Bacon comes in many forms, flavors, and styles. It can come from the cheeks, backs, and bellies (pork belly being the most common you see in the market); it can be cured or uncured, smoked or unsmoked (and the smoke can come from many different types of wood, each with its own distinct smell and flavor). Additional flavors can be added, such as maple, honey, or spices, which add to a particular brand’s appeal.
Good bacon is more than ½ fat, which gives it most of its true flavor.
A typical pound of it has 16 to 20 slices.
Rendered bacon grease is often used as a cooking fat, especially in Southern U.S. Cuisine.
Cracklings are the name for the bits of fried bacon rind.
1 slice of bacon = 1 TBSP Bacon Bits once fried.
In the U.K., unsmoked variety is called green bacon.
A side of unsliced bacon was once known as a flitch; it’s now known as a slab.
There are many bacon brands, and they all have their followers, which is why we carry so many different name brands and styles at Nino’s. For instance, we carry:
Homemade, Thick Cut Amish
Uncured Apple Wood Smoked
Fully Cooked, Naturally Smoked Canadian
DiBi’s Naturally Hardwood Smoked
Hardwood Smoked, Honey Cured, Thick Slice
Alexander & Hornung
Uncured, Wild Cherry Wood Smoked
Other types of include:
Pancetta, which is an Italian-type bacon from the belly area. It’s rolled up into a cylinder after curing.
Canadian or back bacon, which is actually pork loin that has been cured and smoked similar to ham.
Cottage bacon, which is thinly sliced lean pork meat from a shoulder cut that’s typically oval shaped and meaty. It is cured and then sliced into round pieces for baking or frying.
Jowl bacon is cured and smoked cheeks of pork.
Pea Meal bacon, which is from the back, brined and coated in fine cornmeal.
By now, you just might be getting hungry for a little bacon yourself? Well, at Nino’s, we haven’t “hogged” all the best bacon recipes for ourselves-
Twice Baked Yukon Gold Potato Soup
3 Tbsp. Bacon Fat or Butter 1 cup Sour Cream 2 large Vidalia Onions, cut in 1” pieces ½ cup Green Onions, cut ¼” pieces ¼ tsp. Ground Black Pepper ½ lb. Bacon, cut ¼”, cooked crisp 3 cups Chicken Stock, strong As Desired Additional Sour Cream for Garnish 4 large Yukon Gold Potatoes, cut in 1” pieces To Taste Salt & Pepper 1 cup Half & Half Optional Garnish Yukon Gold Potatoes, diced & fried
Cut bacon into ¼ inch strips and fry until crisp. Reserve crisp bacon for garnish and use 3 Tbsp. of rendered bacon fat or butter to sauté onion over medium heat until tender but not browned.
Add chicken stock and potatoes and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
Remove potatoes with stock from heat and add half and half.
Simmer 15 minutes, then remove from the heat and cool to room temperature.
Place mixture in blender. Blend until smooth then strain soup mixture if desired, otherwise, return soup to a soup pot and reheat.
Finish soup with ½ cup sour cream then season soup with salt & pepper to taste.
To serve, portion soup in bowls or cups and finish with an additional dollop of sour cream, crispy bacon and green onions.