National Bacon Day: 7 things to know about bacon

National Bacon Day is celebrated Dec. 30 each year. Not to be confused with International Bacon Day, which occurs the Saturday before Labor Day, National Bacon Day is another day on which “meat candy” lovers can enjoy their favorite food.

The holiday was created in 1997 as a way to take a break from celebrating the traditional winter holidays.

Here are seven things to know about bacon:

History of bacon: It is believed that bacon was first enjoyed in Central Asia about 10,000 years ago, not long after the domestication of wild pigs.

Father of the American pork industry: Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto is credited with bringing pigs to the New World.

Not all bacon is equal: In the United States, bacon is made from the pork belly. In other countries, the side and back cuts of pork are typically used.

Bacon isn’t just for breakfast: While breakfast remains a breakfast staple, bacon finds its way into other meals of the day, with bacon bits being sprinkled on salads and candied bacon being added to cocktails and ice cream.

Bacon in pop culture: Bacon has taken on a life of its own in pop culture. Homer Simpson has made his love of bacon well-known on “The Simpsons.” There are bacon-scented candles and soap, and the image of bacon adorns everything from gift wrap to clothing.

Bacon’s popularity is unwavering: Even with a focus on healthier eating nowadays, bacon remains one of the most popular food items in the U.S., generating billions of dollars in annual sales.

Alternatives to pork bacon: Turkey bacon is a popular alternative to pork-based bacon. Consumers may also find bacon made of beef, duck, lamb and venison. Vegans can even find plant-based versions of bacon.