Bourbon & Bacon

    If you eat meat, odds are you eat and love bacon. And what’s not to love? Whether it’s salty, or sweet, fatty or lean, bacon tickles the taste buds unlike any other food.

    And then there’s bourbon; a whiskey distilled from a mash made up of not less than 51 percent corn plus malt and rye.One of my favorite drinks, whether it’s as a shot, on the rocks, or mixed— bourbon, like bacon, is versatile and delicious.

    So, what if the two meet?

    This is the question asked by the curators of the Bacon and Bourbon Festival, which occurs over four US cities, including right here in Portland, Oregon at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI). This one day event, going from 7-11 PM on Saturday January 9th, this event, which has already sold out, allows you to gsnack your way through some of the best bourbon and food the Pacific Northwest has to offer. If you are lucky enough to attend this event, you’ll get to sip bourbon from distilleries of all sizes and taste bacon—sometimes prepared in ways that you would never expect.

    After attending last year, this year I was lucky enough to get my ticket in advance and arranged for a cab (My missus, who is not fond of either bacon or bourbon) just in case I had too much of either delicacy.

    More than just a festival to enjoy food, it is an educational experience. For example, I learned that the terms bourbon, whiskey and scotch are not interchangeable. Scotch is whisky distilled in Scotland, while bourbon is whiskey distilled in the U.S.A, most often in Kentucky. The primary ingredient in Scotch is malted barley, whereas bourbon is distilled from corn.

    Bacon, too is a complex food (Vegetarians, turn away!) that can be served and prepared any number of ways.

    Bacon is cured meat from the belly and sides with distinctive strips of fat and characteristically thinly sliced. Bacon can be broiled, baked, pan fried, and even microwaved. Bacon fat can be used to flavor other foods and bacon itself can be served with foods as diverse as fish, salad, hamburgers, and even doughnuts… and is always delicious.

    I learned different recipes and variations. I have always been known for my bourbon chicken, but I had never thought to first fry that chicken in bacon grease to make it extraordinarily delicious.

    Of course, this is all within the really cool confines of OMSI, in the heart of the Industrial district of down town Portland, Oregon. The Bourbon & Bacon Fest has become a must attend event for me every year… you should, likewise, considering making this a family tradition for you as well!

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