Making a pig of myself in New York

Forget the Guggenheim, or the Met, the bacon stole the show.

Making a pig of myself in New York

I’ve just been to the United States for the first time and I loved it. A snow storm in New York on day one was an amazing welcome, but one of the revelations of the trip was American bacon. Yep – not the Guggenheim or the Met, but bacon.

Their bacon was deliciously crispy, unlike any I have eaten in Australia. And yes I have been known to buy bacon at my amazing free-range butcher whose meat is a cut above pre-packaged supermarket offerings.

So what’s the difference and can I get US-style bacon closer to home? So I hit Google, as you do, and discovered there is a major difference between Australian/English bacon and American bacon and Canadian bacon and the list probably goes on. I never realised there was more to bacon beyond middle rashers, shortcuts and different smoking techniques. I thought any difference between countries was purely in the cooking, or the slicing.

So the bulk of our bacon – and my research says a lot of it is imported which doesn’t seem right – is generally from the loin, which is in the middle of the pig’s back where the meat is leaner. American bacon is from the belly, so is streaky with fat. Hence it crisps up far more quickly than a rasher ever would and has a more intense flavour, especially when it’s maple smoked.

In the US, the Department of Agriculture has a bacon labelling policy, which mandates that only “the cured belly of a swine carcass” can be called bacon. Cured cuts from other parts of the pig must be labelled accordingly, such as pork shoulder bacon, but are technically not bacon.

There are great debates online about which country has the best bacon, but my vote goes to  the US every day. Pity I couldn’t ‘bring home the bacon’.

Love your bacon? Got a favourite cut?

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    COMMENTS

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    go veg!
    8th Feb 2018
    10:06am
    You obviously don't value your health to be eating bacon of any sort. Plus you obviously don't value the rights of other species as pigs' lives in factory farms are horrific, as are their deaths. Perhaps you should look at what you're eating - try whyveg.com as a gentle start.
    Janus
    8th Feb 2018
    12:02pm
    Very happy for you to be veg or vegan or anything you want to be.

    Please don't go about trying to change the views of others, or tell them what they "obviously" think.
    Polly Esther
    8th Feb 2018
    2:59pm
    Thank you Janus, just what my thoughts were.
    MICK
    8th Feb 2018
    5:40pm
    Agree with go veg. Janelle may well end up with clogged arteries and lob up to one of our public hospitals and demand to be treated. We'll be picking up the tab of course...because people have 'rights'.
    Better to eat healthy and very very occasionally eat food which is guaranteed to kill you as this would not cause clogged arteries.
    Anonymous
    9th Feb 2018
    12:12am
    Agree go veg, if people visited a factory farm they might think twice about their bacon. Looks much better on the pig then on your plate!
    hmmm
    8th Feb 2018
    10:15am
    When I was a kid, bacon like most food's tasted good, albeit with the occasional crook stomach.
    The only thing I can put this down to is that pigs are fed grain, instead of scraps.
    your choice I guess.
    AutumnOz
    8th Feb 2018
    11:20am
    An American friend of mine told me you don't cook bacon in a frying pan but in the microwave to get it really crispy without being burned.
    She said she also liked the bacon in Australia and England better than that they get at home.
    Go figure!!
    Sen.Cit.90
    8th Feb 2018
    12:02pm
    G'day AutumOz,
    I also cook my bacon in the microwave oven and have done for years. Personally, I find it tastes better than frying in a pan.
    AutumnOz
    8th Feb 2018
    1:18pm
    I don't eat bacon because I don't like it but I'd definitely try the microwave if I did cook it.
    Eddy
    8th Feb 2018
    11:23am
    Totally disagree with you Janelle, I found the US bacon (in NYC) so crisp it was like eating a fat covered biscuit, I did not care for it at all (note I only had it a couple of times so maybe I picked the wrong restaurants). Luckily most restaurants I visited also offered Canadian bacon which I found much more palatable. As is said 'one man's meat is another man's poison' so it is all a matter of personal preference.
    Rickrick
    8th Feb 2018
    11:28am
    To cook the best bacon cover it in half an inch of water and boil away till it starts to fry. it’s already cooked by this stage so whenever it’s how you like it take it off the heat and eat - amazing
    pedro the swift
    8th Feb 2018
    1:06pm
    I don't mind a bit of bacon. Don't eat it all the time though , just when I get the fancies.
    Go Veg, I am totally fed up with so-called vegans telling others what to eat. I don't preach to you about eating meat so just much on your lawn clippings and leave others to eat what they chose!
    thommo
    8th Feb 2018
    1:17pm
    princess cruises served american bacon,was far more popular than any other
    go veg!
    8th Feb 2018
    1:31pm
    Janus and Pedro, Luckily more and more young people are realising their health and the environment benefits from avoiding the giant indoctrinators, animal agriculture industries. I'm glad to be a compassionate oldie and a very fit and healthy oldie with a small grocery bill, by the way. Remember, black slaves, women without rights and animals performing in circuses were also acceptable once.
    Rae
    8th Feb 2018
    2:01pm
    Yes and the very bad things they do to plants aren't even considered. Not cute enough and you can't hear that carrot scream as you pull it out of the ground.
    Polly Esther
    8th Feb 2018
    3:22pm
    go veg! I am very happy, and I'm sure others are too to hear how well you are getting on, but please know that your small grocery bill and also your final sentence above has absolutely nothing to do with eating or not eating bacon. Plants and veges are living things too, you never have a thought that they may have feelings? :-)))
    Any how stay happy and healthy and all the best. Cheers
    go veg!
    8th Feb 2018
    3:48pm
    Rae and Polly Esther, You'll be pleased to know that plants don't have a central nervous system so no pain or fear is possible.
    Rae
    11th Feb 2018
    3:14am
    I don't believe that go veg. for a start we have little understanding of consciousness and secondly research has shown plants do register so form of fear and communicate with each other in a way unexplained as yet.

    Probably best to live on prana if you can get that far.
    KB
    8th Feb 2018
    3:00pm
    My daughter visited America recently tried American bacon was too thin .After comparing she was happy to come home and eat Australian bacon which she says is the best.That being said bacon is not good for you. Very salty,Only an occasional food.
    KB
    8th Feb 2018
    3:03pm
    gov veg please respect the right of those who choose to eat bacon.If you want be vegan good for you.
    Anonymous
    8th Feb 2018
    4:50pm
    Lefties and greenies have no respect for others rights

    Thought everyone knew that by now
    Eddy
    8th Feb 2018
    7:46pm
    With respect Raphael, I don't think the so called right wing of political thought has the monopoly on respect for others rights, particularly the rights of working people who are ripe for exploitation under repressive labour laws like the now defunct Workchoices.
    saintagnes
    8th Feb 2018
    6:37pm
    Danish bacon is the best. I is always thinner than you buy here and it crisps up beautifully.
    Bacon in Australia is rubbish - too thick and too wet
    Ausdigga
    9th Feb 2018
    11:32am
    Injected with saline solution,the el cheapo and fastest way to cure bacon.
    Has anyone else bought bacon then frozen it for later use. It's amazing how much water comes out.
    Aquarian
    8th Feb 2018
    10:34pm
    In Australia I eat far too much bacon, (according to my Wife) as it is cooked properly. In America I eat none, as it is always cooked to death. Bacon was not meant to break when you pick it up!
    Ausdigga
    9th Feb 2018
    11:25am
    I believe pork in Aus that has any bone content is prohibited from entering the country , but bacon,hams and other boneless meats can be and are imported and sold under the ridiculous label
    "Made from local and imported ingredients " . Lets face it it's a free kick for countries like Denmark who have a colossal export line in pigmeats .


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