Sam Edwards’ visit to Ann Arbor

Last night was the Bacon dinner at Zingerman’s Roadhouse. The food and the company were both excellent, as was the cause — to raise money for the nonprofit Southern Foodways Alliance. Sam Edwards, whose family has been dry-curing bacon and ham in their traditional way for over a hundred years, came up from Viriginia (near Jamestown), and shared stories about the company, their products, and the family history. The DVD that Sam played for us was informative — a bit dated, but he has plans for his son to create a new one (his son is in college and focusing on making video pieces such as this). Sam shared his hopes for the next generation of his family to be involved in the business, and showed us pictures of what their old wooden smokehouses used to look like, before the USDA required him to build new ones out of metal and fiberglass.

Sam and Ari

Sam Edwards (left) and Ari Weinzweig, in front of the photo hanging in Zingerman’s Roadhouse of Sam’s grandfather.

Ari presenting

Ari talking to the group about bacon.


Guests enjoying the appetizers, including Angels and Devils (oysters and dates wrapped in bacon) and Tennesse Chicken (which has no chicken in it).

BLT salad

A BLT in salad form, with the first fresh tomatoes of the season from Zingerman’s Cornman Farms.

Bacon Chix Spice Rub

Lex’s Roast Chicken with Bacon and Spicy Coffee Spice Rub — was fantastic.

Bacon Chocolate Gravy

Dessert — a Bacon Apple Pie, and a Biscuit with Chocolate-Bacon Gravy

This is just a selection of the food of course, there was much more! Almost all of the dishes served were from Ari’s new book, Zingerman’s Guide to Better Bacon. Oh and the Bloody Mary’s with Bacon, and Bacon Martini’s, were strong and very tasty too. We ate, drank, learned about bacon, and talked with our tablemates for three hours, before wandering out into the warm humid Michigan night. A lovely evening.