How Bacon is Made, and Everything Else you Need to Know About the Delicious Pork Product.
You Can Make Bacon too.
Georgia Kral writes: Bacon comes from the belly of the hog. There are two sides to the animal because when it is broken down, it’s spilt. So that means two sides of belly and two slabs of bacon. The belly equals about 10 percent of the animal’s meat…
Step 1: The Cure
In order to turn belly into bacon, you must first cure the meat. There are two different ways to cure bacon, Faison said. Much like when marinating meat with a rub, you can do a dry (salt, spices) or wet (water, salt, spices) cure. A dry cure will cause the meat to dehydrate a bit and lose some of its weight, and can often make the bacon saltier than a wet cure. The flavor profile is more pronounced with a dry cure, but the two schools of thought are really just a matter of taste. You hang a dry cure and leave a wet cure in its bath of liquid. How long is also a matter of taste, but most cures take from a couple of days to a couple of weeks. Faison said if making bacon for a BLT, you want a dry cure, but if making bacon to have alongside eggs and toast, perhaps a wet cure would be better.
A wet cure is also less expensive to manufacture, because none of the weight is lost. Industrially-produced bacon from industrially-raised hogs is almost always a wet cure, Faison said.
Step 2: Smoke
After the cure comes the smoke. Wood chips are generally used to smoke bacon, and different types of wood will lend the pork various flavors. Most common is mesquite, which is mild. A lot of industrially-produced pork is washed in liquid smoke, which is smoke that’s been collected and thinned out, said Faison.
If you skip the smoke, you’ve got pancetta … (read more)
Why Does Bacon Taste So Good?
“The cell membranes of the muscle tissue contain fatty acids that disintegrate during cooking to yield a bouquet of flavourful compounds like aldehydes, furans, and ketones,” the BBC reported. “By themselves, some of these molecules have distinct tastes or smells — furans have a sweet, nutty, caramel-like note, aldehydes a green, grassy note, and ketones tend to be buttery — but whatever they are doing together seems to be key. If any of these classes of molecules were missing from the overall bacon flavour, you would notice it.”