Six years ago, my friend Seth Zurer and some associates founded Baconfest, an annual salute to pork belly that draws thousands of enthusiasts and has contributed over $130,000 to the Chicago Food Depository, money that has helped feed over 400,000 people.

The event is held on April 25th and 26th at the UIC Forum, and you can buy tickets here (though most events are sold out, as usual):

If you can’t make it to UIC Forum for Baconfest itself, there’s a month-long charity dine around at a number of local restaurants, all highlighting the signature pork meat:

I’ve included a slide show of past Baconfest festivities…and here’s the winner of this year’s Bacon Poetry Contest, who will be awarded this coming Saturday at Baconfest:

Bringin’ the Bacon Home

©  by Angela Allan

A piece of bacon took a pen

To write a little poem

About the way it feels to be

Accepted, loved, at home.

At first he wrote: “I am at home

When I am on a pig.

Within its belly, near the mud

It’s quite a pleasant gig.”

The bacon paused, then crossed this out

It sounded like a lie

To act as if he felt at home

Inside a dirty sty.

And so he wrote: “There is one place

That makes me feel fantastic

It’s when I’m in a person’s fridge

Tucked into shrink-wrapped plastic.”

The bacon paused, then crossed this out

And said, “That just won’t do.

For though it rhymes quite nicely

I don’t think it’s strictly true.”

And so he wrote: “I am at home

When I am in a pan.

Sizzling hot and spitting fat

I feel like I’m the man.”

The bacon paused, then crossed this out

It didn’t sound correct.

“Who knew,” he thought, “that poems

Would be so tiresome to perfect?”

And so he wrote: “I am at home

When I am on a tongue.

Within a human mouth, I feel

Invigorated, young!

For though I die as I am chewed

I know, deep down, I should

Because I sacrifice myself

To reach a greater good.

Indeed, I am a martyr

And when eaten, I dispel

All worry, fear and tragedy

All agony and hell.

I give, for just a moment,

The experience of bliss

I am the springtime robin’s song,

The long-lost lover’s kiss.

And to those who condemn me

And declare I’m not nutritious

I say, “What’s home? More vitamins?

Nay. Home is what’s delicious.”

The bacon dropped his pen; he smiled

And said, “Now that’s a poem!”

And moments later, he was cooked

And gently taken home.

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David Hammond

David Hammond, a corporate communications consultant and food journalist living in Oak Park, Illinois, is a founder and moderator of, the 8,500 member Chicago-based culinary chat site. David...