We arrived at the Stan Mansion (2408 N. Kedzie) shortly after 11:00 for the artery-cloggingest day of the year, Baconfest!!! (at least until they invent Butterfest). As soon as we strolled into the front entrance, we were overtaken by the intense aroma of smoked bacon, it was wonderous. The Head Bacon Man (a title I hope one day to attain) told us that the restaurants were upstairs and the vendors were downstairs, and he recommended starting with the vendors. We heeded his advice and went to the basement. What we saw in that basement may have altered my life forever. In short, it was bacon everything (smoked bacon of all varieties, bacon shirts, bacon candy, bacon cupcakes, bacon lipbalm, bacon dog food, bacon chocolate, etc.). I imagine that basement is what heaven looks like.
Anyway, we sauntered around the room sampling each vendors wares and deciding what we were going to come back to purchase. The first actual bacon we had was from Nueske's Meat Products. Before we ate it, they told us it was applewood smoked. I bit into my inaugural piece of Baconfest 2010, and we were off. The bacon was delightfully salty and sweet, with lots of smoky flavor too it. It was some spectacular bacon, but I thought it was too heavily smoked for me, which is weird because it was applewood (and not hickory) smoked, and applewood is not a terribly assertive smoke. Either way, I was glad to kick off Bacon Day with some excellent bacon. Apparently the blood flowed out of my brain in a fit of excitement, so I forgot to take a picture of the good people at Nueske's, but in any event, it was awesome, and its website is http://www.nueskes.com/. If you like really smokey bacon, this is the place to be.
The next place on our path also doubled as the strangest thing I ate during Baconfest (and possibly in my entire life, which is really saying something). It was Torani Bacon Syrup. Today they were sampling Bacon Pepsi and Bacon chocolate milk. I began with the Pepsi. I took a big sip to start off and it tasted like Pepsi, only with the distinct smack of bacon. I probably should have expected that since it was bacon syrup and all, but I'm pretty sure no one could accurately anticipate what Pepsi and bacon would taste like. No matter how much bacon Pepsi I drank, I could not get my mind around it, so I'm pretty sure I didn't like it. On the other hand, the Bacon chocolate milk was amazing, like nothing you could imagine unless you have been stirring your chocolate milk with a bacon strip for your whole life. The creaminess of the milk and chocolate went oddly well with the fattiness and smokiness of the bacon syrup. I could definitely imagine myself drinking more bacon chocolate milk and also having a heart attack by the time I was 35. Anyway, if you want to get some bacon syrup (or any other of their many syrups), the website is http://www.torani.com/.
http://www.campbacon.com/, but it is apparently not working just yet.
All that was before we even went upstairs to any of the twelve restaurants which were all serving bacon related dishes. This was going to be a marathon.