Bacon is a type of salt-cured pork made from various cuts, typically the belly or less fatty parts of the back. It is eaten as a side dish (particularly in breakfasts), used as a central ingredient (e.g., the bacon, lettuce, and tomato sandwich (BLT)), or as a flavouring or accent (as in bacon bits in a salad).
Bacon is also used for barding and larding roasts, especially game, including venison and pheasant, and may also be used to insulate or flavour roast joints by being layered onto the meat. The word is derived from the Proto-Germanic *bakkon, meaning “back meat”.
Bacon dishes include bacon and eggs, bacon, lettuce, and tomato (BLT) sandwiches, Cobb salad, and various bacon-wrapped foods, such as scallops, shrimp, and asparagus. Recently invented bacon dishes include chicken fried bacon, chocolate covered bacon, bacon jerky, bacon ice cream and the bacon explosion. Bacon jam and bacon marmalade are also commercially available.
Streaky bacon is more commonly used as a topping in the US on such items as pizza, salads, sandwiches, hamburgers, baked potatoes, hot dogs, and soups. In the US, sliced smoked back bacon is used less frequently than the streaky variety, but can sometimes be found on pizza, salads, and omelettes.
Bacon is also used as an accent in dishes, such as bacon-topped meatloaf, sautéed crisp and crumbled into green beans, or as a crumble in a salad.
Bacon bits are crumbled bacon in condiment form, typically commercially prepared and preserved for long shelf life.
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