Bacon and the art of living

The story

The story of the development of bacon curing technology merged with the present day account of friends setting up a bacon plant in Cape Town.   I decided to use selected events from the story of our bacon company, re-cast them in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s and tell the story of the creation of bacon.

The historical setting is the time when modern meat curing was born in Denmark, England, Germany, and the USA.  It is also the time when the South African meat industry came of age under the leadership of David de Villiers-Graaff.  Besides these, the culture at the Cape, as it is today, was fascinating.  Life was vibrant and political currents, foundational to understand the present day South Africa.

Every effort has been made to ensure that all references to people and events from the 1800’s, 1900’s and 2000’s are actual and historically accurate.  Any misrepresentation is my own fault and will be rectified if such errors are pointed out.

I am currently re-writing this in its entirety. For the sake of collaboration, I keep other chapters it “published.”

Eben van Tonder
Cape Town



Chapter 1:  Once Upon a Time in Cape Town

Chapter 2: The Shambles

Chapter 3:  Seeds of War

Chapter 4:  The Greatest Adventure

Chapter 5:  The Bacon Company

Chapter 6.00:  The Denmark Letters

Chapter 6.01  Dr. Ed Polenski

Chapter 6.02  The Saltpeter Letter

Chapter 6.03  Saltpeters Ancient History (Being written)

Chapter 99:  The Art of Living

In chapter 99 I write about family and the many great experiences we had as part of “the art of living.”  most of these experiences make it into the main body of the work.

The rest is being re-written.




(c) eben van tonder

Bacon & the art of living” in book form

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Photo credit:

All photos on this page by the creative team of our company under the leadership of Willem Klynveld.


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