The 2016 Blue Ribbon Bacon Festival proved people can eat bacon and feel the burn, too.
The theme of the 2016 Blue Ribbon Bacon Festival was “Body by Bacon, Sweatin’ to the Sizzle,” a combination of hard work and hardwood smoked bacon delights. (Slideshow photos taken by Christopher Maharry)
Farmland representatives are always searching for new members for the company's Bacon Club. Farmland was among several companies to serve as sponsors at the event. Other meat industry sponsors included Oscar Mayer, JBS USA, Iowa Pork Producers and Berkwood Farms.
In keeping with the exercise theme, Bacon Duct Tape featured a "Bacon Bike" as a prize for that bacon lover in search of a cardio workout inspired by bacon.
No celebration of bacon is complete without a Bacon Explosion. Pitmaster Jason Day invented the dish which is a torpedo-shaped fusion of 2 lbs. of bacon woven through and around 2 lbs. of sausage that is filled with bacon crumbles and covered in barbecue sauce.
The Checkered Flag Grill served up something sweet — strawberries dipped in chocolate and sprinkled with chopped bacon. Bacon also makes an appearance on restaurant's menu via the Bacon Cheddar Burger and the BBQ Ranch Burger.
Chocolaterie Stam, a provider of fine Dutch chocolate, gourmet chocolate truffles and other sweet treats served decadent chocolate-covered strips of bacon alongside caramel-bacon bars and caramel-bacon gelato. The company has been in business since 1913.
Andiamo! LLC brought the heat and sweet with Sriracha & Sweet Bacon-Wrapped Meatballs, Sriracha & Sweet Bacon Meatball Sliders, Squeeze & Pull and a bacon, caramel and nut cluster.
Café Fuzion brought an Asian flair to its offerings of Sriracha Cheese Bacon Rolls, Bacon Rangoon and Bacon Hawaiian Fried Rice. Café Fuzion specializes in Thai cuisine with regular menu items including curry, pad Thai, stir fries and other dishes.
Bacon-wrapped items were popular at the festival. These bacon-wrapped poppers are ready for the oven. Other bacon-wrapped items included bacon-wrapped ribs and bacon-wrapped steak sandwiches. Heart & Seoul offered a bacon lettuce wrap.
Say Cheese Gourmet Grilled Cheese is all about local. The cheese is from Graziano Bros. and the bread is from South Union Bakery, both Des Moines-based establishments. Additionally, Say Cheese serves customers at local farmer's markets. For the Blue Ribbon Bacon Festival, the company offered a hearty version of the classic comfort sandwich — bacon grilled cheese.