Let’s get crackling: advice spurs birth of ‘Bacon Day’

Birthday treat . . . Dave Neilson, of Dunedin, celebrates ``Bacon Day'' with friends on Friday with pork creations including deep-fried crackling wrapped in bacon and a ``bacon explosion'' - pork mince, bacon and barbecue sauce, wrapped in straky bacon and then baked. PHOTO: SHAWN MCAVINUE

On his doctor’s advice, a Dunedin man limits his bacon intake to one day a year.

The Friday closest to Dave Neilson’s birthday has been declared “Bacon Day”.

The festivity was in its fifth year and began as a result of doctor’s orders, Mr Neilson said.

“I got really crook a few years ago and my doctor said ‘you’re going to have cut back on bad food’.”

He told his doctor of his insatiable appetite for fatty bacon and asked him if reducing his intake of the cured meat to one day a year would help him become healthier and the doctor agreed.

About 40 friends of the birthday boy, who turned 43 on Monday, visited his home last Friday to honour bacon.

“Everyone is here for the bacon, not for me.”

A friend who travelled from Canterbury for the event made paua and bacon sushi for the celebration, Mr Neilson said.

Another friend brought banana, wrapped in bacon, drizzled in a sauce made of red wine, honey, mustard and chilli.

Word of the celebration had spread globally and he had been invited to be a guest to the Lucan Baconfest in Ontario, Canada, Mr Neilson said.

He declined the invitation as it involved paying his own way to the festival.

He began cooking pork products for the party at 5am on Friday, including 1kg of crackling to wrap in bacon and then deep fry.

“I woke at 4.30am – I was very excited, like a child at Christmas.”