Is bacon the olive oil of North America? Care to taste some, and maybe pick up a new book while you're at it? Author Ari Weinzweig says bacon is the olive oil of North America. Weinzweig knows his swine and other delicacies; he's the cofounder of the famed gourmet food emporium Zingerman's Delicatessen in Ann Arbor, Mich. Learn why he says, "bacon is so integral to the culinary history of this country. The roots are so deep in our cooking, I think of it as the olive oil of North America." Weinzweig will be chatting, tasting bacon with the audience, and signing his new book, Zingerman's Guide to Better Bacon: Stories of Pork Bellies, Hush Puppies, Rock 'n' Roll and Bacon Fat Mayonnaise (Zingerman's Press, $29.99) at The Pasta Shop (5655 College at Shafter, Oakland -- literally just steps from the Rockridge BART station) this Thursday, Nov. 12. The event runs from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. and is free. But bring your wallet: You might be tempted to buy the book and some gourmet food to go with it.