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Bacon & Sausage: USA vs UK


Bacon is a staple part of a cooked breakfast on both sides of the pond. However, there are some very important differences between British and American bacon, and British expatriates will often comment  that British bacon is hard to find in the USA.

The most obvious difference is the shape and fat content of the bacon. American bacon comes in thin strips with streaks of fat running along them. British bacon is leaner, with a border of fat along one edge, and comes in a rounder shape.

The difference in shape is due to the fact that each style of bacon comes from different cuts of pork. American bacon comes from pork belly, which is a much fattier cut of meat. British bacon, on the other hand, comes from the loin which is a much leaner cut. In fact, British bacon is from the same cut as pork tenderloin. This is also where bacon gets its name; it is cut from the back of the animal (think "back-on").

British bacon is very similar to Canadian bacon, though it is fattier around the edges. American-style bacon is readily available in the UK, but it is known as "streaky bacon" due to the streaks of fat running along it. Traditional back bacon is most commonly used in sandwiches or in Full English Breakfasts, whereas streaky bacon tends to be used as trimmings on roast chicken, or wrapped around sausages as "pigs in blankets".