Des Moines Bacon Festival -
Sign Up   Today's Posts
User: Pass: Remember?
Advertise Here
Jeep Home Jeep Forum Jeep Classifieds Jeep Registry JeepSpace Jeep Reviews Jeep Gallery Jeep Clubs Jeep Groups Jeep Videos Jeep Events Jeep Articles
Go Back > General > General Discussion > Des Moines Bacon Festival

Rough Country Lift Kits and Parts!FS: Wrangler RGB Multicolor Fog Light LEDs: Awesome EffectRIGID LED Light Blowout Sale - All Sizes, All Series, all

Unread 02-14-2008, 09:13 AM   #1
Stupid is as Stupid does
mjkolb02tj's Avatar
2002 TJ Wrangler 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Philly Suburbs, PA
Posts: 203
Des Moines Bacon Festival

Whats the over/ under on number of heart attacks?

D.M. bars will bring on the bacon (lots of it)

Bacon. Bringin' it home. Makin' it.

The very word drips with money, sex, pork fat - three things that spin the world.

So when Brooks Reynolds was asked the question Des Moines always asks itself - "What does Des Moines need?" - this is what he said:

"A festival for bacon."

Thus, the High Life Lounge will hold its first Blue Ribbon Bacon Festival March 1, National Pig Day, attracting bacon lovers from California and Arizona along with a Pittsburgh bacon blogger.

To Reynolds, it was no throwaway line. For years, he has gathered his buddies for a summer weekend pilgrimage to a Spirit Lake cabin for "all things bacon," toting along 15 pounds.

When they returned, their wives and girlfriends complained their very skin smelled like bacon grease.

"Why not bring it to the masses?" asked Reynolds, 32, a Des Moines insurance salesman.

He spoke to the right man, Jeff Bruning, one of the owners of the High Life Lounge and El Bait Shop, a master of tapping into the nostalgia, guilty consumption and manliness that launched a '70s lounge smelling of cheeseburger baskets and Pabst Blue Ribbon.

Bruning is almost offended when asked why.

"I'd answer the question with, 'Why not?' and 'Are you kidding me?' Go ask a few people what they think about eating bacon and, as long as they aren't sickly skinny, and they are from Iowa, they will tell you why."

Split the vein of an Iowan and bacon drippings ooze out. It is well-known that pigs far outnumber humans in Iowa - with often better qualities, including the meat culled from its sides and served with eggs.

Bacon evokes memories of weekend mornings when, like summer days at the grill, dad found his culinary place, flipping thin slices of meat, calling out to the primal man.

Bacon is about sustained attention in a click-happy TV-remote-and-computer-mouse world. It must be forked, flipped, watched. It must not be under- or overdone. It must be honored.

Bacon is about our state's history, when hungry country folk needed meat in their bellies to chore.

Bacon is the underdog, in the shadow of the Iowa chop and thick beef steak, a hardworking food for the fearless.

"Historically, it's called the middling or side meat, the part right below the spare rib," said Leo Landis, who studied agriculture history before taking a job at the Iowa Newspaper Association.

He is careful about his bacon. He buys whole hogs and has even butchered one himself. When he does buy bacon, he knows how it is cured. Although many buy the Hormel or Farmland brands at the supermarket, private labels are tops in total sales.

At venues such as Polehna's Meat Market in Cedar Rapids, the bacon is cured in brine for days and then stored in a smokehouse.

Landis, who Reynolds calls the "professor of bacon," said bacon has regained popularity, fighting off the fat-phobic with help from traditional foods' comeback.

Bacon sales rose 20 percent from 2000 to 2005, which the National Pork Board attributes to added flavors such as maple and jalapeño and the increased use of bacon to accompany other foods. Sixty-two percent of restaurants have bacon on their menu, as more have included it in nonbreakfast items such as sandwiches, pizzas and salads, according to the Foodservice Research Institute.

Pork bellies, the uncured bacon often heard about on farm reports, have become a thing of beauty to high-end restaurants serving haute cuisine.

Enosh Kelly, chef at Bistro Montage in Des Moines, uses pork belly in his cassoulet, a classic French dish.

"Pork belly has really come on," Kelly said. "And bacon is one of those guilty pleasures. Even vegetarians long for it."

The beauty of bacon is in its simplicity - 74 percent of the time served on its own. The most basic of combinations - the bacon, lettuce and tomato - should be the official summer sandwich of Iowa.

Bacon does invite misconceptions. Men claim bacon as their own, although 46 percent of bacon-eaters at breakfast are women, the National Pork Board reports.

"I certainly think of it as more of a guy food," said Landis, who will lecture on bacon at the festival. "I don't know if it's something in our DNA.

"In Iowa, it's a traditional breakfast, and it was a good food you could store and keep on the farm for a long time."

Jason Mosley of Pittsburgh, also know as Mr. Bacon Pants, said he has learned in four years of writing a bacon blog that bacon does not discriminate.

"I know a girl that says if a man doesn't eat bacon she will not date him," said Mosley, who saved money to attend the festival here. "It combined my two favorite things, bacon and PBR."

PBR will be offered for $1 a draw, paired with succulent dishes such as bacon-wrapped shrimp, little bacon cheeseburgers, a bacon-wrapped jalapeno and tater tot - all the gourmet bacon foods.

Bruning also donated 50 pounds of smoked malts to local home brewers to create a smoky beer that will go well with bacon.

A fiery starter will be the Blazin' Bacon Bloody Mary, served with a slice of peppered bacon.

For dessert, a Chicago chef has created maple bacon cheesecake with a Templeton Rye whiskey glaze.

The bacon-eating contest should be competitive.

It wouldn't be smart to get between a pound of peppered bacon and Brooks, who will be ignoring his girlfriend's dire warnings of his high cholesterol.

That's part of the pleasure of bacon - thumbing your nose at conventional advice.

Originally Posted by martinsburgjeep
Don't knock low standards, if your dad didn't have them you wouldn't be here to argue with us.
Originally Posted by BlueTeeJay
That'd suck. You must not go topless as much as I do.
SAVE PARAGON! Visit to get more information.
mjkolb02tj is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 02-14-2008, 09:46 AM   #2
Registered User
1995 YJ Wrangler 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Omaha, NE
Posts: 1,024
I may have to make the trek over there.
FreemasonJeeper is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 02-14-2008, 10:52 AM   #3
Registered User
1980 J-Series Truck 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Rocky Mount, VA
Posts: 258
that sounds frickin awesome!
1980 j-10, 4 speed Grandpa's old jeep
14 mk, FD1' 5 speed
RUparrothead is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 02-14-2008, 10:54 AM   #4
Registered User
1996 XJ Cherokee 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Büchenbach, DE, Bayern
Posts: 1,052
Holy ****!

Sign me up!
"Sandstorms inflict damage of about $540 million per year, and losses of crops and forests due to acid rain amount to about $730 million per year. More serious are the $6 billion costs of the "green wall" of trees being built to shield Beijing against sand and dust, and the $7 billion per year of losses created by pest species. We enter the zone of impressive numbers when we consider the onetime cost of the 1996 floods ($27 billion, but still cheaper than the 1998 floods), the annual direct losses due to desertification ($42 billion), and the annual losses due to water and air pollution ($54 billion). The combination of the latter two items alone costs China the equivalent of 14% of its GDP each year." - Jared Diamond, Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed
sparkchaser is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 02-14-2008, 06:40 PM   #5
Registered User
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Iowa
Posts: 28
Makes me proud to be an Iowan.
jrh is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 02-14-2008, 07:51 PM   #6
Registered User
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Chattanooga, TN
Posts: 330
I'll be there in spirit!
Join The NRA!
Vegetables are for when you run out of meat!
I find it odd that my spell checker always highlights Obama as a mistake!
EagerJeeper is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 02-14-2008, 08:20 PM   #7
Registered User
2000 WJ 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Bozeman, MT
Posts: 1,282
I've been dreaming about something like that for years
Formerly Default Jeeper #13
2000 WJ Limited 4.7 with stuff. Look left for the deets.
CrazyWalnut13 is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid e-mail address for yourself.
Note: All free e-mails have been banned due to mis-use. (Yahoo, Gmail, Hotmail, etc.)
Don't have a non-free e-mail address? Click here for a solution: Manual Account Creation
Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Thread Tools

Suggested Threads

Jeep, Wrangler, Cherokee, Grand Cherokee, and other models are copyrighted and trademarked to Jeep/Chrysler Corporation. is not in any way associated with Jeep or the Chrysler Corp.