When it comes time for breakfast, is there anything heartier or more delicious than eggs and bacon?
Bacon has seen a real resurgence lately, and while it is now available as both a cupcake topping and a form of candy, there are many types of bacon to satisfy any craving.
Different Types of Bacon
Coming from China, lap yuk is a cured bacon that is unique thanks to its special seasonings. It is often cured with spices, soy sauce, and brown sugar, making it quite crispy in texture.
Lap yuk is served with the pork rind still on so it is a fattier food.
When you order bacon in Germany, you will receive a cured pork slice that looks like a combination of American bacon and pancetta. German bacon is cured so it can be eaten raw but is also cooked and added to other meals.
Also just known as bacon that comes from Ireland, this is a type of back bacon that has the fat still attached to it. Irish bacon is served thick and can look more like a piece of ham than a traditional piece of bacon.
While it is growing in popularity in the United States, Irish bacon is often used in traditional Irish dishes, including a simple cabbage and bacon dish.
While you probably wouldn’t want to eat a lot of lardon on its own, it is great to add flavor to other meals. Lardon is a type of pork fat that is salt-cured.
It is popular in European cuisine and is usually cut into small cubes or strips to be included in soups, stews, or salads.
While hard to pronounce, samgyeopsal is quite tasty. It is a part of Korean cuisine and is grilled pork belly.
Samgyeopsal is cut thick and can be quite fatty. It is usually not marinated and instead, its natural flavors are enhanced through the cooking process.
While the term Gypsy has been adapted into different meanings, it once meant a community of people from Eastern Europe. Gypsy bacon has its origins in this community and is still very popular in Hungary and surrounding countries.
Gypsy bacon is a type of cured bacon and is distinguished by still having an edible rind on it. It is sliced quite largely and its aroma is really heightened by a campfire.
The biggest problem with bacon for many people is that it is quite fatty. However, if you are looking for a healthier alternative, you may want to try coconut bacon.
This dish is made from unsweetened coconut flakes with a bit of salt and spices added, and often some maple syrup to sweeten it. Coconut bacon should be toasted just right so that it has the same consistency of pork bacon.
Commonly known as back bacon, Canadian bacon is very popular in both its country of origin and the United States. It is cured and should be cooked fully.
Canadian bacon is often served in thick slices and is often a key ingredient to making eggs Benedict.
While traditional American bacon comes in the form of long strips, Japanese bacon is much shorter, usually around half the length. It is also known as beikon.
Japanese bacon comes from pork belly and is both cured and smoked. Unlike in America, where you can order platefuls of bacon, in Japan much smaller portions are used.
At first glance, salo doesn’t look anything like traditional bacon. However, it is actually the Russian word for bacon, and is popular in Eastern Europe.
Salo is cured slabs of pork fat. While it can be eaten either raw or cooked, it is often fried and can be seasoned with a simple salt and pepper mix.
While more people are familiar with the types of pork bacon, bacon can be made from other animals such as is the case with duck bacon. In this method, duck bacon is usually slices of duck breast that is then cured.
While there may be a large fat cap on duck bacon, this is easily removable and you can instead just use the breast meat which is very lean.
Perhaps the most sought-after bacon alternative, turkey bacon uses meat from turkeys instead of pork. The result is a much leaner meat that still has a bacon-like quality to it.
Turkey bacon is still high in saturated fat, so you don’t want to consume too much of it. However, it is a healthier substitute and can be used in most ways that traditional bacon is.
Raspberry Chipotle Bacon
While there are some obvious flavor combinations for bacon, one that might seem a bit odd at first is raspberry chipotle bacon. However, the mixture of sweet raspberries and spicy chipotle peppers is a winning mix.
Raspberry chipotle bacon may not be in your local grocery store, but there are online shops that provide this interesting food.
Pumpkin Pie Spiced Bacon
Ok, if you think the pumpkin spice trend is getting to be a bit much, then maybe this next type of bacon isn’t for you. However, if you love the trend then you will want to try pumpkin pie spiced bacon.
With extra ingredients such as ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg, pumpkin pie spiced bacon will add a real fall element to your breakfast table. There are a few pre-packaged brands that sell this type of bacon but if you can’t find any, there are plenty of recipes you can try at home.
While elk may not be a common source of meat, it does have a lot of versatility, and, because it is such a large animal, there is plenty of meat to be had from it. Elk bacon is leaner than pork bacon, and so is a healthier alternative.
When you want to spice up your mornings, jalapeno bacon is the way to go. While you could technically make your own jalapeno bacon, there are now many brands and stores that make it ready to serve.
Bacon jalapeno is made by infusing the spicy pepper into the bacon during the curing process. Then, when it is cooked up it’s a savory, spicy treat.
No charcuterie board is complete without the addition of pancetta. Unlike most other types of bacon, pancetta can be eaten raw because of the way it is cured.
Pancetta has a bit of a spicy taste to it, thanks to the addition of black pepper. It can be eaten on its own or in sandwiches.
What are the different cuts of bacon?
Coming from the shoulder area, cottage bacon is a lean cut of meat. It is sliced thinly into round pieces and is often finished by either frying or baking.
Sliced from the belly, slab bacon has a higher fat content than other cuts. It is usually fried in order to cook off the extra grease it produces.
Over time, cuts of meat evolve and while collar bacon was quite popular, nowadays it is much harder to find. Collar bacon is cut from the shoulder of pork and it has a strong flavor and a leaner texture.
This type of bacon is also known as streaky bacon or American bacon. Basically, side bacon is the version you know and love and can find at any grocery store.
Side bacon is cut from pork belly and has long strips of fat throughout the pieces.
While this type of bacon is not specifically used in picnics, it certainly can be. Picnic bacon comes from the pig’s shoulder, which is also known as the picnic cut.
This is a cheaper alternative to traditional bacon, which comes from the belly.
The cheeks of pork are used to produce jowl bacon and it has a lean texture to it. Jowl bacon is often used in sandwiches or as a sliced breakfast meat.
A nice, all-around cut, middle bacon comes from the side of pork. It has a texture and flavor that is a combination of side bacon and back bacon.
For a leaner bacon option, try back bacon, which is quite popular in both England and Canada. It is cut from the loin roast part of pork and has less fat, so is a bit chewier than standard bacon.
Which type of bacon is best?
If we are going based on popularity alone, then the best type of bacon is side bacon, also known as Traditional American bacon, or even known as streaky bacon.
While it is high in fat, side bacon is often fried so that the grease is cooked out in the process. Side bacon is the perfect accompaniment to eggs and can be chopped up to use on salads, or even cooked in maple syrup for a candy topping.
Bacon is a breakfast staple. And while we may be familiar with the standard, side bacon from our grocery stores, there are cuts of meat to consider, as well. There are even bacon alternatives, including duck bacon and elk bacon.