Press Releases

Zingerman’s Co-Founder Ari Weinzweig Declares Bacon “The Olive Oil of North America” (6/09)

for immediate release
Contact Pete Sickman-Garner
[email protected]

Zingerman’s Guide to Better Bacon to hit store
shelves July 2009; Published In-house by Zingerman’s Press

Ari Weinzweig launches into a very popular topic in his latest book, Zingerman’s Guide to Better Bacon: Stories of Pork Bellies, Hush Puppies, Rock ‘n’ Roll Music and Bacon Fat Mayonnaise. As the subtitle suggests, the author digs deep into the history of bacon and also profiles some of the best artisan bacon makers in the United States including Kentucky’s Allan Benton, Virginia’s Sam Edwards, and Wisconsin’s Tanya Nueske. “Bacon is so integral to the culinary history of this country,” notes Weinzweig. “The roots are so deep in our cooking, I think of it as the olive oil of North America.”

Weinzweig takes readers on a trip from medieval England, where bacon was used to promote matrimonial harmony, to the 19th-century drovers who were crucial to the hog trade of the early American nation, to modern blues singer and big bacon lover, Andre Williams. Ari also details how bacon moved from a farm staple to a huge-selling but flavorless commodity and how dedicated craftspeople are bringing back traditional curing methods today. In detailed tasting notes of his favorite bacons, Ari carefully lays out what makes one bacon different from the next, and, in the recipes section, shows readers how to take advantage of the different flavors in everyday cooking.

Going into the writing, Ari was fully aware of the challenges of taking on such a hot topic. “My reasons for delving into the bacon world don’t really have much to do with its present-day popularity. In July of 2008, New York Magazine was already wondering, ‘When will the anti-bacon backlash come?’ What fascinates me about bacon isn’t the latest trend but old-time taste, tradition and technique.”

While his bacon book might run counter to the “hot-topic” treatment bacon is currently enjoying, Weinzweig has also chosen an alternative publishing model for this book, producing it in-house under the imprint Zingerman’s Press. The Press, run by Jillian Downey, is a new venture for Zingerman’s and plans to publish a limited number of books annually. “We are focusing on a long-term, sustainable publishing model with books that help deliver the Zingerman’s experience to readers whether they are about food or business or any topic that fits with the Zingerman’s mission,” Downey notes. “We will publish books that have a long shelf-life, so to speak.”

Zingerman’s Guide to Better Bacon
is illustrated by Zingerman’s award-winning art department and includes over 42 recipes, encouraging readers to put their new-found bacon expertise to use in the kitchen right away.

$29.99  |  ISBN 10: 0964-89564-1 | ISBN 13: 978-0-964-89564-5
Printed, bound, and warehoused locally, in southeastern Michigan.