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Bacon is cut from the meat on the sides, belly or back of the pig, and sometimes is cured, smoked or both.  Other meats can be cured to resemble bacon.  Bacon can be prepared fried, baked, grilled or as a flavoring agent. 

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"). If bacon is USDA certified, then it has been treated for trichinella, a parasitic roundworm which can be destroyed by heating, freezing, drying, or smoking.

The names of rashers or slices differ depending on where they are cut from:

  • Streaky bacon comes from the belly of a pig. It is very fatty with long veins of fat running parallel to the rind. This is the most common form of bacon in the United States. Pancetta is Italian streaky bacon, smoked or aqua (unsmoked), with a strong flavour. It is generally rolled up into cylinders after curing.
  • Back bacon comes from the loin in the middle of the back of the pig. It is a lean meaty cut of bacon, with relatively less fat compared to other cuts and has a ham-like texture and flavour. Most bacon consumed in the United Kingdom is back bacon.[6] Also called Irish bacon or Canadian Bacon.
  • Middle bacon is much like back bacon but is cheaper and somewhat fattier, with a richer flavour.
  • Cottage bacon is thinly sliced lean pork meat from a shoulder cut that is typically oval shaped and meaty. It is cured and then sliced into round pieces for baking or frying.
  • Jowl bacon is cured and smoked cheeks of pork

Bacon joints include the following:

  • Collar bacon is taken from the back of a pig near the head.
  • Hock, from the hog ankle joint between the ham and the foot.
  • Gammon, from the hind leg, traditionally "Wiltshire cured".
  • Picnic bacon is from the picnic cut, which includes the shoulder beneath the blade.[7] It is fairly lean, but tougher than most pork cuts.
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Quick Tip by . June 18, 2011
An awesome meat with a salty taste which goes well with sandwiches, eggs, pancakes, and other traditional breakfast foods. Best when cooked crispy. Don't go nuts, though - bacon is one of the fattier meats, and you get little nutritional payoff.
review by . July 20, 2010
posted in Awesomeness
Salty Awesomeness
Bacon, it goes great in sandwiches, burgers, a side item at breakfast or in omelets and quiche.  How can one food item be so great?  It's salty, crisp and tasty.      It can also be bad for you, so much so that it has been taken out of the "Meat" group and placed in the "Other" group which is sort of like food hell where chocolate bars and KFC's Double Down reside.  Also with bacon!      If a pig was a supermarket, …
Quick Tip by . March 18, 2011
One of my least favorite foods. Too salty, too fatty, and difficult to eat.
Quick Tip by . August 25, 2010
Free. . . Bacon. . . . Wednesdays. Need I say more?
Quick Tip by . July 19, 2010
posted in Awesomeness
The tastiest thing ever, when it isn't hard and brittle. It belongs in everything.
Quick Tip by . June 27, 2010
Love it but only have it a couple of times a year. One of the worst things you can eat!
Quick Tip by . June 27, 2010
unhealthy...although sometimes delicious
Quick Tip by . June 02, 2010
I don't like bacon, but my friends are all fans.
Quick Tip by . April 23, 2010
I just made some for lunch, sprinkled with brown sugar on top! Sweetly decadent and incredibly delicious!
Quick Tip by . August 21, 2009
Bacon makes everything taste so much better! :D I've gotta try candied bacon & bacon fat gingerbread cookies...
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