Bacon is a popular salt-cured pork typically made from different cuts of pork that can either be the belly part or parts of the pork that has less fat. It is usually served as a side dish or the main ingredient of a dish. There are different types of bacon and each types varies with flavor, texture and the dishes that can be made using a type of bacon. Listed below are some of the most popular bacon types. Read on to know more.
Different Types Of Bacon
Lardons or Lardoons are small strips or cubes of fatty bacon that can either be made of pork belly and or loin that are cured.
Lardons are usually used in French dishes such as Quiche Lorraine, Beef Bourguignon ( beef stew braised in wine) or Coq Au Vin ( chicken braised with wine) and other salad dishes, roasts, salads and sauces if you want some flavors of bacon.
Cooked Lardon bacons have a crispy edges but also features a meaty texture.
Peameal bacon is also known as Cornmeal Bacon wherein pork loin is rolled in cornmeal or crushed peas. But in other regions, it is called Canadian bacon. Although the difference between a Peameal bacon and a Canadian bacon is that the latter is usually cooked and you can eat it right away after buying it while with Peameal bacon it is not.
Peameal bacon is a boneless pork loin that is cured in salt and then as mentioned, rolled and coated in cornmeal. Before, yellow peas are made to roll pork loin with but nowadays ground yellow cornmeal is used. Because it is coted in cornmeal. when cooked these types of bacon will have a crispy edge.
Cooking methods for Peameal bacon can either be baking, frying and or grilling. It is characterized as having a mild but slightly salty flavor.
Best eaten when fried during breakfast. It is usually served with any green leafy vegetables such as turnip or collard greens. For your sandwiches, a chopped jowl bacon is the perfection option of choice.
Streaky Bacon is also known as American bacon or side bacon. A popular type of bacon that is easily accessible and available anywhere. It is made from Pork belly, where the meat to fat ratio is 1:3. It is called streaky bacon because of the streaks of fat running with it, is appears to be long similar to that of a ruler.
Since Streaky bacon has high fat content, it will definitely have a crispy texture after it is cooked. Streaky Bacon also has high amounts of bacon grease.
Streaky bacon is one versatile bacon. You can use it as stuffing on your sandwich or commonly seen served in most restaurants wherein it is wrapped on the meat. Often, streaky bacons are served with pancakes as well.
Collar bacon, as the name itself appears, is a type of bacon that comes for the collar of the pig or the shoulder cut that is why if you notice the meat has a dark color and a strong and rich flavor. Although, shoulder meats are more leaner as compared to belly cuts, nevertheless it still has moisture and delicious flavor.
If you want a more tender and juicy result of collar bacon, you may opt to cook and or roast this type of bacon.
Although collar bacons is not very easy to find and are rare, but there are other stores online that is selling Collar bacon.
British bacon is a combination between American bacon and Canadian bacon where pork loin and pork belly are used. This type of bacon is smoked and cured.
The difference between British bacon and American Bacon is that it is more leaner and more fattier than American Bacon.
British are usually cut into thick slices that most people referred to as Rashers. It is best paired with your eggs and sausages.
A popular bacon in Hungary and Germany is the Gypsy Bacon. It is called as Gypsy bacon simply because of how this type of bacon is prepared and cooked, a traditional Gypsy way.
Gypsy bacon is a cured bacon. This type of bacon can be eaten as soon as you buy it since most of the time it has already been precooked with paprika and garlic. It will result to a spicy but savory flavor of bacon when using the ingredients paprika and garlic during the precooked process.
A Slab Bacon is another types of bacon on the list taken from the a whole smoked pork belly where its rind is still connected. This means that it is still an uncut bacon in its natural form that features a big chunks or big slabs of bacon.
It is cured in different ways such as salted, aged and or smoked. When cooked, its exterior appears to be crispy, while the interior is meaty and tender.
Whether you are making a stew, pasta soup or just a regular bacon jam spread on your toast and burgers, Slab Bacon will definitely make your dish delicious.
Since most of the bacons types we’ve talk about here are cured meat, we have here the uncured bacon. With a regular bacon, it contains sodium nitrates but with uncured bacon is does have sodium nitrates nor has an artificial nitrates.
Why are nitrates added to a cured bacon? Nitrates, as an additive, is responsible for the pink color of the bacon. Other than that, nitrates are added to bacon to enrich its flavors while at the same time growth of bacteria is delayed.
What about for uncured bacons? As an alternative to nitrates, it is cured by using other flavorings or celery that gives bacon natural nitrates. Celery also contains sources of Vitamin C the prevent the nitrites to be converted to nitrosamines (a carcinogen).
Since it does not contain any nitrates, uncured bacon is the healthiest type of bacon there is.
An Italian Bacon made from cured pork belly similar to streaky bacon. Just like with other types of bacon, Pancetta bacon also goes through curing process that uses ingredients such as garlic and black pepper to season Pancetta Bacon.
Pancetta Bacon has a light pinkish in color due to the pink salt that is added to it. If you are wondering, Pancetta bacon can be eaten raw and it is perfectly normal.
There are two types of Pancetta Bacon, Rolled or Arrotolata bacon and Stesa or the flat bacon, Since Arrotolata is rolled, it is best used for sandwiches while when serving it on a diced form go for the flat version instead. Cubed Pancetta can also be added so sauces, pasta and soups.
Cottage Bacon is also known as Buckboard bacon. Similar to a regular bacon wherein it is also cured and smoke, it is actually made from pork shoulder ( Pork Butt or Boston Butt).
It is more meatier and crisper than bacon that is made from pork belly because the cut is thin.
Most of the time, cottage bacon are served in an circular or oven shaped. When it comes to its flavor, taste like bacon and ham where it is smokey, sweet and a little bit of salty taste.
Although Bacon was previously mentioned above, let us still tackle this type of bacon. Canadian Bacon, from the name itself suggests, originates in Canada. It is called Canadian Bacon in America.
Canadian bacon are round slices of bacon that is made from pork loin, at It is typically more leaner as compared to a regular bacon. This type of bacon is smoked and cured similar to that of ham that is why most people often confused Canadian bacon and Ham.
Cooking method for Canadian bacon includes baking, sautéing the bacon and can also be used to salads and soups.
Irish Bacon is another type of bacon on the list that is also known as English bacon. It is similar to Canadian bacon mentioned above, since both are made using the back portion of the pig although with Irish Bacon the outer edge has layers of fat that result to a bacon with distinct soft texture and a slightly salty flavor.
Most of the time, Irish bacon can be seen as round shaped and the slices are thick. It is best paired with sandwiches.
Hungarian Bacon (Szalonna)
Hungarian Bacon is another type of bacon that is smoked and salted using paprika and garlic that is why Hungarian Bacons have a hint of spiciness to it. A cut with fat cut from pork.
When Hungarian bacon becomes crispy bacon when cooked. It is either cubed or sliced, and most of the time skewered on a stick and roasted.
Chinese Bacon (Lap Yuk)
Chinese Bacon also known as Lap Yuk is made from pork belly, similar to a traditional bacon. However, instead of using salt for the curing process it is cured with sugar, cinnamon, star anise and soy sauce. It is then air-dried for days.
The mixture of ingredients for the curing process will result to a deeper and more complex salty flavor with a hint of spicy and sweet.
This type of bacon is readily available and accessible that is why it is often used as the main ingredient to several dishes including salad and pasta.
Chocolate Covered Bacon
This type of bacon is flavored with chocolate. The main ingredients used to make Chocolate covered bacon are of course the Bacon (steaky bacon is commonly used) and Chocolate ( either dark chocolate or milk chocolate).
Since it is flavored with chocolate, it will obviously be sweet but with salt and smoky flavor because of the bacon. Topped it with nuts (walnuts and almond) to enrich the flavor of the bacon.
Pumpkin Spice Candied Bacon
This is similar to the Chocolate covered bacon mentioned above, but this one is flavored with pumpkin. The main ingredients used to make Pumpkin Spice Candied Bacon are Cinnamon, Ginger and nutmeg that results to its sweet and spicy flavor but with a little nutty taste.
There are also bacon that is not made of pork such as Turkey bacon. It is made from the thigh of the turkey. It is shaped into thin slices or thin strips similar to the appearance of a bacon made from pork.
Turkey Bacon has low fat content as compared to a regular pork bacon but the sodium content of turkey bacon is slight higher and its protein content is lower. And since it has lesser fat content, it will most likely stick to the pan when cooking.
Turkey bacon can be used as an alternative to your traditional pork bacon when used in burgers, sandwich and salads.
Not only pork nor turkey can be made into a bacon, Duck can also be used too. In here, duck breast are sliced into thin strips.
The different between duck bacon and the regular bacon is that both are smoked but duck bacon is uncured. So, duck bacon does not contain preservatives or nitrites known to be harmful to one’s health. With regards to the fat content, pork bacon has more fat content than duck bacon.
Since duck bacon is sliced into thin strips, it will often be tough especially when overcooked that is watch out when cooking duck bacon to prevent it.
Good news for vegans because you can now enjoy bacon without the need to consume pork or other meat products. Coconut bacon is made from unsweetened coconut flakes as well as adding some spices and salt to it.
When baked, coconut bacon appears as golden brown in color and the texture is crispy. Goes well when paired with dips, and salads.
The good thing about coconut bacon is that storing it will lasts for days and months when it is frozen.
Beef bacon is made from a cut of the navel portion of a cow. If you are familiar with pastrami, it is both made using the same part of the animal but the preparation of Beef bacon is similar for preparing streaky bacon.
If you are looking for a halal substitute o your pork bacon, try beef bacon instead.
There are numerous bacon varieties out there but the most popular and commonly used are the ones discussed here. Although each bacon may look or even taste exactly alike like each other, each of these bacons has its distinction in terms of the part of the animal used, curing process and the ingredients used.
From the lists here, which of these bacon have you tried and which one if your favorite. Let us know what you think.