Food & Craft

Types of bacon

Let's get some bacon terminology sorted first. Here in Scotland and across the UK bacon comes in three forms - streaky, back and middle.

Streaky Bacon

Streaky bacon is made from the belly of the pig and as such has a higher proportion of fat than back bacon. It makes the perfect crispy bacon but is probably less popular for bacon butties (sandwiches) and rolls. If you just ask for "bacon" in the USA you're highly likely to get streaky bacon.

Streaky baconSteaky bacon

A whole belly from a side of a pig is too large for most of us to make into bacon in one piece. We have our butcher cut ours into pieces about 30cm square, which make them easy to handle and a good size for curing.

Back Bacon

Back bacon is made from the loin of the pig. It's got a good bit more meat on it, is leaner than streaky, and is perfect for bacon rolls and butties. In the USA this may be described as "Canadian bacon", but that term covers a multitude of sins of pork product, so be more precise if you're looking for back bacon across the pond.

Back baconBack bacon

As with the belly, a whole loin from a side of a mature pig is too large to handle comfortably, so cut it to a reasonable size.

Middle Bacon

Middle bacon is basically streaky and back together in a single cut. It's becoming difficult to come by in supermarkets in the UK, and less common in butchers too.

One thing all bacon has in common is that it is cured. Let's move on to talk about what that means.

Dan Champion

About Dan Champion

A self-confessed geek, Dan would spend 20 hours per day in front of a computer if he didn't live on a 12-acre smallholding in the east of Scotland (and if his wife would let him). He also built this website.

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