Bacon as we know it dates back to around 1500 B.C., making it one of the oldest cuts of meat. So it’s no surprise that many places around the world have their own versions of bacon. The way this age-old cut of pig is cooked and seasoned differs from place to place.
Here’s what bacon looks like in 10 different places around the world.
In the US, bacon is a popular breakfast choice.
In the US, bacon is thinly sliced strips of pork belly that are typically smoked over a hardwood, like hickory or Applewood. Usually the meat and fat run in parallel streaks, leading to a fairly equal distribution between the two.
Canadian Bacon is also called “back bacon.”
It may be called “Canadian bacon” in many places, but in Canada it’s simply referred to as “back bacon.”
Canadian bacon isn’t cut from the pork belly, instead it comes from the loin. Because of this, it’s pretty similar to ham. It’s typically cured and smoked before serving.
English Rasher is quite flavorful.
Splitting the difference between US-style bacon and Canadian bacon is the English rasher.
While Canadian bacon is cut from the loin on the back of the pig and American-style comes from the pork belly/side of the pig, English bacon is a combination of the two.
English rashers are cut from the loin of the pig but retain a lot of that luscious fat from the pork belly and fat cap. The result is a flavorful cut that’s somewhat leaner than US-style bacon.
Pancetta is a popular ingredient in Italian recipes.
Italians cure their pork belly instead of smoking it, and the result is pancetta.
Served thinly sliced or cubed, pancetta is mostly used as an ingredient to punch up the flavour of vegetables, sauces, and pizzas.
Australian Middle Bacon is a leaner cut.
Cut from the fatty pork belly, Australian middle bacon cuts also include a piece of the leaner loin of the pig.
As Australian YouTuber milkenobi points out, the bacon has what looks like a tail and is typically longer than US cuts of bacon.
Chinese La rou, or Lap Yuk, is air-cured.
This style of bacon features smaller cuts from the pork belly.
Some recipes even call for a bit of liquor to be used when curing the meat, and “Baijiu” is the traditional liquor of choice.
French Lardons comes in cubes.
French lardons are small cubes of fatty pork belly that have been fried up until they are a perfect consistency. From there, they’re used to adorn a variety of dishes, from salads to quiche.
Lardons are typically cured, but not smoked, before cooking.
Hungarian Garlic Bacon is smoked.
This type of Hungarian bacon is typically prepared with garlic and paprika and then sliced.
After that, it’s smoked to lock in the flavour, and enhance the smokiness of the meat. In some cases, it’s skewered and cooked over a fire.
German Bauchspeck, or “speck,” is typically diced.
In Germany, Bauchspeck consists of the fatty cuts of pork. It’s cut from pork belly, and it contains layers of meat and fat. In some cases, it’s cured and smoked. This cut is oftentimes diced or cut into strips.
Typically speck is used for cooking, but it’s sometimes served alongside appetizers.
Korean Bacon, or Samgyeopsal-gui, is thinly sliced.
Technically, Samgyeopsal-gui is grilled pork belly. But because of the cut, it is similar to most variations of bacon.
The key component is how it’s cooked, which is on a Korean BBQ grill. Thinly sliced, this cut is typically cooked plain or with garlic.
Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.