Georgia Garvey soaks up Baconfest April 14 at UIC Forum. (Barry Brecheisen/for RedEye )
Friends, I entered the belly of the beast. Well, the belly of the pig, to be completely accurate.
Some of you may remember my February column in which I attacked the bacon mania gripping our nation and city, arguing the bacon-in-everything fad had gone too far.
Some of you complained about that column—on Twitter, via email and on Facebook.
Some of you not only insulted my writing ability but also my ability to dress myself and apply makeup. On one hand, I found that odd, particularly because Mr. Makeup Advice was wearing a tie-dyed T-shirt in his profile pic and was not exactly George Clooney, ifyouknowwhatImean.
But on the other hand, I also know how fanatical the bacon-crazed can be, and I realize that by slamming their most treasured food institution, I was kind of asking for it.
So when one of the creators of Baconfest, the Bacchanalia of bacon that took place at the UIC Forum on Saturday, invited me to attend, I felt compelled to go. I would put myself through the bacon wringer, I decided. I would be an unbiased truth-teller, and I would emerge, like Buddha from his meditations, enlightened as to the reasons behind the bacon craze.
People, I went to Baconfest. And I ate lots of bacon.
The first thing I feel compelled to tell you is that I smelled like bacon for days afterward. A haze of bacon-y smoke surrounded the booths like the smog surrounds buildings in L.A. I have no idea how the good people at UIC are ever going to get the smell of bacon out of the Forum. I suspect that decades from now, some sophomore will be walking through the building, pause, sniff and think, "Is that bacon?"
Inside the Forum, everywhere I turned, well-meaning people foisted bacon on me. At first, I blindly accepted any morsel of bacon shoved my way.
The choices, however, soon began to overwhelm. There were bacon burgers, bacon sausage, bacon sliders, bacon confit and bacon cutlets. There were bacon beignets and bacon ice cream, both of which, God help me, I ate.
Some of it was very good, some of it was very not-so-good and some of it is forgotten, no more than a checkmark on my map of the booths and a vague memory of, "yeah, that tasted like bacon."
What it all boils down to is this: I was right.
Baconfest may have been fun and I did meet a spectrum of bacon fans—from your casual bacon enjoyer to your we-just-drove-all-night-from-Kansas-and-I-plan-to-eat-until-I-vomit bacon nutcase—but at the end of the day, I felt vindicated. One can definitely have too much of a good thing.
After hours of ingesting bacon, I left feeling a little bit nauseated, a little bit wiser and a little bit hungry.
For a salad.
firstname.lastname@example.org | @gcgarvey