Bacon is defined as any certain cuts of meat taken from the sides, belly or back of a pig that may be cured and/or smoked. Meat from other animals may also be used or otherwise prepared to resemble bacon, such as chicken or turkey bacon. Bacon may be eaten fried, baked or grilled. It is commonly used in sandwiches.
A side of unsliced bacon is flitch or slab bacon, while an individual slice of bacon is a rasher or simply a slice or strip. Slices of bacon are also known as collops. Traditionally, the skin is left on the cut and is known as “bacon rind”. Rind less bacon, however, is quite common.
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.
➢ Picnic bacon is from the picnic cut, which includes the shoulder beneath the blade.
Rashers or slices differ depending where they are cut from: -
➢ Steaky bacon comes from the belly of a pig. It is very fatty with long veins of fat running parallel to the rind. ➢ Black 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 ham like texture and flavor. ➢ Middle bacon is much like black bacon but is cheaper and somewhat fattier with a rich flavor. ➢ 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.