IS ALL BACON EQUAL?

How many of us think bacon is just bacon?

From including bacon on the week’s grocery list; enjoying the smell of bacon cooking; or simply ordering bacon as our breakfast meat from the local diner or cafeteria… How many of us consider there are several types of bacon for our morning delight? Last fall, we came upon a local farm offering free range eggs, chicken, organic produce and to my surprise hogs.

... A heritage and threatened  breed; However to
… A heritage and threatened breed… However to “save” the Red Wattle Pigs, we must eat them. (After tasting the meat from these pigs, I feel obliged to do my part.) There are several rumored beginnings for the Red Wattle’s introduction into the United States… the one most intriguing is that it was cross-bred with a Duroc boar. Perhaps this cross-breeding created the unavoidable rich taste found in various cuts of pork from the Red Wattle Pig. I imagine too because they are generally raised on “slow-growing food” farms in contrast to industrial and enclosed pig pens, this natural process is good for the hog as well the consumer.

“Our” farmer, Chef Marc explained the various cuts of bacon he offers with a promise of delicious meat products for the spring. We have not been disappointed enjoying flavorful sausages, pork chops, steaks and yes, bacon… oh bacon. Three delicious cuts from his Red Wattle livestock include lightly salted and smoked bacon:

  • Jowl Bacon (Pork cheeks)
  • Cottage Bacon (Shoulder… or sometimes the back of a pig)
  • Belly Bacon (Not to be confused with pork belly)
Jowl Bacon... Extremely fatty, extremely tasty and is cut from the cheeks of hogs.
Jowl Bacon… Extremely fatty, extremely tasty and from the cheeks of hogs.
More traditional sliced bacon from the hog's belly.
More traditional sliced bacon from the hog’s belly. (What differentiates pork belly from belly bacon is a much deeper curing process.)
A much leaner option for that great bacon taste. If you like Canadian Bacon, this is a great substitute. Yes, it will satisfy a ham craving as well...
Cottage Bacon… A much leaner option for that great bacon taste. If you like Canadian Bacon, this is a good substitute. Yes, it will satisfy a ham craving as well…
Are all cuts equal? Not in my opinion... Eating the jowl bacon was
Are all cuts equal? Not in my opinion… Eating the jowl bacon is “bacon gold” but because there is a high fat content… I will serve it for special occasions. Yet, I enjoy all of them.

There are numerous names for bacon. The cuts and curing process are unique from country to country… the origin dating back to (or before) the 16th century in England.

Thank you for spending a little time with me in my TINYKITCHEN today as we prep for a Mother’s Day Brunch to honor our veterans and their families temporarily residing at the Hines Fisher House. We strive even harder to create GREATTASTE in honoring the BIGHEARTS of our veterans and their families who have sacrificed much for freedom’s sake around the world.


© This article and photographs are the property of J. Faye Guider Productions. Feel free to ask me for permission to use my material or make requests, including for recipes, in the comments section. Thank you.

Happy Spring… Flowers from my gardens.

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