(The Center Square) – Every May 3 in Illinois from now on will be officially deemed “Illinois Bacon Day” in recognition of Illinois pork producers.
The idea came from state Sen. Tom Bennett, R-Gibson City, who wants to highlight the contribution that Illinois pork producers make to the state’s economy. Illinois pork farmers provide over 6 billion slices of Illinois-raised bacon every year, Bennett said in a statement.
“The pork industry is committed to providing consumers with the highest quality protein available,” Bennett said at the Illinois Bacon Day announcement. “The pork industry supports over 57,000 jobs.”
Bennett hosted a BLT party at the capitol to celebrate the passage of Senate Joint Resolution 22, which made Illinois Bacon Day official. Illinois legislators were treated to bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwiches.
Joe Stafa, manager of Sebastian’s Ale and Whiskey in Brookfield, which is famous for its bacon-themed menu, said he’s glad that Illinois has made Bacon Day official.
“There’s something about bacon that people can’t get enough of,” Stafa told The Center Square.
Sebastian’s is known for its menu full of creative bacon-inspired dishes, everything from appetizers to desserts. The bar menu offers a selection of bacon-flavored cocktails.
“Especially on the weekends, we sell a lot of them,” he said.
The more popular cocktails include a chocolate/bacon martini with a slice of bacon, a Piggy Margarita with pineapple and jalapeño and a Smoked Piggy Old Fashioned.
“We actually smoke the old fashioned in the smoker. We have a cocktail smoker and we put it in there for 45 seconds to a minute,” Stafa said.
One killer dessert is Sebastian’s chocolate Twinkie.
“There’s bacon stuffed inside a Twinkie, and then it’s battered and deep-fried. We serve it with a pecan whiskey sauce and more bacon,” he said.
The average American eats 18 pounds of bacon a year, according to Pork Business.
Pork producers contribute an estimated $13.8 billion to the state’s economy. The past year has been challenging for Illinois pork producers. Prices have been low. Creating Illinois Bacon Day shows the Illinois farmers that the state appreciates their contribution to the state economy, Bennett said in his statement.