If you love bacon, then you should know not just one type but also the other bacon varieties out there as well, right? Bacon, simply defined, is cured pork and everyone who eats meat definitely loves bacon too. In the U.S., it’s made from pork belly, which is then cured, smoked, sliced, and subsequently fried. Elsewhere around the world, this is called streaky, fatty, or American-style bacon. Another popular type is back bacon, which is most commonly eaten in the U.K. It is taken from the loin, usually with a small piece of belly attached. These are just some of the well-known bacon varieties. What are the others?
Maple Cured or Candied Bacon
I think this is the most popular type out there and everyone loves sweet meat. Candied bacon are slabs of bacon which are caramelized with a smoky, sugary cure created from brown sugar and maple syrup. These candied bacon pieces are sweet, smoky, and carry a crusted texture because of the sugar. Some say that they are great with cocktails while others eat candied bacon with beans too.
The name reflects the historic practice of preserving pork which seems to have originated from Canada. This is done by rolling the cured and trimmed boneless loin, short cut from the leaner portions of the loin, in dried and ground yellow peas. A variant of this type of bacon involves rolling it in ground yellow cornmeal instead.
Pancetta is Italian back bacon, available in smoked or unsmoked varieties. It is typically salt cured and seasoned with spices and subsequently dried. In Italy, pancetta is commonly served as a cold cut, sliced thin, and then eaten raw. Yes, raw. If you ever decide to cook it, just cut them into cubes.
Wild Boar Bacon
This type of bacon is darker in color with a distinct, more flavorful taste compared to domestic pork. Don’t worry about the “wild” thing though as today’s wild boar is in fact a pastured animal. Also, another distinction is wild boars are not prone to illness or diseases compared to its domestic counterparts.
Pre-cooked bacon is shelf-stable and can be conveniently heated in a minute or so. This is popular for those bacon lovers who want a quick bacon fix although this type is more expensive. Some popular brands of pre-cooked bacon include Oscar Mayer, Schwan’s and Tyson’s.
Other types of bacon include cottage bacon from the shoulder and jowl bacon which is also known as guanciale. Also, pork has recently become not the exclusive source of bacon too. There’s now turkey bacon and bacon from plenty of other animals, including lamb, venison, beef, and duck.