You’re probably a bacon fan if you’re reading this.
Bacon is one of the most popular cuts of meat in the United States, with the typical American ingesting 18 pounds per year. But how well do you understand the many sorts of bacon?
Are you willing to try something new? Let’s take a look at what’s out there, as well as some interesting bacon alternatives and flavoring ideas.
Here’s all you need to know about bacon
Let’s start at the beginning: what exactly is bacon?
Bacon is usually made from salt-cured pig bellies. While bacon may theoretically be manufactured from any animal, such as duck or cow, pig is known for its high fat content, making it ideal for classic bacon.
Other cuts of pig, like as the sides and loin, may be used to manufacture bacon, resulting in a variety of bacon variations. You may also alter the way your bacon is cured and flavor it with a range of different ingredients.
This can make two varieties of bacon quite distinct from one another, so if you haven’t tried them all yet, you should. You could find a new favorite.
Continue reading – The Best Bacon Mail-Order Companies
This is simply uncut bacon—a huge slab of cured, smoked pig with the skin still on. The slabs may be bought whole or split to order in thin or thick strips at butcher shops. You can get just the right quantity of bacon for your next dish.
Bacon with a smokiness
Streaky bacon, commonly known as American bacon or side bacon, is the standard bacon that can be found in almost any grocery.
It usually originates from the animal’s fattier belly and is made up of around one part meat to three parts fat. Because of the lengthy layers of fat that run parallel to the skin, streaky bacon gets its name.
To cure smoky bacon, a combination of salt and sodium nitrate is often injected. You may also buy variations that have been dry cured with a dry rub or that have been marinated in a curing solution. After curing, the bacon is smoked, if desired, and finely sliced.
Striped bacon crisps up beautifully when cooked due to its high fat content, making it perfect for crispy bacon sandwiches. Most meals that can handle its powerful taste and solid texture go well with it.
We offer a method in making streaky bacon by smoking your own bacon at home.
Salads, sauces, and roasts all benefit from the bacon taste that lardons provide. They’re pork belly or loin slices that have been cured in salt and spices before being chopped into cubes or matchsticks.
They’re used in a variety of traditional French meals, like coq au vin, beef bourguignon, and quiche Lorraine, but you can use them in any dish that benefits from their salty taste and chunky texture.
If you can’t locate lardons near you, buy some slab bacon and cut it into 1/4-inch bits.
Try them with potato dishes and grilled veggies in salads, pasta dishes, and omelettes. They are very versatile and can be worn with almost anything.
Pancetta is a kind of Italian bacon that comes in thin slices with a spiral of meat and fat running through it. It’s cooked using pork belly and spices such as clove, rosemary, and juniper. It is traditionally not smoked. Pancetta lends a mild bacon taste to main courses, sides, and appetizers such as this one.
Unlike bacon, which is commonly smoked, pancetta is made from pig belly that has been salt-cured and dried. Pancetta may be eaten raw, generally thinly sliced, or wrapped around meat or vegetables before being cooked.
Cooked cubed pancetta may also be used in soups, sauces, and pasta dishes, where its meaty, salty flavor adds richness and depth.
Speck is a European delicacy that originated in Northern Italy, Austria, and Switzerland. It resembles traditional bacon in that it is a thinly sliced cured pig chop, but there are some variances.
For starters, speck originates from the leg rather than the belly, and hence has a larger muscular content. The elongated, thin slices of speck come from this cut, which is made from the boned, opened up, and flattened leg.
Brined, smoked, and air-dried speck produces a cured meat that may be thinly cut and eaten raw. Wrap it around fruits, use it in sandwiches or salads, or use it to make an antipasti plate.
Bacon from Canada
Round slices of pork loin, a piece of flesh from the pig’s central back, are a form of back bacon. Canadian bacon is leaner than conventional bacon and is cured and smoked to have a ham-like taste. It’s also the reigning egg Benedict champion.
Bacon that has been smoked and flavored
For added taste, bacon is often smoked using various kinds of wood chips.
Hickory is popular because of its sweet but intense smokey taste, while maple is milder and sweeter. Various variations are available in most places, or you may smoke your own.
Aside from smoking, flavoring bacon during the curing process is a frequent approach to add a new depth to the flavor without overpowering the bacon itself.
You may also create your own flavored bacon by seasoning your bacon with spices and other seasonings before frying it.
Here are a few of our favorites that you can make at home:
- Pepper with brown sugar
- Honey with a chipotle sprinkle
- Glazed bacon with maple syrup and chili
- Simply cover your bacon before cooking to experiment with unique flavors.
- Rashers or Irish Bacon
- This kind is often referred to as “English bacon.” It’s a form of back bacon that’s similar to Canadian bacon but has a coating of fat around the slices’ edges. Rashers are a classic Irish breakfast dish.
- Bacon that isn’t made from pork
- If you don’t eat pig or simply want to try something different, bacon produced from other animals is a great option.
- Beef bacon is often compared to pork bacon. While it may seem to be steak, it has an obviously “steak-like” taste. Something that can be used to create delicious sandwiches.
- Aside from beef bacon, there are a few different pig bacon options.
- Turkey rashers are made from reconstituted turkey meat.
- Duck – thinly sliced duck breast pieces with lots of fat.
- Salmon is a suitable replacement to bacon in a sandwich or bagel, although salmon “bacon” bears little resemblance to regular bacon slices.
- Dulse — this seaweed is advertised as having a pronounced bacon taste, but the verdict is yet out. It is, however, a rich source of protein and contains a lot of nutrients.
Bacon’s Health Benefits:
Bacon is high in vitamins and minerals.
Meat, on the whole, is high in the nutrients that the body needs but does not make naturally. That’s why predators can thrive on an all-meat diet without needing to eat a handful of Brazil nuts every now and then to get their selenium fix.
Bacon is high in the following minerals and vitamins, which are important for a balanced diet:
Bacon may genuinely improve your mood.
This may seem to be a stretch until you recall how amazing bacon tastes!
This is backed up by scientific evidence. Studies have shown that a lack of amino acids may worsen or possibly induce common mental diseases such depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Clinical depression is characterized by a shortage of neurotransmitters such as serotonin, dopamine, noradrenaline, and -aminobutyric acid.
Because your body utilizes amino acids to make these, meals high in amino acids, such as bacon, may aid in the treatment of depression symptoms as part of a larger therapy plan.
Of course, bacon isn’t a panacea for mental illness, and its health benefits are only effective when consumed as part of a well-balanced diet.
Bacon is high in choline, which is beneficial to the brain.
Phosphatidylcholine, often known as choline, is an essential vitamin, which means you must consume it rather than produce it naturally. Choline is a mineral that may be found in meat and eggs.
According to recent research from the University of Eastern Finland, choline’s function in the creation of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine may make it crucial in minimizing cognitive loss associated with aging and preventing Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
“The incidence of dementia was 28 percent lower in men with the greatest consumption of dietary phosphatidylcholine as compared to persons with the lowest intake,” according to the research of roughly 2,500 Finnish men.
A balanced diet of choline from foods like bacon may help you remember things better, think quicker, and keep your brain healthy for longer, in addition to avoiding Alzheimer’s, dementia, and age-related cognitive decline.
What about the dangers of processed beef on one’s health?
Many dietitians believe that consuming a lot of processed meat (such as bacon) raises the risk of cancer and heart disease.
The difficulty with observational studies is that individuals who consume a lot of processed meat also tend to have unhealthy lives, so it’s impossible to tell whether the processed meat is causing the harm.
“People who consume a lot of processed meat, on the other hand, tend to have an unhealthy lifestyle in general.” They are more prone to smoke and engage in less physical activity.”
Bacon is a common element in low-carb diets, such as the famous Keto diet, where a higher salt intake is encouraged.
Making your own bacon is the healthiest choice. You may manage the number of nitrates or nitrites, which are chemicals used to extend the shelf life and affect the color, in this manner. Find out where you can get pig belly for creating bacon.
Look for a healthy supplier where the pigs are kept on a sustainable farm if you don’t want to go to the hassle of preparing it yourself.
To sum up, now that you know the many varieties of bacon, you can start experimenting with each one – also, the health benefits associated with bacon provide you with an added incentive to add this exquisite dish to your diet.