The main cuts of bacon are:
- Side bacon comes from pork belly. It is very fatty with long layers of fat running parallel to the rind. This is the most common form of bacon in the United States. Pancetta is Italian side bacon, smoked or "aqua" (unsmoked), with a strong flavor.
- Middle bacon, from the side of the animal, is intermediate in cost, fat content, and flavor between streaky bacon and back bacon.
- Back bacon (called Irish bacon/Rashers or Canadian bacon in the United States) comes from the loin in the middle of the back of the pig. It is a very lean, meaty cut of bacon, with less fat compared to other cuts. It has a ham-like texture. Most bacon consumed in the United Kingdom is back bacon.
- Cottage bacon is thinly sliced lean pork meat from a shoulder cut that is typically oval shaped and meaty. It is cured and then sliced into round pieces for baking or frying.
- Jowl bacon is cured and smoked cheeks of pork.
- Slab bacon typically has a medium to very high fraction of fat. It is made from the belly and side cuts, and from fatback.
Bacon joints include the following:
- Collar bacon is taken from the back of a pig near the head.
- Hock, from the hog ankle joint between the ham and the foot.
- Gammon, from the hind leg, traditionally "Wiltshire cured".
- Picnic bacon is from the picnic cut, which includes the shoulder beneath the blade. It is fairly lean, but tougher than most pork cuts.
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