Global food industry leaders pronounced Schmacon, smoked and cured glazed beef slices, an award recipient of the 2014 Food and Beverage Innovations Award presented by the National Restaurant Association (NRA) Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show.

Schmacon looks and smells like bacon, and it cooks like bacon in fraction of the time, but is a much healthier alternative.

The whole muscle beef slices use a patent-pending process and a proprietary spice blend to deliver a smoky, slightly sweet flavor with less sodium, fat, and calories than traditional bacon. It is pre-cooked and ready for crisping in an oven, microwave, or on a flat-top griddle

“Schmacon is beef’s answer to bacon,” says Howard Bender, the Hyde Park Culinary Institute of America chef and Chicago deli owner who created the product. “It opens up so many opportunities for those who love traditional bacon, but for one reason or another, limit intake or avoid it altogether. We’ve been testing the product for months in our deli—serving it on sandwiches, as a topping for soups and hot dishes, and of course, alongside our breakfast entrees,” Bender says. “Our customers are crazy about the flavor and we’re excited FABI judges agree that Schmacon is primed to be a big hit.”

Schmacon fits into healthy lifestyle trends and also meets the dietary needs of those religious or ethnic groups prohibited from eating pork products.  It also fits broadly into emerging, diverse restaurant trends, concepts, and dayparts.

“Schmacon enables restaurant patrons to customize their meals in a very easy way,” Bender says. “Restaurants can offer a more personalized experience, such as an upgrade to beef or a healthier, great-tasting option that adds flavor and crunch to current food trends.”

Schmacon is available commercially and show attendees may sample product at the National Restaurant Association Show held in Chicago, May 17–20.  It will be sold into the retail market by the end of the year.