What bacon is not.Although some salt pork (not to be confused with unsalted fat back) may look like slab bacon and may also be cut from the side of the pig, it is generally cut from the belly section. Much more fatty than bacon and unsmoked, salt pork (also known as white bacon) is cured with salt and used as a flavoring agent in soups, stews, and vegetables. Cooking instructions often recommend blanching some of the salt from salt pork before it is used. Salt pork can often be substituted for traditional sliced bacon in recipes.
Canadian bacon (known as back bacon in Canada) comes from the eye of the loin in the middle of the back of the animal. It's not really bacon, per se, but more of a ham. It comes pre-cooked and can be eaten from the package or further cooked. There is considerably less shrinkage with Canadian bacon than standard bacon when cooked, because Canadian bacon is much, much leaner. Use Canadian bacon as you would ham, rather than as bacon.
Bacon square is actually the jowl of the pig, and is usually very inexpensive, if you can find it. The cuts range from five to eight inches square and are cured and smoked. The flesh usually has more fat than standard bacon and can be used in place of bacon.
Pancetta is an Italian version of bacon which is cured with salt and herbs but not smoked. It comes in a roll and is sliced like salami. It is used as a flavoring agent in all types of savory dishes.
More about Bacon:• How to Cook Bacon
• What is bacon? FAQ
• Bacon History
• Bacon Cousins and Substitutes
• Bacon Selection and Storage
• Bacon Equivalents and Substitutions
• Bacon and Health
• Bacon Recipes
Cooked Bacon Rashers Photo © 2013 Peggy Trowbridge Filippone, licensed to About.com, Inc.
|•||Everything Tastes Better With Bacon|
|•||Bruce Aidells's Complete Book of Pork|
|•||Charcuterie: The Craft of Salting, Smoking, and Curing|