It’s no secret that we here at Endless Simmer consider ourselves bacon aficionados. We eat bacon, we drink bacon and even make bacon. But do we really know what it is? Over the years I’ve proclaimed my love of English bacon and boasted its superiority over your traditional American bacon, but we’ve never looked at why that is. I’m no butcher but I’ve eaten enough bacon to have a fair understanding of the different types on offer.
From clockwise left, we have Canadian, standard American and English bacon, cooked in a little oil in a non-stick frying pan. Here’s a quick lesson.
Canadian Bacon as we know it is usually meat cut from the back of the boneless loin, often lean with little fat and pre-cooked when store-bought.
Standard American Bacon is what is more commonly found in the store, identified by the USDA as “the cured belly of the swine,” which basically means it’s the combination of meat and fat from the belly of the pig, which gives it the streaky look that you see.
English Bacon is cut from the loin back of the pig, similar to that of Canadian but with the added fat surrounding the meat. English bacon is often smoked or cured, again similar to that of Canadian, but to a greater extent. Bacon in the UK also comes in a form similar to American, but is actually referred to as “streaky bacon” and is less common.
What are your thoughts on the different types of bacon? Let us know in the comments.