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In North America today, bacon has become a traditional complement to eggs at breakfast. The term "bacon" comes from the French "bakko," which means ham.

Characteristics - Canadian, American or Italian

Bacon is always pork meat that is salted and usually smoked.

American bacon comes from the lateral belly of the pig. It is the most common bacon in Canada and the one most often used in cooking.

Canadian bacon, which ironically is most popular in the United States, comes from the loin and looks more like a slice of lean ham. It is served almost exclusively with eggs at breakfast.

Pancetta, or Italian bacon, comes from the pig's belly, salt and pepper is added and it is dried for three months. It is shaped like a large sausage roll and cut to order.

Culinary tips and advice

  • Bacon can be broiled, fried or sautéed.
  • It should be cooked at low heat for at least 10 minutes and the rendered fat drained. Cooking over high heat promotes the development of nitrosamines which occur when fat reacts to heat.
  • Once cooked, bacon should be drained on paper towels to obtain crisp lean slices.
  • Bacon can be used to flavour sauces and simmered dishes. The bacon is chopped and browned with onions before adding the rest of the ingredients in the recipe to give the dish a light smoky aroma.

Here are a few suggestions for you, try the great classics:

  • Add a few crisp slices of bacon to an omelette.
  • Quiches, crêpes and salads all taste better with a little added bacon.
  • A baked potato would be very ordinary without a few bacon bits crumbled over sour cream.
  • Use bacon slices to bard lean meats, poultry or even scallops before cooking them in the oven or on the grill.
  • Three slices of bread, a few slices of tomato and roasted chicken, lettuce, mayo and of course bacon and there you have it!
  • Try the BLT.
  • In Corsica, pancetta is eaten like bacon but elsewhere in Italy, it is mostly used with pasta and pizza.
  • Pan-fry pancetta and bacon until crisp to make savoury lardoons to use in salads and other recipes.
  • What would Cesar salad be without these wonderful lardoons'.


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