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Where Does Bacon Come From?

Gourmandise's picture

 Though originated in Europe, bacon is now quite popular in almost all the countries

Bacon had been an anytime dish for most of us. But have you ever asked yourself "Where does bacon comes from"? The origin of bacon dates way back to the 11th Century and had a unique story behind it. It is one of the few words that throw significant light on how strong the linguistic influence of the French was (or perhaps is) on the English language.


History Of Bacon

The French were always considered to be the masters of culinary skills. As such, they always encouraged improved methods of cooking, thereby introducing new dishes like “beef”, “bacon”, “venison”, etc. These innovative dishes were only served to the French masters, and hence, the French names were was used and retained for these. However, the English serfs could never taste these delicacies and were only responsible for taking care of the live animals. Hence, the terms for the live animals still have the English origin (like “cow”, “swine” and “deer”). Thus, both the French and English versions of the same word same into simultaneous co-existence.

The origin of bacon also has an interesting etymology. The word originates from the Middle English term “baccoun”, which literally means “back of an animal”. Till the 16th century, bacon generally referred to pork in general. However, in the modern day, bacon has earned a special connotation. By the term, we specifically imply “the salted and smoked meat from the back and sides of a pig”.

The Animal Origin Of Bacon


  • Bacon comes from the pigs back, side or belly.

  • The American bacon also known as streaky bacon or fatty bacon is taken from the side of the pig belly.Bacon taken from the belly side has more fat and less meat. Un- smoked streaky bacon is referred to as pork!

  • Bacon can also be taken from lean pork loin. Back Bacon is the cured meat from the loin of the pig.

  • Irish bacon or Canadian bacon is taken from the leaner loin area of the pig.

  • Cottage bacon is the thin slices of pork meat that is taken from the shoulder cut.

  • Jowl Bacon is taken from the smoked cheeks of the pig

  • Slab bacon is the cured meat slices taken from the belly and side cuts and has a lot of fat. Salt pork on the other hand is the same cut but is not cured.

  • Often, the meat of other animals like turkey, lamb, chicken , goat or beef are cut and processed to look like bacon and then even referred to as bacon. Don’t confuse the original bacon with these.

As a must for sandwiches and burgers, or as a topping for salads or potatoes, bacon is an important ingredient. They are also used as starters or other snacks and even for fine dining. No wonder, bacon is increasingly being a food of popular choice. While bacon comes with a tag of high fat-content, you can always go for the low-sodium and lean varieties available and partake moderately in this delicious indulgence.



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Where Does Bacon Come From?