Americans love to pick on English food and while I acknowledge there are some crimes against culinary humanity in my homeland, America, you’re no innocent in that regard either. However, I’m not here to stick it in and break it off about your food, I’m here to educate you on something that’s driven me made for the fourteen plus years I’ve lived here—and that’s bacon.
“What!” I hear you cry. “This is America and bacon is as American as apple pie.”
Yeah, whatever is what I say.
We are two people from two different places and we are also people that get our bacons from two different places.
This is your bacon. It’s essentially pork belly. And like most people’s bellies, it’s fatty. Well, very fatty. I can’t tell you the time I spend in restaurants playing “find the meat” on a strip of bacon. I don’t want the blubber I want the meaty goodness. I look like a weirdo cutting the fat away just to eat a couple of fingernail-sized pieces of meat. I don’t know who told you nice folk that this was your only option when it came to bacon. They had to be a bad person—and shame on them for deceiving you. In England, this kind of bacon is called streaky or poor people’s bacon as it’s the cheapest cut.
May I introduce you to some bacon nirvana. The picture to the side is what I know as bacon. It’s from the back. It’s mainly meat with just a thin sliver of fat. Doesn’t that look gorgeous? Doesn’t that look edible and appetizing? The big complaint about British food that you people have is that it’s invariably overcooked. Vegetable go on the boil the week before they’re need and a meat has to be cooked through and back, whereas medium rare is the norm that all food is judged by here in the US of A. So why in the hell do you guys cremate bacon? Most bacon I see is brown and is as dry as an Egyptian mummy’s wrappings. Can’t you see how lovely this alternative is? Can you see how meaty is it? Can you see that it only needs to be cooked just a tad? Can you see how much healthier it is for you?
I know you’re answering yes to all these questions. So in the name of all that’s holy, can you please start stocking it here? I’m tired of having to import bacon or having to do dodgy deals on the bacon black markets.
Now that I’ve shown you another way, what’s it going to be—the old way or my way?
I suspect if you know a good meat market in your area they will, cut you the bacon you want. I do prefer my bacon more meaty than fat (this is why I actually like turkey bacon, it is pressed processed weird but more meaty) but I do like my bacon crispy.
That’s an idea, but I do have a local connect here in town, which I’m enjoying the fruits of right now. 🙂
So, Simon, isn’t what you picture as bacon from England pork chops here? Or are the chops cured/smoked in England?
(not trying to fight – just understand)
It’s not a pork chop, Kathy. It’s only a wafer thin and it comes from a different place. It might be a different shape, but it tastes like bacon. 🙂
I can settle this. What Simon wants would be called in the States “Canadian bacon”. It’s made from cured pork loin which is then smoked (the usual state of affairs for streaky (American) bacon, as well. Odd thing is, up here in Canada it’s called “back bacon”. Go figure.
The really interesting thing, Simon, is that making your own bacon is stupidly simple. Literally, except for the waiting around for things to happen, you can make it in about 20 minutes, less if you’ve done it several times. It won’t have any additives you don’t want; it won’t be pumped full of water, either (which is why store-bought bacon spatters as it cooks).
My food blog can help you find out just how easy it is to make your own bacon: http://amanforallseasonings.blogspot.ca/ Just search for bacon. The recipe I give is for bacon made from pork belly, but it would be no different if you were using pork loin instead. Drop me a line if you need further help.
You’re a man of many talents. Thanks! 🙂
No, I’m a man for all seasonings! 😉