Bacontown's triumphant return

 

Matt Milner, Ottumwa Courier (IA)

Nov 12, 2017

 

OTTUMWA — It’s not often you see an entire town square, one that’s more or less full-sized, brought into a single building. The storefronts and central clock, decorated appropriately enough with a pig, was a clear sign that, for one night, Bacontown was back.

 

When JBS purchased Cargill’s pork operations a couple years ago, the event went on hiatus. It took time for the transition to settle down. But this year KIIC and JBS were back bringing bacon to the masses.

 

For William Edwards it was a chance to taste his handiwork. The JBS employee had been to previous Bacontown exhibitions, but this one felt different.

 

“For some reason it felt a lot more comfortable this time,” he said.

 

Edwards’ favorite was the breakfast bomb with Jack Daniels syrup. The bite was emblematic of what Bacontown strives to be. It wasn’t the first thing you would think of for using bacon. But, by presenting the bacon in an unfamiliar way, it forced people to think of different approaches and consider new ideas.

 

For Emma Schmitt, 6, the bacon s’mores were a favorite. Served in a cup with a graham base, hot marshmallow fluff was poured over chocolate chips and topped with some crisp crumbled bacon. It was sticky, sugary and just slightly messy if you did it right.

 

Emma said the chocolate was her favorite part. She had never tried bacon with chocolate before. She liked it.

 

Crowds circulated around the perimeter of Bridge View’s exhibition hall during Bacontown, wandering from one another depending on what struck their fancies in the moment. There were bacon wontons and a couple versions of macaroni and cheese with bacon. For those old enough, there were beers to sample when the salty bacon created thirst...

 

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