This summer's tastiest job: Bacon critic

Attention bacon lovers: Here's your chance to cash in on your passion.

Time Inc. (TIME) is looking for a "Bacon Critic" for its recently launched Extra Crispy website, which the parent company of People and Sports Illustrated magazines says is dedicated to "obsessively documenting breakfast, brunch and the culture surrounding it all."

According to a posting on the Extra Crispy site, the job, which is a paid three-month position, requires "serious writing chops, an unmistakable voice, a sense of adventure, and an insatiable hunger -- for bacon."

The "Bacon Critic" will be tasked with determining which product should be crowned "America's Best Bacon." To apply for the position, bacon lovers need to submit an essay of fewer than 600 words describing their favorite bacon-related memory to bacon@extracrispy.com by June 24. A company spokeswoman said the response to Extra Crispy's ad has so far been "overwhelming."

Whoever gets this assignment will have their work cut for them. For one thing, bacon can be found these days in everything from alcoholic drinks to deserts. Hormel Foods (HRL), which has made bacon for 125 years, sells 30 different flavors, ranging from jalapeno to cinnamon sugar, to appeal to a variety of palates. According to the National Pork Board, Americans consume 3.4 billion pounds of bacon annually, a figure that has been climbing.

"Bacon sales in the past few years have been very healthy," said Nick Schweitzer, Hormel Black Label Bacon brand manager, in a press release. "The emergence of the bacon craze has resulted in people finding new and creative ways to use bacon."

Don't forget the load of bacon-related merchandise. A site called the Royal Bacon Society sells everything from T-shirts with pithy sayings such as "Don't Go Bacon My Heart."

Moreover, bacon festivals are popping up all around the country, including one scheduled for next month in Tuckerton, New Jersey, (near Atlantic City) that organizers expect 10,000 people to attend. And of course, there's International Bacon Day, an unofficial holiday observed since 2009 on the first Saturday before Labor Day. No doubt, the country's first bacon critic will be celebrating appropriately.

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    Jonathan Berr is an award-winning journalist and podcaster based in New Jersey whose main focus is on business and economic issues.