The Bacon Butty: Roll With a Whole Lotta Saturated Fat

A BLT bacon butty with white bread
Bacon!

It’s the legendary BLT! The bacon butty is a hallmark of sandwich excellence, offering a carb happy breakfast or lunch with a condiment of your choice.

This dish is so legendary from our student days, with our housemates dinning on it regularly, simply a whiff of bacon these days is enough to make us weep through nationalistic fervour. Hurray!

What’s a Bacon Butty?

A bacon butty is a sandwich consisting of soft (or crusty) bread and rashers of fried bacon.

It’s typically served with fried tomatoes, some lettuce, and a sauce/condiment. The latter may be mayonnaise, ketchup, or brown sauce.

The recipe also goes by the name of:

  • Bacon roll
  • Bacon barm
  • Bacon bap
  • Bacon sandwich
  • Bacon sarnie
  • BLT (a more advanced variety involving lettuce and tomato)

Even the bacon butty name is debated here in England, as some folks class that as “buttie”.

What you call it has no reflection on your status as a human being. It is entirely your choice, sir or madam.

The dish is, traditionally, considered a breakfast or lunch type of deal. Or as a random snack.

It’s very popular on many restaurant and café menus wherever you go in England, or around the world. As the dish has universal appeal!

The History of the Bacon Butty

Although the dish is extremely popular in England and causes a lot of debate across the UK, we couldn’t find any history linking the bacon barm to an English inventor.

As with our cheese on toast historical findings, we can’t think it took humans until the 20th century to figure out bacon on bread would be nice.

But for what it’s worth, apparently the dish does hail from England.

From our research, we did find the BLT (bacon, lettuce, tomato) has the most details about its origins. There’s not much evidence of recipes until 1903, when Dr. Evan Mee’s recipe turned up in the Good Housekeep Everyday Cook Book.

As with fish and chips, BLTs/bacon butty/whatevers became popular during and after WWII as the ingredients were cheap and readily available.

It was popular in America, too, where the BLT likely picked up its name.

in England, bacon and bread continue to have impressive resonance across the country, even in politics.

Back in 2014, this picture of Labour party leader Ed Miliband caused a stir across right-wing tabloids.

Ed Miliband eating a bacon sandwich

As it made Miliband seem incapable of eating a sandwich, let alone running a country, the likes of the disgusting The Sun ran it as a front page thing.

The tabloids neglected to mention that even Brad Pitt would look a bit dodgy at times when eating, such as it the nature of stuffing food into your face.

Thankfully, Miliband lost the election. We then got David Cameron for a spell longer, then got Brexit, then Theresa May, then Boris Johnson, and each year has been a goddamn ever-worsening horror show under the Tories. Hurray!

But at least we have bacon! And it’s British bacon!

Unless you’re elsewhere in the world, then it’s your local type of pork.

American Variations on Bacon Rolls

As a dish, bacon on bread remains popular worldwide. You no doubt have varieties on this near you!

If so, share them in the comments… if you have to. Like, we’ll have to put effort in and respond to you. Up to you. Maybe don’t bother?

Anyway, the Americans have various spins on the concept. Let’s take a look at some of them. Yes!

KFC’s Double Down

KFC double down

KFC runs this Double Down thing. It’s two slabs of fried chicken over some cheese and bacon.

We’re not sure if that qualifies as a sandwich. Google definitions class the term as:

“An item of food consisting of two pieces of bread with a filling between them, eaten as a light meal.”

So, no. The Double Down isn’t a sandwich. Whatever, it looks weird enough if that’s your type of thing.

Colorado’s Fool’s Gold Loaf (warning, there’s an Elvis food anecdote ahead)

In Denver, Colorado, there’s also a take called the Fool’s Gold Loaf.

It’s made by the Colorado Mine Company, which is a restaurant out there. The loaf is hollowed out and the following mixture is jammed into it:

  • Peanut butter
  • Grape jelly (one jar)
  • One pound of bacon

We’re not going to add a picture in case of copyright infringement, but you can find plenty online after a quick Google search.

The Fool’s Gold Loaf packs in some 1,000 calories for one meal. Lovely! It also used to cost $49.95 in the past.

This is notable as, apparently, Elvis Presley took a massive liking to the Fool’s Gold Loaf and once took his private jet to Denver and ordered 30 of the things.

Worryingly, he apparently ate every single one of them over two hours at the restaurant all the while drinking Perrier and champagne.

That’s the legend, anyway, but we seriously can’t see Presley eating 30 of things in one sitting. We’re sure he saved some for later.

Hangtown Fry

This is an omelette that became a big deal during the California Gold Rush in the 1850s.

The dish has an omelette base and then has bacon, oysters, and more eggs (all fried together) piled atop the omelette.

Looks nice, eh? They were REAL men back in the 19th century. That type of meal puts hair on your eyebrows.

Baconator

Wendy's Baconator

The Baconator is by the international fast food chain Wendy’s.

As you can see, it consists of much bacon, cheese, and what look like extra sort of beef burger things tucked in there. Can’t say we can figure out what those two bits are.

Ah, we found out! The above is actually the Baconator Double, which features two patties of some meat or other. Glad we cleared that up.

There’s also a Baconator Triple available, if that’s your type of thing.

It’s also worth noting, this thing is part of the kid’s menu. Absolutely fantastic. Let’s promote diabetes and obesity from as young an age as possible!

The Bacon Butty as a Hangover Cure

Bacon butties have a reputation as a hangover cure for those revellers who enjoy getting wasted on beer etc.

However, the stench of frying bacon can drive many folks to rush for a toilet as it can do a bit of nausea overload.

However, there’s some truth to the BLT power as it can boost the levels of amines to clear your pounding headache.

But food in general speeds up your metabolism during a hangover, so you’d be better off having some boiled eggs, brown bread, and a cup of ginger tea.

How to Make a Bacon Butty

Here we go! Two of the hottest men on Earth here for your bacon making delight.

Kevin Bacon isn’t remotely as drop dead gorgeous as Oliver, of course, but who better to join you in the kitchen to rustle up a BLT!?

The ingredients you’ll need for this majigger are:

Bread of your choice (go for brown bread, dammit)
Bacon (there are vegan alternatives, FYI)
Lettuce
A condiment of your choice

That’s about it, really. You fry up whatever bacon you’re on and then layer up your sandwich as you best please.

Genius innovative chef Heston Blumenthal (for once) has a straightforward take on it involving lots of mustard.

Makes a change from his porridge with snails ideas, what what?

Simple and hearty. Although not overly healthy if you’re going for the bacon option. But fine as a treat every now and then.

And you if you want to burn off some calories after you’ve eaten your bacon butty, why not dance like Kevin Bacon in Footloose?

We’ll just leave that right there for you. Whoever knew Footloose and Kevin Bacon had such a tenuous link with a BLT, eh?

17 comments

  1. I’ve not tried a Baconator, which is $11.10 here in NZ. It’s not so much the price as the fact that the Wendys chain only got as far as Auckland, and nobody in NZ actually goes to Auckland except for Aucklanders. Probably. A bit.

    Liked by 1 person

    • $11.10? That’s daylight robbery, that is! So Auckland is basically like Asterix’s village with it’s very own special potion. The Baconator. May its resistance prevail!

      We didn’t have any Wendy’s in the UK… until now! June 2021 and it’s announced there’s going to be a 400 store invasion. The Baconator takeover begins!

      Like

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