If you ever wondered whether there was more to those porky strips you add you add to your BLT, then you’re at the right place. Apparently, Americans alone eat about 600 million pounds of bacon…each year! And they’re not the only ones that love bacon. But did you know there are a few interesting facts regarding our favorite smoked products? Read on to find out more!
There are different types of bacon, and some are not even made of pork! Macon is a term used for a bacon substitute of cured mutton or beef. It’s usually served in restaurants where patrons cannot consume pork. You will see this type of meat in Halaal restaurants. It looks and tastes just like bacon!
While some countries leave you with only one option of cut, most have streaky and back bacon available. Back bacon has less fat (it’s from the loin) and is also sometimes referred to as Canadian bacon. Streaky bacon has a higher fat to meat ratio, so some people find it too fatty. Fattier cuts are good for frying, where back bacon tastes great in sandwiches.
Most of us think that all bacon is smoked, but this is not true. Unsmoked bacon is cured and dried, without the signature smoky taste. If you want the well-known smoke flavor, then go for traditionally smoked bacon – just know that it’s drier and gives off more liquid. But the payoff is great flavor!
Is pancetta just bacon with a fancy name? Yes and no. Whereas bacon is mostly smoked, pancetta is cured with salt, herbs, and spices and then dried. There are some pancetta types that are smoked after this process. If you want to buy the smoked variety, look for “affumicato” on the label.
You might have heard of lardons…but what exactly are they? Lardons are cubed pieces of fatty bacon or pancetta. It’s meant to be chunky, and is usually added to a sauce or pasta (like carbonara). Look for high-quality (and more expensive) cuts, the cheaper ones are often just pieces of smoked fat.
The word “bacon” comes from the Middle English word “bacoun” which refers to the Germanic word “bacho”. At the end of the day, it means the backside of the pig, or the ham. We thank that’s quite an accurate name for such a tasty treat!
Leave it to Americans to make bacon better. Whether you call it pig bacon (as in Minnesota) or pig candy (as you would in New York), they both refer to bacon slices dipped in chocolate and sprinkled with nuts. In the Ukraine, you will find a similar treat, called “salo in cioccolato”. No matter you call it, it sounds delicious!
While we usually associate bacon with savory dishes, there’s been a plethora of crazy (and some downright ludicrous) desserts made with bacon. This includes bacon ice cream, bacon jam, bacon chewing gum, doughnuts with bacon and maple syrup. We know, of course, that everything’s better with bacon!
Ever wondered how bacon fares on the nutritional scale? Well, it might be high in calories (541kcal/100g), fat (42g/100g), cholesterol (110mg/100g), and sodium (1717mg/100g), but it has 0g sugar and no fiber, Not the healthiest food type (it’s high in saturated fats), but the best-tasting!
Bacon might seem like a new invention, but pork curing has been done for thousands (yes, we mean thousands!) of years. Back four thousand years ago, the only way to preserve meat, was to cure it. So the Chinese dehydrated pork with salt to preserve meat for the rest of the year. It was only in the 1500s, when it became known as bacon.