattle. Perhaps some bacon-wrapped dates on the grill? Or this white-bean salad with bacon and tomatoes? 

How do you like your bacon? (and never fear meatless folks. I'll discuss my foray into vegan cooking later this week :)



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