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The Bacon Portal

Streaky bacon

Cooked rasher of streaky bacon

Bacon is a cured meat prepared from a pig. It is first cured using large quantities of salt, either in a brine or in a dry packing; the result is fresh bacon (also green bacon). Fresh bacon may then be further dried for weeks or months (usually in cold air), boiled, or smoked. Fresh and dried bacon must be cooked before eating. Boiled bacon is ready to eat, as is some smoked bacon, but either may be cooked further before eating. Bacon is prepared from several different cuts of meat. It is usually made from side and back cuts of pork, except in the United States, where it is almost always prepared from pork belly (typically referred to as "streaky", "fatty", or "American style" outside of the US). The side cut has more meat and less fat than the belly. Bacon may be prepared from either of two distinct back cuts: fatback, which is almost pure fat, and pork loin, which is very lean. Bacon-cured pork loin is known as back bacon.

Bacon may be eaten smoked, boiled, fried, baked, or grilled, or used as a minor ingredient to flavor dishes. Bacon is also used for barding and larding roasts, especially game birds. The word is derived from the Old High German bacho, meaning "buttock", "ham" or "side of bacon", and cognate with the Old French bacon.

In continental Europe, this part of the pig is usually not smoked like bacon is in the United States; it is used primarily in cubes (lardons) as a cooking ingredient, valued both as a source of fat and for its flavor. In Italy, this is called pancetta and is usually cooked in small cubes or served uncooked and thinly sliced as part of an antipasto.

Meat from other animals, such as beef, lamb, chicken, goat, or turkey, may also be cut, cured, or otherwise prepared to resemble bacon, and may even be referred to as "bacon". Such use is common in areas with significant Jewish and Muslim populations. The USDA defines bacon as "the cured belly of a swine carcass"; other cuts and characteristics must be separately qualified (e.g., "smoked pork loin bacon"). For safety, bacon must be treated for trichinella, a parasitic roundworm which can be destroyed by heating, freezing, drying, or smoking.

Bacon is distinguished from salt pork and ham by differences in the brine (or dry packing). Bacon brine has added ingredients, most notably sodium nitrite, and occasionally sodium nitrate or saltpeter, added to cure the meat; sodium ascorbate or erythorbate are added to accelerate curing and stabilize color. Flavorings such as brown sugar or maple are used for some products. If used, sodium polyphosphates are added to improve sliceability and reduce spattering when the bacon is pan fried. Today, a brine for ham, but not bacon, includes a large amount of sugar. Historically, "ham" and "bacon" referred to different cuts of meat that were brined or packed identically, often together in the same barrel.

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Bacon cooking
The Bacon Cookbook: More than 150 Recipes from Around the World for Everyone's Favorite Food is a cookbook on bacon by James Villas. It was published by Wiley in 2007. Villas is a former food editor for Town & Country magazine, and The Bacon Cookbook is his 15th book on food. He notes on the book's jacket that he was "beguiled by bacon since he was a boy."[1] He describes the appeal of bacon in the book's preface, and the introduction recounts the history of the product, as well as its variations from different locations internationally. Chapters are structured by type of recipe and food course, and in total the book includes 168 recipes. The book received generally positive reception in book reviews and media sources. It received positive reviews in Publishers Weekly and Library Journal, and in 2009 the National Pork Board highlighted recipes from the book for International Bacon Day. Chef Bobby Flay highlighted the recipe from The Bacon Cookbook for "Bacon-Wrapped Figs Stuffed With Almonds In Port" as one of his favorites. AM New York, The Baltimore Sun, and the Star Tribune, recommended the book in articles on suggested gift-giving ideas. The Independent highlighted the book as number 11 on a list of "The 50 Best Cookbooks".

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Bacon wrapped shrimp with mozzarella cheese and BBQ sauce.
Credit: WxMom

Bacon wrapped shrimp with mozzarella cheese and BBQ sauce.

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Sodolak's chicken fried bacon

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Bacon Explosion
A Bacon Explosion is a pork dish that consists of bacon wrapped around a filling of spiced sausage and crumbled bacon. The American football-sized dish is smoked or baked. It caused an internet sensation after being posted on the BBQ Addicts blog, and quickly spread to the mainstream press with numerous stories discussing the porcine feast. In time, the articles began to discuss the Internet "buzz" itself. The phenomenon is international, with popularity in the United States and the United Kingdom. The Daily Telegraph noted that the "recipe is most popular on the web" and that the "5,000 calorie barbeque dish has become one of the most popular meal ideas in the world."




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Mark Twain
They fried the fish with bacon and were astonished, for no fish had ever seemed so delicious before.

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Dishes: Angels on horseback · BLT sandwich · Bacon Explosion · Bacon and cabbage · Bacon and egg pie · Bacon sandwich · Bacon, egg and cheese sandwich · Baconator · Chicken fried bacon · Chivito · Chocolate-covered bacon · Clams casino · Cobb salad · Coddle · Čvarci · Dongpo's pork  · Fool's Gold Loaf · Garbure · Guanciale · Hangtown fry · Hoppin' John · Hot Brown · Jambonette · Kranjska klobasa · Kugelis · Luther Burger · Maple bacon donut · Oysters en brochette · Peanut butter, banana and bacon sandwich · Pig candy · Pīrags · Rouladen · Rumaki · Samgyeopsal · Seven-layer salad · Slavink · Stargazy pie · Stegt flæsk · Szalonna · Tatws Pum Munud ·  · Túrós csusza Twice cooked pork

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Drinks: Bacon martini · Bacon vodka · Mitch Morgan

Topics: Bacon Bowl · Bacon mania · International Bacon Day · J&D's Down Home Enterprises · Heather Lauer · Turkey bacon · Valle d'Aosta Lard d'Arnad · Vegetarian bacon

Books: Bacon: A Love Story · The Bacon Cookbook · Bacon and Hams · The BLT Cookbook · Everything Tastes Better with Bacon  · Seduced by Bacon

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  1. ^ Cite error: The named reference publishers was invoked but never defined (see the help page).