cured and smoked pork belly

Bacon is a type of meat that comes from pigs. It is taken from the sides, back, or belly of the pig. It is often cut in thin slices, unlike other cured or smoked pork products. It is usually fried or grilled. It can also be microwaved.

A strip of pork bacon.
Bacon from the back (above) and belly (below)

In the U.S., back bacon and smoked ham is sometimes called Canadian bacon.[1]

Bacon has lots of fat. Because bacon comes from pigs, people of some religions will not eat it. In some cultures and religions (such as Islam and Judaism), eating pork may be considered "unclean." Because of this, other varieties of bacon are also made out of turkey or chicken instead. Turkey bacon and chicken bacon usually contain half of the fat of pork-based bacon.

Cuts change

Uncooked strips of side bacon
Uncooked back bacon
Sliced jowl bacon

The type of bacon is different depending on the primal cut of pork it is made of.[2][3]

  • Side bacon, sometimes called "streaky bacon", comes from the pork belly.[2][3] It has long layers of fat and muscle running next to the rind.[2][4] This is the most common form of bacon in the United States.[2]
    • Pancetta is an Italian type of side bacon, sold smoked or unsmoked (aqua). It is generally rolled into cylinders after it is cured. Pancetta is known for having a strong flavour.[2][3]
  • Back bacon is made of meat from the loin in the middle of the back of the pig.[2][5] It is a leaner cut, with less fat than side bacon.[3] Most bacon in the United Kingdom and Ireland is back bacon.[2][6]
  • Collar bacon is taken from the back of a pig near the head.[2][7]
  • Cottage bacon is made from the lean meat from a boneless pork shoulder. It is typically tied into an oval shape.[2]
  • Jowl bacon is cured and smoked pork cheeks.[8]

The inclusion of skin with a cut of bacon is called the 'bacon rind'.[9]

History change

Salted pork belly first appeared in China. In Middle English the term bacon or bacoun meant pork in general.[10] Before the Industrial Revolution, bacon was mostly made on local farms and in home kitchens. The world's first bacon processing plant was opened in Wiltshire in the 1770s.[11]

References change

  1. "What's the Difference Between Canadian Bacon (or Irish, or English) and American?". Kitchn. Retrieved 2021-06-22.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 "Bacon Varieties". The Bacon Page. Archived from the original on 3 September 2014. Retrieved 9 February 2014.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Filippone, Peggy. "What is bacon". Retrieved 30 April 2017.
  4. "Kiwi Bacon – All about bacon". Kiwi Bacon. Archived from the original on 22 February 2014. Retrieved 8 February 2014.
  5. "A Guide To Traditional British Back Bacon". The English Breakfast Society. 4 January 2014. Retrieved 8 February 2014.
  6. "Information and Statistics 2005" (PDF). Danish Bacon & Meat Council. 30 March 2005. Archived from the original (PDF) on 30 January 2006.
  7. "Food – Glossary – 'C' – 'Collar'". BBC. Archived from the original on 23 May 2006. Retrieved 2 January 2014.
  8. "Jowl Bacon". Zingerman's. Archived from the original on 22 February 2014. Retrieved 8 February 2014.
  9. "bacon rind – definition of bacon rind by the Free Online Dictionary, Thesaurus and Encyclopedia". Farlex, Inc. Retrieved 8 February 2014.
  10. "A Short History of Bacon". The Spruce Eats. Retrieved 16 January 2022.
  11. "The History of Bacon". English Breakfast Society. Retrieved 16 January 2022.