Bacon, the official food of the internet, is being celebrated in Bentonville at the 2nd Annual Bacon Bowl and World Championship Squirrel Cook-off. The event is presented by our own homegrown purveyor of delicious pork products, Petit Jean Meats, who will be donating piles and piles of cured pig so that teams from all over the country can test their skills in creating dishes for the Entree or Dessert categories.

Attendees can vote on their favorite bacon dish, and a judges panel will determine what dish will go on to compete at the 2014 World Food Championships in Las Vegas — something that could net the winner $60,000.


The press release I received was a little light on information about the squirrel portion of the title, so I asked for a bit more detail. Squirrels will be provided by Squirrels Unlimited with teams from as far away as California, Michigan, and Georgia competing to see who can cook a tree rat best. I grew up eating a goodly number of Southeast Arkansas squirrels, so allow me to encourage participants to make my personal favorite dish: squirrel and dumplings.

Want to compete? Full details are available at the Bacon Bowl website, with registration lasting until Friday, September 5. Space is limited, so if you want to cook, now’s the time to start planning!


For attendees, an $8 advance ticket or $10 ticket at the gate gets you into a world of live music, Petit Jean samples, and all manner of cured-pork themed insanity. More information can be had at the link above.