What Goes into Makin’ the Bacon?
January 23, 2021
When it comes to meat, there is one type that, without a shadow of a doubt, is every carnivore’s favorite protein. This meat candy (otherwise known as bacon) is perfectly suited for any keto, paleo, or other LCHF diets. This delicious pork product is versatile and not just made for breakfast.
The variety of available types of bacon can make some people say, “What’s the difference?” Let’s take a look at four kinds of bacon to learn a little about which one is best suited for your craving.
Streaky and high in fat, this is the cut most commonly recognized as bacon. Also known as side bacon, it is cut from a cured and smoked pork belly. American bacon is not only perfect for breakfast – it can be added to stock, wrapped around fruits, veggies or seafood, and pretty much added to any dish to give it a crunchy, savory kick.
Mostly known as “Canadian” bacon in the US, this cut is sourced from the center cut pork loin (where chops come from), cured in a brine, and then rolled in cornmeal. It is much leaner than typical bacon and is not smoked.
Known in Canada as peameal bacon, it was developed in the 1800’s in Toronto in a process originally intended to extend shelf life, where the meat was brined and then rolled in ground yellow split peas. It picked up it’s “Canadian” designation during the mid-1800’s when a shortage of pork in the UK forced imports from Canada.
You’ll usually find Canadian bacon in eggs Benedict. However, since it is sourced from the loin, it’s not a very common cut. If you use the loin for bacon, you miss out on your chops.
Another loin-sourced bacon, Irish bacon shares many commonalities with Canadian bacon. The main difference is that in Irish bacon, the fat isn’t removed from the edge of the loin before the meat is cured or brined. It may be smoked or unsmoked.
Irish bacon can also be purchased whole (brined, but not yet sliced) for traditional Irish dishes, like cabbage and bacon.
This round bacon is cut from the pork shoulder, then pressed into a roll before being cured and (sometimes) smoked. Due to its leanness, it has a similar look and taste to ham. Cottage bacon is sometimes hot-smoked so that the meat is fully cooked and ready to eat. It offers a fuller, richer flavor, but is just as lean as Canadian bacon.
Regardless of cut or style, bacon is not only one of the tastiest proteins, it also packs a punch for your health. Beyond the obvious fat and protein boost, bacon is a great source of selenium (for thyroid, joint, and cardiovascular health), phosphorus (for muscle function and bone strength), Niacin (a b vitamin to produce energy and improve hormone health), and choline (for brain health).
When sourced from humanely-raised, pasture-raised hogs, your bacon, regardless of your preferred cut, will be the perfect addition to your diet.