While it seems bacon has become a popular trend as of late, the truth is, it’s been a favorite for years. These days, chefs are getting creative with their recipes. From chocolate covered bacon to maple bacon donuts, the ways we prepare and consume bacon is diversifying.
During the Roman Empire, what we now know as “bacon” was first called “petaso” and was boiled to be eaten with figs. We can thank Christopher Columbus for introducing bacon to the Americas, as he brought eight pigs with him. Later, Hernando de Soto then brought 13 pigs to Tampa Bay, Florida. Then in 1924, Oscar Meyer began selling pre-packaged, pre-sliced bacon. Since then, it has become a breakfast favorite, and loved by many.
But how do others enjoy bacon around the world?
Australia – Middle Bacon
Australians enjoy middle bacon the most, which is the streaky, fatty selection of the belly along with the pig’s loin at the end. Middle bacon is sold in rashers (thick hunks) and are usually grilled or broiled and served with eggs.
Canada – Canadian Bacon
Canadian bacon, or ham as most people view it, is made from the loin of the pig, which is much leaner, rather than the belly. Canadians enjoy their bacon trimmed of all fat and occasionally coat it in peameal and fry it.
China – Lop Yuk
Lop Yuk is bacon that is air-cured with soy sauce, brown sugar, and spices for seven to ten days until it is very hard. If you are going to cure it for a shorter period, say four days, then it has to be smoked for five hours before consumption. Lop Yuk is used to flavor Chinese dishes.
Germany – Speck
In Germany, they enjoy speck, which is cured, smoked, air-dried pork belly that is usually fried. It can be eaten as is or used in dishes like German bacon cookies or roulade (bacon, onions, pickles and slices of flank steak rolled together and browned in butter).
Italy – Pancetta
Pancetta is cured but not smoked, and is usually cubed and sautéed to flavor classic Italian dishes. Italy also has guanciale, which is dry-cured pig jowl, and lardo, which is white, delicate fat from the pig rump section that is cured for months with salt, spices and herbs. It is sliced paper thin and served raw on toasted bread.
Korea – Samgyeopsal-gui
Rather than curing or smoking the pork belly, Koreans grill the slices of pork belly over an open flame, barbecue style. They call this Samgyeopsal-gui and often cook it alongside vegetables and other meats, but eat it without condiments.
What’s your favorite way to eat bacon? Share your favorite bacon recipes with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Instagram, Vine, LinkedIn or Pinterest today! And don’t forget to visit us for your deli sandwich fix. Dine in, on our patio, or take it to go.