The Skinny on… Bacon

Salty, a little sweet, often smoky, and always flavorful, bacon is a culinary wonder.
Bacon Dip
Sliced Bacon
Standard American Strip (or Sliced) Bacon
Also called “streaky bacon” in Great Britain. Pork belly that’s been cured and smoked — usually thinly sliced, although sometimes thickly so. May be flavored with, for example, maple syrup or honey or crushed peppercorns. May also be center-cut (aka "reduced fat"). And may be uncured, as we’ve discussed. Makes the classic bacon-and-egg breakfast and the lunchtime BLT.
Lop Yok
A Chinese version of standard American strip bacon — except flavored with Sichuan peppercorns, star anise and white pepper. Usually cut into thick strips. Best diced into a stir-fry.
Slab Bacon
Slab Bacon
Standard American belly bacon that hasn’t been sliced. It also must be cooked before eating. Dice it to flavor soups and stews. Cut larger chunks into smaller ones — wrap these and freeze, a little bacon at the ready the next time you make a braise.
Rashers
Rashers
Also called “Irish bacon,” “British bacon,” or “back bacon.” Pork loin that’s been cured, smoked and sliced — but not completely trimmed. There’s a good layer of fat and odd bits of meat attached to the narrow end of each teardrop-shaped slice. It’s always cured, sometimes with nitrites to preserve its pink color.
Canadian Bacon
Canadian-Style Bacon
Also called “Canadian bacon” in the United States. Similar to rashers except the loin has been trimmed — and may or may not be sliced. Most Canadian-style bacon is fully cooked and ready to eat. Perfect for breakfast sandwiches — it fits on a toasted English muffin! Also great on pizzas and diced into fried rice.
Peameal Bacon
Peameal Bacon
True Canadian bacon, a well-trimmed pork loin that’s cured but not smoked. At one time, rolled in ground yellow peas (thus its name), now mostly rolled in cornmeal. Sold sliced or in chunks — or even in bigger hunks for roasting.
Pancetta
Pancetta
Cured pork belly, never smoked, often seasoned with cracked peppercorns. A classic in Italian cooking. Often rolled into logs to look like Canadian-style bacon. Usually diced and used as a porky flavoring and salty touch in soups, stews, braises and sautés.
Turkey Bacon
Turkey Bacon
Smoked and chopped turkey, formed into strips to look like standard American strip bacon. Some turkey bacon is only made from thigh meat; others, from all sorts of turkey parts. Read the label to know what you’re getting. It almost always must be cooked. Best in sandwiches and salads.
Beef Bacon
Beef Bacon
Looks like standard American strip bacon with alternating layers of fat and meat. Made from the beef “plate,” on the underside of the cow near the brisket. Cured and smoked, it has a more savory quality than pork bacon and is a great addition to omelets, frittatas and other egg dishes.
Veggie Bacon
Veggie Bacon
Also known as “facon” or “fakon.” Usually a soy-based product, formed into strips and flavored with smoke or smoky extracts. A good alternative to pork bacon with a very low PointsPlus® value.
Bacon Bits
Bacon Bits
Two varieties: veggie bacon bits crumbled into tiny pieces, or pork bacon pieces that have been cooked, crisped, crumbled up and made shelf-stable. Both are ready to eat. Read the labels to determine which you have in hand. Best for shaking into salads or on top of dips.


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