Each year, Americans consume more than 1.7 billion pounds of bacon, but one local deli has garnered national attention for what they call “un-bacon.”

Schmacon was created by Naperville chef and resident Howard Bender as an alternative to traditional pork bacon.

“It’s beef’s answer to bacon. It has so many applications, breakfast lunch and dinner,” said Bender. “It also has a lot of benefits unlike the pork variety and other alternatives can’t compare either.”

Schmacon can be used just like its classic counterpart.

Because the product is made of lean beef using bender’s patent pending process, Schmacon has less fat, calories, and sodium than pork bacon and is comparable in cost as well.

Schmacon is currently being sold by Schmaltz Products LLC to restaurants nationwide, but you can get it locally at Schmaltz Deli off Naper Boulevard.

“Schmaltz Deli was the fortunate incubator as we were developing the flavor profile. The customers here were very helpful in telling us what they liked and what they didn’t like. A little too sweet, a little too salty, all of those things,” said Bender.

Bender hopes to have his creation on grocery stores shelves across the country by the end of this year.

Schmacon was honored with a Food and Beverage Innovation Award at this year’s National Restaurant Association show in Chicago earlier this month.


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