British Bacon ?

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by alan halvorson, Jan 26, 2006.

  1. alan halvorson

    alan halvorson Cinematographer

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    My newspaper ran an article about a local teacher who had furthered her skills in Great Britain. She remarked that "British bacon is awesome!" but didn't elaborate.

    I like bacon but I've never had any that I could describe as awesome. So what's better/different about British bacon?
     
  2. Mark Sherman

    Mark Sherman Supporting Actor

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    http://www.foodsubs.com/MeatcureBacon.html




    MMMMMMM Thats one thing I missed when I came back from England and Scotland. Oh yeah you gotta get the HP brown sauce to go along with it YUMMY. The sausages are Just the best as well.I looked forward to getting up and heading down for an "ENGLISH" Breakfast.


    Eggs

    Sausages

    Bacon

    Mushrooms


    All covered in brown sauce.

    http://www.hpfoods.com/brands/hpsauce/
     
  3. JeremyErwin

    JeremyErwin Producer

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    I've only been to Britain twice, and the second time round, I was unable to order "Full English Breakfasts"-- they seem to have gone by the wayside. But British Bacon seemed to be bit meatier--less fat, perhaps, and not at all crispy.
     
  4. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    British Pigs [​IMG]
     
  5. andrew markworthy

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    We Brits love bacon, it's as simple as that. Ironically, the common or garden stuff you find in our supermarkets is usually from Denmark. The really good stuff (and it costs a lot) is not partiuclarly fatty or salty and doesn't shrivel up when cooked. Brits vary over how crispy they like their bacon, but on the softish side tends to be the default option. In addition to bacon in rashers, a bacon joint is a reasonably popular cut of meat (it's typically boiled or roasted and then served with potatoes and veg as a main meal).


    Now just watch it - you're not too old to be spanked. [​IMG]
     
  6. Dennis*G

    Dennis*G Supporting Actor

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    OK, from that foodsubs link, are we talking about streaky bacon that is good or Canadian type bacon that is so good in Britan?
     
  7. JeremyErwin

    JeremyErwin Producer

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  8. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    Actually, as tongue-in-cheek as my comment was, there was a bit of seriousness in it as well.

    I assume that pig diets are different in Great Britain as opposed to America, hence the pig will taste differently. Again, that's only an assumption, but my assumtion is based on other facts. Kind of like how wine tastes different from region to region because of the environment in which the grapes grow. I'm sure that can be also translated to the way meat tastes from country to country.
     
  9. Dennis*G

    Dennis*G Supporting Actor

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    Thanks for those links Jeremy. I now know more about bacon then I ever thought possible.

    Mark, you are probably correct, especially as more American farms goto these super farms and keep all the animals trapped up in small spaces. In the past 5 years we have definitely been able to tell the difference in our pork products, and that isn't a good thing.
     
  10. andrew markworthy

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    There could be a whole range of reasons why the bacon tastes different:

    (1) diet, as you said
    (2) how the pigs are kept - alas, we do have factory farming [​IMG] but a lot of bacon over here in the UK is from 'free range' pigs (where they are allowed to have relative freedom before being killed). Generally free range tastes better.
    (3) curing techniques - in addition to the simple smoked versus unsmoked (or 'green') bacon, there are plenty of ways in which the smoked flavour can be added
    (4) breed of pig used - in the UK at least, we tend to have two varieties of pig - one bred for bacon, the other for pork. Incidentally, pork in the UK has got leaner and leaner since World War II as selective breeding has produced 'healthier' meat).
    (5) quantity and quality of brine used, length of immersion in brine, etc.

    Brits will eat streaky or lean bacon depending on taste. Generally streaky is cheaper, and so tends to be used less these days simply because the general rise in affluence means that more Brits can afford better cuts of meat. However, it also depends what you want the meat for. E.g. if I'm using bacon in a rice dish, I tend to use the fattier cuts to 'balance' with the relative blandness of the rice. But for eating by itself, then good quality homecured Brit smoked organic bacon is my number 1 choice. However, there are others who love fatty over lean bacon.

    And now I feel hungry ...
     
  11. Rob Gillespie

    Rob Gillespie Producer

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    I've been to the US three times and I only ever saw streaky bacon served there. That's OK if you like eating meat that is more fat than flesh, but it's not so common over here.
     
  12. LarryDavenport

    LarryDavenport Cinematographer

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    I go to this site when I have food questions.

    What I remember about breakfasts in Liverpool and Edinburgh (when I was there ten years ago) was that the only thing not swimming in grease, were the cornflakes. Tasted good though.
     
  13. Russell G

    Russell G Fake Shemp

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    Am I the only one craving a crispy bacon sandwich grilled in bacon fat right now?[​IMG]
     
  14. Yee-Ming

    Yee-Ming Producer

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    I do recall seeing a documentary talking about how pigs in England were somewhat different, and this led to a different quality of pork and bacon (could've been Jamie Oliver?)

    And animal feed does make a difference, even from personal (amateur) experience I can say Australian/NZ beef is not the same as US, probably because Down Under they eat grass whereas in the US they are grain-fed.

    Oddly enough, my wife has always commented that she thought the pork in England had a funny smell; perhaps the pork in South East Asia is relatively bland, and that's what we're used to?
     
  15. andrew markworthy

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    There has been a vogue in the UK in recent years to offer pork from specific breeds of pig (though you'll have to go to some pretty expensive butchers or stores to find it). The different breeds I've tried do definitely taste different (some are richer tasting, others are fattier, etc), but it's not all that spectacular a difference, and IMHO generally how well you cook pork is the principal determinant of how nice it tastes.
     
  16. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    Absolutely I agree with this Yee Ming. I never got to the point that I liked beef in Australia, no doubt due to preferences formed from eating US beef. Strangely, however, I loved the lamb in both Australia and New Zealand. Go figure.

    I’m not sure that I’d consider pork in South East Asia to be bland. Then again, I’m not sure that I really noticed.
     
  17. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    I was going to say something about that, but I figured I was wrong (or ignorant) about it...but since it was brought up:

    Aren't british pigs those hairy white and black ones where American pigs are pink?


    p.s. Maybe I'm thinking of those Truffle sniffing pigs they have in England...or are those the kind they use for bacon?
     
  18. Rob Gillespie

    Rob Gillespie Producer

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    No, that would be the people, Mark.
     
  19. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    There are a lot of black and white pigs. Frustratingly, the Hampshire, a black and white breed, is American despite its name, but came from pigs brought into America from England (Hampshire, natch). Worse yet, one of the main pink breeds is the American Yorkshire.

    And so it goes.

    BTW, no truffles in England—France is where pigs hunt for truffles. I don’t know if pigs in Italy hunt truffles or not—my familiarity with Italian pigs is limited to ham from Parma.
     
  20. JeremyErwin

    JeremyErwin Producer

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