The microwave has ruined bacon. How else can you explain what has happened to the most perfect cut of pork? What was once applewood smoked, thick cut and full of flavor has been reduced to fully cooked and “ready to eat.” And it’s not just in our homes. An ad for a guilty brand of bastardized beast claims: “It is great for restaurants, cafeterias, child care, bed and breakfast, churches and schools.” Hogwash. No bacon worth its curing salt deserves that. Dragging the noble belly of a pig through the mud like this is just another notch on the universal lowering of our culinary and cultural standards. (You don’t have to watch Here Comes Honey Boo Boo for much longer than it takes to cook bacon in a microwave to realize this.) “You go to some [breakfast] places and people just think bacon is bacon,” says Rob Ivanov, owner of Touch Supper Club. “It’s not.” No kidding it’s not. No waitress ever asks, “How would you like your bacon?” Because it should be understood. Bacon should be prepared by a butcher, meaty with a nice vein of fat, and smoky, peppery, maple-y, bourbon-y or (fill in your own adjective here). And beyond good taste, there’s tradition at stake. According to a 12th century English custom that continues today, any couple who can swear that they haven’t quarreled for a year and a day is justly rewarded with a side of bacon. Now that’s the kind of devotion, love and affection I want heaped upon my bacon. So please, consider this the next time pork hits a frying pan, and I’ll be as happy as a pig in slop.