China Hogs the Pork Biz and Brings Home the Bacon
Life + Money

China Hogs the Pork Biz and Brings Home the Bacon

At Pig Heaven, one of the best Chinese restaurants in New York City, the pork dishes compete and beat some of the best four-star rated eating establishments in town. You can’t do better than the tender barbequed pork ribs, the Cantonese style suckling pig, the Moo Shu pork with crepes or even your basic Sweet & Sour pork.

These dishes and dozens more are exotic feasts to most Americans — meals the Chinese have made into an art form. But in Asia, pork is every day fare. In Singapore, you can buy “pork satay” from a street vendor and eat it on a stick. In Northern China, it’s sliced and simmered in a hot pot.

SLIDESHOW: Bacon Nation: 17 Wacky Ways Americans Pig Out

It’s no wonder that China’s Shuanghui International Holdings is buying Smithfield Foods, the world’s biggest hog producer, for $4.7 billion. The iconic Smithfield Ham, which graces many a holiday table in the U.S., will now be wholly owned by China. But before we say goodbye to our Virginia ham, the deal has to be approved. Some politicians want to block it. Americans – and, let’s be honest, our politicians in particular— adore pork, especially bacon.

Just how sizzling is our love affair? Click here to see some of the wacky products that prove America really is Bacon Nation.