Bacon is a type of salt-cured pork.
Bacon is prepared from several different cuts of meat, typically from the pork belly or from back cuts, which have less fat than the belly.
Bacon typically goes through a curing process, during which the meat is soaked in a solution of salt, nitrates and sometimes sugar. In most cases, the bacon is smoked afterward.
Curing and smoking are ways to preserve the meat, but these processing methods also contribute to the characteristic taste of bacon and help preserve its red color.
Bacon’s history dates back thousands of years to 1500 BC in which the Chinese were curing pork bellies with salt, creating an early form of bacon.
According to food historians, the Romans ate a type of bacon that they called petaso, which was essentially domesticated pig meat boiled with figs, then browned and seasoned with pepper sauce.
The English bacon tradition dates to the Saxon era in the 1st millennium AD.
Bacon, in the modern sense, is a product of the British Isles, or is produced to British methods…Preserved pork, including sides salted to make bacon, held a place of primary importance in the British diet in past centuries.
In 1770’s, John Harris, an Englishman, is credited as the forefather of large scale industrial bacon manufacturing. He opened his company in Wiltshire, still considered the bacon capital of the world.
In 1920’s, Oscar Mayer creates the first pre-packaged, pre-sliced bacon to the American public which starts the bacon craze in America.
The word “bacon” derives originally from the Old High German “bacho”, meaning “buttock”, which in turn derived from the Proto-Germanic “backoz”, meaning “back”. By the 14th century, it found its way into Old French as “bacun”, meaning “back meat”. And by the 16th century, it found its way into Middle English as “bacoun”, which referred to all cured pork, not just the back meat.
The phrase “bring home the bacon” has been around since the early 20th century and was initially used primarily by the working class, with bacon being a staple meat for that class.
Other story about the phrase “bringing home the bacon”, is that it originated in the 12th century, when a church in the English town of Dunmow, an ancient market town in the southeast England county of Essex, offered a side of bacon to any married man who could swear before the congregation and God that he had not quarreled with his wife for a year and a day. However, the word “bacon” is used in English only since 16th century.
Bacon is widely enjoyed for its unique, smoky flavour. It is a favourite with eggs and is used in the preparation or garnishment of a wide variety of dishes.
The most common form of bacon in the United States is side pork, which is cut from the side of the pig. It’s very fatty and has long layers of fat running parallel to the rind.
The world’s most expensive rasher of bacon is a rasher of streaky bacon that is covered in rich, dark chocolate and then dusted with edible 23-carat gold. This is an expensive treat for bacon lovers as it is $39.99 per rasher. However, this is nothing in comparison to the cost of the world’s most expensive bacon sandwich.
At a cost of $235, diners at Tangberry’s café in Cheltenham, England, can enjoy the most expensive bacon sandwich in the world. The World Record Academy confirmed that they had broken this record. It is created by the establishment’s owner, Paul Philips. His creation includes eggs, watercress, and a rare breed bacon, but also has black truffle spread, sliced truffles, edible gold dust, and saffron.
Some unusual products with bacon flavour are bacon toothpaste, bacon salt, bacon hot sauce, bacon vodka, bacon beer, bacon coffee, bacon tea, bacon olive oil, bacon ice cream, bacon cupcakes, bacon lollipops and bacon candy canes.
Bacon went into space aboard Apollo 7 in 1968, in the form of “bacon squares.” Apollo 8 astronaut Jim Lovell exclaimed, “Happiness is bacon squares for breakfast.”
The United States and Canada have seen an increase in the popularity of bacon and bacon-related recipes, dubbed “bacon mania”. The sale of bacon in the US has increased significantly since 2011.
The US National Bacon Day is December 30th.
International Bacon Day is September 3rd.