Bacon & the Art of Living

The Story

The story of bacon is set in the late 1800s and early 1900s when most of the important developments in bacon took place. The plotline takes place in the 2000s with each character referring to a real person and actual events. The theme is a kind of “steampunk” where modern mannerisms, speech, clothes and practices are superimposed on a historical setting.  Modern people interact with old historical figures with all the historical and cultural bias that goes with this.

The work is far from complete, but with so many collaborators around the globe, I put this out for review and comment. Sincere thanks to every one of you who has contributed so much over many years!

Eben van Tonder
Cape Town



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Themes in Bacon & the Art of Living

The greatest themes are dealt with. Below I give title pages listing the different themes from Bacon & the Art of Living.

In the development of bacon curing technology, four iconic curing methods stand between the old dry-cured system and the modern system of the direct addition of nitrites to curing brines and the latest development which is Grid bacon. Here I list the chapters dedicated to these different systems of curing.

In the post above I list all the chapters in Bacon & the Art of Living which deals with the legendary company from Calne, Wiltshire, C & T Harris. I present the chapters for those who desire to restrict their inquiry to the Harris operations.

I fell in love with the story of the Kolbroek from the first time I heard it. It is one of the indigenous South African pig breeds, closely related to the Kune Kune from New Zealand. In trying to trace the origins of these breeds, I had to go back to the development of the English pig. It’s one of the greatest stories of our trade and here I share the complete work from Bacon & the Art of Living on these amazing animals! The list of chapters dealing with these are given in the link above.

In Bacon & the Art of Living, I dedicate three chapters to salt. It remains one of my favourite study subjects. The truth is that I only scratched the surface. It is a subject that I will return to often and I am planning to expand on Chapter 10.12, The Salt of the Land and the Sea. In the link above, I present the three chapters for those who are interested in a more thematic study.

The Afrikaner Nation and Boers feature prominently in my story of bacon. The timeline is such that I returned to South Africa just before the outbreak of the war. So, inserting the Boer War into this work makes perfect sense.

The second role of inserting it is that it is a perfect example of the power of the mental world where we serve images we created and exist only in the mind such as nationalism. It is central to the “art of living” considerations and insights that came to me through the discipline of meat curing.

The Boer War chapters are:


(c) eben van tonder

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110 thoughts on “Bacon & the Art of Living

  1. The Wiltshire Baskerville and Caswell families were since the 1300s landowner neighbors in Yatesbury and Winterbourne Bassett, and ran in high circles, (Sheriff of Wiltshire, Rectors of Witney etc.) They were, I believe, also neighbors in the USA Virginias, owning plantations etc.

    About 1760 William Baskerville and his wife Mary Hardy were in Tipperary Ireland, as was the Wiltshire Caswell family. Both families were wealthy and land owners. I think they were a driving force in the export of pigs from Ireland.
    Cork was the port where pigs were shipped to Bristol, and then driven through Wiltshire (Calne) toward London. Harris of Calne was established in 1770 by the widow Sarah Harris. It wasn’t until 1848 when George Harris visited New York, that the Wiltshire mild cure was discovered in Schenectady.

    I think the Irish Oake business probably obtained the Mild Cure process from the Americans, as did the Harris company, and did not invent the process.

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