Cook the Book: 'Zingerman's Guide to Better Bacon'

20090915zingermansguidetobetterbacon.jpgHey, do you like bacon? You do, huh? But do you love bacon? Do you consider yourself a bacon aficionado? If so, this week's Cook the Book is up your alley: Zingerman's Guide to Better Bacon.

If you aren't familiar with the all-encompassing gourmet food empire that is Zingerman's allow me to sum it up for you briefly. All the way back in 1982, Paul Saginaw, Michael Monahan, and Ari Weinzweig opened a Jewish-style deli in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Since then they've expanded to include a restaurant, catering company, coffee roaster, creamery, bakery, and a booming mail-order business. All of the facets of Zingerman's have a single goal: to bring together the best food products from around the world.

Weinzweig handles Zingerman's literary wing. In addition to penning a bi-monthly newsletter, he's written guides to cheese, bread, olive oil, and vinegar—but his newest treatise on bacon is perhaps his most intriguing.

Liking bacon is a given—pretty much everyone enjoys it, with the exception of those abstaining for religious or dietary restrictions of course. Zingerman's Guide to Better Bacon tells the complete story of bacon, from farm to frying pan. If bacon-related quandaries keep you up at night, your search for answers if over.

Weinzweig has put together a comprehensive history of all things pork belly-related. Curious about the history of eating cured pork? Check. Interested in pig drovers in North America? He's got you covered.

Want to get up close and personal with artisanal bacon makers? You'll feel like old friends. Have you ever fantasized about going to a magical place called Camp Bacon? Well, you get the picture.

If you are still nursing the backwards notion that bacon only has a place on the breakfast table, this week's recipes will blow your mind. Everyday this week we will be sharing a bacon-centric recipe from Zingerman's Guide to Better Bacon with you. Here are a few to look forward to: Shrimp and Grits with Benton's Bacon, Apple Bacon Crisp, Cheddar Bacon Scones, and South Carolina Red Rice.

Thanks to the good folks over at Zingerman's Press, we are giving away five (5) copies of Zingerman's Guide to Better Bacon this week. All you have to do is tell us why you love bacon in the comments section below.

Five (5) people will be chosen at random among the eligible comments below. We're sorry, but entry is only open to residents of the U.S. and Canada. Comments will close Monday, September 14 at noon ET. The standard Serious Eats contest rules apply.

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