Bacon lovers are everywhere, but they don’t usually get the chance to congregate—online or in person—and appreciate bacon together. Perhaps they don’t need to, but just in case, there is a group out there called BENSA—short for Bacon Enthusiasts 'n' Swine Aficionados—that exists to bring bacon lovers together. Its founder is Eliza Cross, the author of 101 Things to Do With Bacon, and she says her bacon appreciation society currently has 1,016 members. What’s it all about? “BENSA is a lot like the high IQ society Mensa, with a couple of differences,” Cross told me in an enthusiastic—and semi-sarcastic—email.
“First, the good news: we accept bacon lovers of all intelligence levels!” she continued. “And second, you don't have to take a lengthy test to prove that you're worthy. Just take the Bacon Bensa Intelligence Test (fondly referred to as the Bacon B.I.T.). It's just four questions, and if you pass, you're in!”
I recently took the test myself and passed easily. Although BENSA is, as Cross admits, a loosely organized club, it does have its benefits. For instance, Cross shares discounts to bacon-related events, like the Denver Bacon and Beer Classic on May 13, at which she is a culinary judge. (Her favorite bacon, she says, is Nueske's cherrywood smoked bacon.) Members also share recipes, bacon memes and bacon news on the BENSA Facebook page, and Cross often posts bacon recipes on the website blog, including those for bacon fat cookies and bacon bloody Marys.
BENSA is all in good fun, but Cross would like to build it out a bit. “My plans for the organization include partnerships with select companies to offer additional discounts and member benefits, expanding the blog to include more news and recipes, and sharing fun member surveys to compile data about bacon enthusiasts,” Cross told me. It isn’t immediately clear what kind of useful data there is to compile about bacon enthusiasts, but it could be a worthwhile effort if it leads to the enjoyment of bacon.
“I also think it would be fun to set up member profiles,” Cross said. “Maybe for our single members we could partner with Sizzl, the bacon-lover's dating app.”