back to article SCIENCE explains why you LOVE the smell of BACON

Scientists have explained the reason why humans love the smell of frying bacon. Bacon-boffins from the American Chemical Society and Compound Interest produced a video summarizing a research effort into the compounds that give everyone's favorite cured breakfast meat its distinctive and wonderful aroma. Video: The Smell of …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    That collection of compounds is unique to bacon and is not produced when other types of pork are fried.

    So their research amounts to "frying bacon gives off a unique combination of fumes, which carnivores find enticing"... well I never.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Yank my chain

    "Our Yank staff prefer the crisp and fatty American rendition, while the Brits maintain that their leaner, more chewy bacon is tops."

    Talk about making a silk purse out of a sow's ear! "Chewy bacon" indeed. And how did it get that way? Does this mean American pigs eat better? What are the Brit pigs eating, kale? Is it just a straight-out calorie thing? Maybe a few shiploads of good old Iowa Corn are in order.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Re: Yank my chain

      The Brits can't even get bacon right? I guess I shouldn't be surprised. They can't drive on the correct side of the road, can't play a proper game of baseball, and have no idea how to pronounce "garage" or "vitamin" or "mobile".

      It's a damned good thing my ancestors fought and died for my freedom over 235 years ago. Give me freedom to eat crisp, fat bacon slices or give me death.

      1. Richard Taylor 2 Silver badge

        Re: Yank my chain

        @Andy Prough

        "They can't drive on the correct side of the road, can't play a proper game of baseball"

        On the other hand we didn't take the 'correct side of the road' from Cheese Eating Surrender Monkeys AND our tells play the definitive game of baseball, it's just we call it 'Rounders' here

        1. Bob Wheeler

          Re: Yank my chain

          Should also mention that 'Rounders' is mainly played by girls.

          Can consider American Football, and compare that with a real game of Rugby.

          1. Roger Varley

            Re: Yank my chain

            Be fair - the Americans win the World Series: every year

            1. Irony Deficient

              Re: World Series

              Roger, baseball fans in Toronto might take issue with your generalization.

            2. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

              Oh, Canada

              The Americans have not won the World Series every year. The Toronto Blue Jays won in both 1992 and 1993. Depending on who you talk to, Toronto is either it's own nation (as well as being the center of the universe) or sort of Canadian. Either way, Torontonians will agree: the aren't American. Well, except for the huge chunk of them that immigrated there from the US, but that's different...

              1. proud2bgrumpy

                Re: Oh, Canada

                - so you're saying that our American cousins can't even always win a variant of an old british school girls game that only they play ;-)

            3. Jedit

              "Be fair - the Americans win the World Series: every year"

              Some confusion there. It's not called the World Series because it's a global competition, but because it was originally sponsored by a newspaper called the World.

              On the other foot: back in the 1870s one of those Complete Books For Boys listed rules for baseball that were identical to the rules for rounders in the Complete Book for Girls of the same year.

              1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

                Re: "Be fair - the Americans win the World Series: every year"

                Some confusion there. It's not called the World Series because it's a global competition, but because it was originally sponsored by a newspaper called the World.

                So many people repeat this that it has acquired some sort of truthiness. However, if you bother to actually research it, you'll find it's utter bollocks:


                It's just yet another example of our transatlantic cousins editing history to suit their arrogant world-view.

                edit - and personally, I prefer dry-cured streaky bacon, although don't eat it very often because of the incredibly high fat content, so I wouldn't claim that this is entirely an American preference. Sadly, it seems that people here tend to buy cheap bacon, which tends to be back bacon with added brine injected into it (to bump up the weight), which might account for more of this type of bacon being sold, because it is cheaper. Dry-cured back bacon can be made to go crispy perfectly well, but the briny stuff turns to leather and pumps out loads of white liquid when you fry it, which stops the pan from being hot enough to make it crispy.

            4. A A

              Re: Yank my chain

              The 1992 and 1993 Toronto Blue Jays might take issue with that statement.

          2. Number6

            Re: Yank my chain

            Can consider American Football, and compare that with a real game of Rugby.

            Rugby players bring their own padding.

      2. Irony Deficient

        Re: Yank my chain


        Give me freedom to eat crisp, fat bacon slices or give me death.
        those aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive choices.

      3. goldcd

        You eat Turkey Bacon

        "Bacon", made from Turkeys.

        We don't - and until we do, I refuse to relinquish the high-ground.

      4. boltar Silver badge

        Re: Yank my chain

        Hey , I know it was a troll but what the hell...

        "They can't drive on the correct side of the road"

        Travelling on the left side has been around since roman times since the right arm was used for defense against people coming the other way. It was only Napoleon that switched it and you yanks decided to follow the lead of the - how do you put it , the cheese eating surrender monkey?

        "can't play a proper game of baseball,"

        Actually its called Rounders , and its a kids game.

        "and have no idea how to pronounce "garage" or "vitamin" or "mobile"."

        When it comes to pronouncing French words I'll ask someone from France, not Quebec. Similarly for English words I'd ask someone from England (though I may get a dozen different versions but hey...) , not someone from a former colony.

        "It's a damned good thing my ancestors fought and died for my freedom over 235 years ago"

        Did they? And there was me thinking they simply fought to avoid paying taxes that paid for the english military that was guarding them against the french, spanish and not to forget the native americans your ancestors decided to slaughter.

    2. Eddy Ito

      Re: Yank my chain

      Actually I think pigs here in the US are leaner. The difference in the bacon is due to what part of the pig it's from. Canadian bacon is from the loin only, UK bacon is typically both loin and belly, which is often called back bacon in the US and finally US bacon is belly only. The mostly difference in the cut is what determines whether it's chewy or crispy. Of course then there are also several kinds of Chinese pork products that are from similar cuts.

      Between the loin and belly it's a rather versatile hunk-o-hog. Hmmm, all this talk is making me hungry. Now if I only knew of a place to get gua bao at this hour.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Yank my chain

        US bacon is basically streaky bacon. So many things are different in the US.. Even cucumbers are different

        1. Chris Miller

          I see no problem

          British (or, at a push, Canadian) bacon in a sandwich for lunch. US bacon on top of pancakes with maple syrup for breakfast. Easy.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: I see no problem

            Bacon and pancakes with syrup for breakfast?

            Just go to one of those all you can eat American buffets and see it all washed down with copious amounts of Coke.

            No wonder so many of them are fat.

            1. Tom 13

              Re: see it all washed down with copious amounts of Coke.

              No, no, no, no! The proper breakfast drink is copious amounts of Florida Orange Juice made from California oranges.

            2. ravenviz

              Re: I see no problem

              Re: buffets

              Correct, buffets in the UK are 'all you want to eat', US-style is 'all you *can* eat'!

        2. Wzrd1

          Re: Yank my chain

          Methinks El Reg fumbled this one a bit.

          I know quite a few Brits who *love* crispy bacon, aka American bacon.

          1. Tom 7 Silver badge

            Re: Yank my chain

            "I know quite a few Brits who *love* crispy bacon, aka American bacon."

            are you referring to the well cooked back bacon that is crispy or the wafer thin mint bacon that is cut using the same thing that used to make BR ham sandwich ham?

            The thin cut allows more of the flavours mentioned in the video to be created in proportion to the meat whereas the UK cut allows flavours in the meat to be tasted too. There's a good reason why its cut thin in the US.

      2. stucs201

        Re: bacon cuts

        Don't forget middle bacon - similar to back, but with a longer bit of streaky attached.

        Seems less common these days than it used to be. However if you can find it it seems to be the cut most likely to still have the rind attached (good or bad depending on if you like it).

        1. Anomalous Cowturd

          @stucs201 Re: bacon cuts

          I believe that what you describe as middle cut consists of a complete slice from loin right through the belly.

          My best ever came from Shrewsbury market, dry cured, fatty belly, rind on, and smoked. 3 slices, pan fried, belly out, in a savagely hot pan for about a minute a side. served in a brace of freshly carved slices of still warm bread.

          Oh, and Hammond's Chop sauce, or, at a push, HP...

          Nurse, the screens!

          Ooh, and some tissues.

          Sorry about that.

          And now, back to your usual programmes...

          1. Eddy Ito

            Re: @stucs201 bacon cuts

            dry cured, fatty belly, rind on, and smoked. 3 slices, pan fried, belly out, in a savagely hot pan for about a minute a side. served in a brace of freshly carved slices of still warm bread.

            Since your coat is on, bring back two.

            Damn, no YUM icon!

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Yank my chain

        And when did pigs become indigenous to the US?

        1. Tom 13

          Re: And when did pigs become indigenous to the US?

          Quite some time ago:

    3. LarsG

      Re: Yank my chain

      Americans grow and produce their food to fit into their mouths.

      Invariably the food or produce tends to be larger.

    4. Tom 13

      Re: Yank my chain

      Leave it to El Reg's staff to get 'Merkin bacon wrong. Proper bacon is never crisp. It is fatty and chewy. Properly cooked, the fat is a translucent color with just enough brown so you know it has been near heat. Canadian bacon isn't, it is ham by a different name.

  3. Johnny Canuck

    I like both kinds of bacon. What you folks across the pond call bacon, the Americans refer to as "Canadian bacon". No doubt we inherited our taste for that type of bacon from you British. Its perfect in a bun with a bit of butter (I like to add HP sauce). Strippy bacon is also good when you're in the mood for a BLT or Clubhouse sandwich.

  4. Mark 85 Silver badge

    I'm with Johnny Canuck. Both types and I'm "Merican. Something in this article has triggered something in my brain. I'm off to make a bacon sarnie

  5. SoaG

    Canadian burger chain Harvey's got wise and came up with the Double Bacon burger with both types on it. Conflict resolved.

    1. Tom 13

      Yep, bacon even makes bacon better.

  6. Sampler

    I miss real bacon..

    Whilst the americans and british may quibble over which is the best type of Bacon (though the american's are wrong, as usual) one thing I've truly come to miss since arriving in australia is real bacon =(

    Australian Bacon is more like ham, it's already partly cooked and, if like me, you like your Bacon to still be oinking when you slip it between two soft white buns with a little HP sauce then this just won't do.

    Fortunately, there is some salvation, as a few supermarkets carry "English Bacon", however it's very overpriced and there's usually only one option.

    Yorkshire Puddings, fish and chips, curry (don't even get me started on what passes for curry in Sydney compared to Bradford) are all things I miss (and maybe the family) but Bacon, Bacon is the constant reminder I'm far from home, a day's journey (and a thousand bucks) away from where my heart is..

    1. Andy Mac

      Re: I miss real bacon..

      When I first cooked supermarket bacon here in Oz I thought there was something wrong with it because it didn't shrivel up. Then I realised that was because it hadn't been pumped full of water like our native variety.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I miss real bacon..

      Why not make your own? For dry curing all you really need is salt and sugar, if you prefer wet cure you'll need to buy a small quantity of nitrite cure online. Add in any herbs and spices you fancy for your own unique taste. After that it's just a matter of selecting your pork: belly for streaky bacon, loin for back bacon. Within a week you'll have delicious bacon, the way you like it, without all the added water the supermarket version is laden with.

      1. Grikath

        Re: I miss real bacon..

        I can see your problem....

        You're confusing "Sidney" with "Australia". Sort of 'Murricans do with $country and "Europe". I had no problems at all getting my grubby hands on proper bacon when I was gallivanting around Queensland a set of years ago.

        1. P. Lee Silver badge

          Re: I miss real bacon..

          Melbourne's much better for food than Sydney, but Indian is still relatively rare and a decent Mexican restaurant is not to be found in either place.

          And its all over-priced.

          1. Def Silver badge

            Re: I miss real bacon..

            ...and a decent Mexican restaurant is not to be found in either place.

            In all fairness though that's not really a problem restricted to Australia. :)

          2. boltar Silver badge

            Re: I miss real bacon..

            "decent Mexican restaurant"


            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: I miss real bacon..

              I too miss real bacon. Used to be in the UK when we bought bacon from the supermarket it had a nice thick bit of rind on the edge, cook it while attached to the bacon, put a few snips in so it didn't curl up too much and crisped better. At the end of cooking, take the rind off completely and put it back under the grill to cremate a little more so you had a nice chewy bacon sarnie and nice crispy bit of rind for afters.

              Now going to the supermarket even their best cuts 'with rind' have hardly any rind. And they still seem to halve in size.

              Bought bacon from my local butcher once, expensive but worth it, what I forgot however was that it had the rind on is (proper rind, not the half rind they say rind is in supermarkets) left the grill on too high and nearly set off the smoke alarm. Worth it though just to have that crispy crackly rind.

              Also made the mistake of cooking four rashers (as the minimum required for a bacon sarnie is 3 supermarket rashers and I love bacon)

              Didn't shrink, had to chop the ends off and pile it up, it was like a leaning tower of bacon. Yes it cost twice as much, but you only need half as much for a decent sarnie so it all works out...

              Now i want bacon.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I miss real bacon..

          You sir, may have an upvote for the first time I've ever seen the word "gallivanting" on a screen, possibly in written form anywhere. I find this remarkable given how much I read.. it really jumped out at me though! :)

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I miss real bacon..

      If you hadn't committed all those crimes, you wouldn't have been transported.

    4. Farmer Fred

      Re: I miss real bacon..

      >> Yorkshire Puddings

      Flour, eggs, milk & a pinch of salt - into a tin with some hot veggie oil (or fat) and into a hot oven

      >> fish

      Similar mix to above, coat fish and into boiling veggie oil (or fat)

      >> chips

      Peel and chop some humble spuds, soak in water for an hour or two then into boiling veggie oil (or fat)

      ... not rocket science

      >> curry from Bradford

      ah, you have me there...

      1. Anomalous Cowturd

        @Farmer Fred. Re: (or fat)

        Go on. You know you want to say it.

        Say it LOUD!

        Say LARD!


        1. stucs201

          Re: Lard

          Or dripping. Certainly beef dripping for chips.

  7. Mark York 3 Silver badge

    The Brits Ex-Pat Guide To Home Comforts In Canada

    Here in Cowtown Alberta in Canadaland, I can get Wilshire or Loues bacon that's cut (slightly thicker) almost the same way as UK bacon. Most places sell more of long streaky fat held together by pieces of bacon.

    Finally found a UK style sausage in a chain of stores called Save On Foods.

    Finding nothing that comes close to Anchor butter I experimented & make my own by cutting along the length, then putting half & half of Sobeys "European Butter" Salted (Way saltier than Anchor - I was able to compare with smuggled contraband) & unsalted (Very creamy taste) into a butter dish then allowing to soften before buttering my toast & Marmite.

    Add OJ, a cuppa & baked beans\eggs as required & that's pretty much a full English breakfast sorted then.

    Also available (without going into expat stores for things like Lucozade, Walkers Crisps & more obscure UK confectionary) off the top of my head in stores like WalMart, Sobeys Safeways & Canadian Superstores.

    Tetley, Typhoo & Brook Bond tea.

    McVities Chocolate Digestives, Ginger Nuts, Jacobs Cream Crackers & Hob Nobs (Penguins disappeared off the face of London Drugs & Canadian Superstores, but Tim Tams are almost the same but not individually wrapped).

    Heinz Tomato Soup & Baked Beans along with a almost identical packaged Baked Beans British Style. Mushy Peas (Tinned).

    HP Sauce UK Import & local version (Heinz ketchup is just the same to my palate).

    Ready Brek, Devonshire Double Cream (Crustless clotted cream in baby food sized jars) & Marmite. Ribena.

    Ambrosia Rice Pudding & Birds Custard. Heinz Sponge Puddings, Curley Wurleys, Rowntrees Fruit Pastilles & Gums (in cinema sized packets).

    Frying chips with a Tefal Actifry & a teaspoon of Almond oil produces a soft mushy chip that goes nicely with a home battered piece of fish or sausage. I know a lot of Canadians that keep trying some of the food stuffs we talk about.

    Throw in a VPN back to Blighty for TV & its all the comforts of home.

    (Especially in winter when its -36 outside).

  8. eurobloke

    How does it work for bacon-haters?

    As some one who absolutely hates the stuff, how does that work? Having to work in a police station, where our canteen frequently makes bacon baguettes and all-day breakfasts, which I find gagging I try to avoid which it is difficult.

    No, I am not a vegetarian I eat a lot of ham and chouriço in my sandwiches, and eat a thick slice for Christmas dinner.

    Explosion - because I cause a fire here.

    1. TitterYeNot

      Re: How does it work for bacon-haters?

      Poor man, I'm afraid you are suffering from a chronic case of Rashiporciphobia, a rare but debilitating condition usually caused by experiencing severe bacon trauma as a child. Treatment is freely available from your nearest British Agricultural Society registered therapist.

      As an aside, may I suggest that, as someone with an extreme aversion to pork, working in a police station is not a good idea.

      Oh, er, hello officer <coughs>, sorry, yes I'm afraid that was an unlicensed cheap joke, which has also breached its sell by date, I'll come quietly, no need for the cuffs...

    2. Jamie Jones Silver badge

      Re: How does it work for bacon-haters?

      I know I'll get downvoted, but..

      Before I went veggie, I loved the smell of bacon, and I thought that's what I'd miss most...

      However, the smell of it now makes me gag - it just smells to me like burning flesh.

      1. Irony Deficient

        it just smells to me like burning flesh

        Jamie, you wrote that as if it were a bad thing.

        1. Scroticus Canis

          Re: it just smells to me like burning flesh

          It all does when you lose your taste for meat; I even had to cross the street to pass a butcher shop.

          I went veggie for over two years not from choice but because the smell of dead meat became unbearable after an annihilation of a cull completely grossed me out. Pavlovian response.

          However it faded with time and now I am completely cured so an extra rasher or four with the fried black pudding please.

          1. Def Silver badge

            Re: it just smells to me like burning flesh

            I even had to cross the street to pass a butcher shop.

            Oh my God. I used to love the smell of butcher's shops when I was a kid. That is one thing I definitely miss in both the UK and Norway these days.

            Speaking of Scandinavia, I seem to recall that back in the 80s the best bacon in the UK was Danish, wasn't it?

        2. Jamie Jones Silver badge

          Re: it just smells to me like burning flesh

          "Jamie, you wrote that as if it were a bad thing."


          I was tempted to reply: "Well, since the explosion at work, I get haunted by the memories. Still, I can't complain - at least I was one of the few to survive."

          ... But even I'm not that evil! :-)

      2. PassingStrange

        Re: How does it work for bacon-haters?

        It's a weird experience, Jamie, but I've been there too.

        I loved bacon before I went veggie (although for some reason I always found the stench of a ham boiling absolutely appalling, even if I was quite happy to eat the result). And I most certainly didn't stop eating meat because I didn't enjoy it; a good steak was a real treat.

        But maybe a few months in, quite suddenly I found myself hyper-sensitive to the smell of animal fats in general - a heavy, greasy, thoroughly unpleasant smell. I could walk into the kitchen two hours after my wife (meat-eater) had been cooking, and still notice it enough to make me feel quite queasy. That eased up a lot after a while - but even now, fourteen years in, it's not entirely gone.

        Bacon? Well - I always liked my bacon crisp - if it didn't shatter when you tried to cut it, it wasn't cooked enough. Streaky, therefore. Can't say I ate it often enough to genuinely miss it - but from time to time I've grabbed a packet of one of the veggie simulacrums out there and fried it up. A couple are even half decent imitations. But I always end up with vicious indigestion, which turns out to be a powerful disincentive; haven't done that for quite a while now.

        1. Joe Harrison

          Re: How does it work for bacon-haters?

          The Quorn "fake bacon is really nice. They have obviously taken the approach of finding out exactly what it is that UK people expect from bacon, probably they are monitoring this very thread in fact.

          Processed meats are the top cause of colon cancer so a bit crazy to eat actual bacon if you want to live.

          1. shade82000

            Re: How does it work for bacon-haters?

            I went veggie a year ago and thought I would miss bacon but I don't at all.

            I haven't tried the Quorn fakon yet but I did make the mistake of buying the Tesco own brand version which is positively disgusting on it's own or in bread. But we did wrap it round some Linda McCartney sausages at Christmas which was quite nice.

            Slightly off topic but for some reason these comments reminded me of when I was a lot younger and my mum got her first microwave. She thought it would be a good idea to cook a chicken in it and the house was quickly filled with the most stomach churning smell I have ever experienced. A couple of years ago I saw a woman set fire to her hair on a candle and it smelled like roses in comparison.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: How does it work for bacon-haters?

              I have a few vege friends (not me, pure carnovore here) so I've experienced tasting numerous vege foods, (fakon, fake chiken, fake everything meat) personally it tasted like dried cardboard, all of it. But it makes me wonder if our taste buds are over saturated normally.

              As an example, salt. If you cut back on salt to using none or as close as possible to none, for as little as a week, afterwards everything you eat with salt becomes well... salty. I did it for a week once, then when we had a roast my mum seasoned the chicken with salt. I couldn't even taste the meat through the salt taste, even though it really wasn't much.

              Wonder if it's the samw with meat. Veges stop eating it, and they can taste the meat like flavour in fake meat. Meanwhile they've become so sensitive to actual meat taste / smell that it repulses them (as the salty chicken did with me)

              Right now I'm trying to work towards being healthier and failing. Never been a vege eater. (although I'd love to be vegeta) as in up until I went to uni the only veges I ate were potato. No peas, no carrot, nothing (well corn too I guess, but only on the cob). Trying to get to a point where I'm eating healtheir now. Plan to eliminate gluten first (based on a hunch) while upping fruit and vege... Just need to find a fruit I like. (I like bananas, but I'm colourblind between yellow and green, it sucks)

            2. Jamie Jones Silver badge

              Re: How does it work for bacon-haters?

              The problem with a lot of veggie food, is that some is good, and some just doesn't cut it. And you can't go by brands alone, either.

              Linda McCartney pies are perfect. Not so the sausages.

              Quorn sausages USED to be perfect, but they've changed.. (Quorn, if as Joe says, you are reading, take note!)

              All 'bacon' I've tried has been awful - though I've not tried the Quorn brand.

              Best thing in the world? Quorn Cheese and Brocoli Escalopes. I could live off them!

              Burgers? Meh, again Quorn used to be good but not so much now. I've just had one of the Quorn quarter pounder burgers, and they are an improvement.

              Quorn 'chicken burgers' and 'chicken dippers' are good.

              Tescos Kievs aren't too bad either.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: How does it work for bacon-haters?

            so a bit crazy to eat actual bacon if you want to live.

            So if I stop eating "actual bacon" I don't have to die?

            I'm surprised the government haven't banned it, they normally ban anything enjoyable which kills you slowly.

        2. Jamie Jones Silver badge

          Re: How does it work for bacon-haters?

          "It's a weird experience, Jamie, but I've been there too."

          Thanks! I'm glad I'm not the only weird one :-)

    3. Tom 7 Silver badge

      Re: How does it work for bacon-haters?

      sounds like concentrated anorexia!

  9. Tim Roberts 1

    obligatory mony python quote

    "I thought you said bacon"

    1. king of foo

      Re: obligatory mony python quote

      Waitress: Well, there's egg and bacon; egg sausage and bacon; egg and spam; egg bacon and spam; egg bacon sausage and spam; spam bacon sausage and spam; spam egg spam spam bacon and spam; spam sausage spam spam bacon spam tomato and spam;

      Vikings: Spam spam spam spam...

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Streaky Bacon

    First time I bought Septic bacon, it had so little bacon between the fat, I thought I'd gotten Halal bacon by mistake. Probably invented by the Taliban.

    1. Irony Deficient

      Re: Streaky Bacon

      Anonymous Coward, no, it’s just our “melting pot” in action in the kitchen, merging the best attributes of UK bacon and Ukrainian salo.

    2. Nick Ryan Silver badge

      Re: Streaky Bacon

      In general I wouldn't touch USA bacon with a shitty stick, nor anything else pork based, unless it's organic or similar. The last stuff you want to eat is any US mass produced pork.

      It only took me three days to teach staff at a US hotel how to cook bacon properly, possibly prompted by my queries as to how many injury claims they receive regarding shards of US style cooked bacons shattering and exploding when prodded with a fork...

  11. cheveron

    It's how you cook it

    I live in Britain, but I like my bacon crispy. Most people I know cook bacon in oil, but I prefer to cut the fat off and gently heat it until it melts and then cook the bacon in its own fat. You need to get the fat really hot before you add the bacon and then adjust your cooking time depending on how crispy you want it.

    1. IT Drone

      Re: It's how you cook it

      or use a George Foreman type grill - crisps it up if that is your preference (but no good for a decent bacon sarnie with brown sauce!)

    2. David Dawson

      Re: It's how you cook it

      That's strange, I know no one that cooks bacon in oil.

      I've heard of it, but never come across it outside of the papers.

      However, cooking bacon in a pan just used to cook a good steak in adds a while extra layer of flavour to the bacon sarnie.

      Time to break out the bacon now.

      1. wowfood

        Re: It's how you cook it

        My grandads way of cooking bacon was frying it in lard. Never oil, always lard.

        If they did a roast, they'd always keep and render the juices, keeping the fat so they can render it into lard, and the juice for stocks / gravys.

        Nan used the stock for meals, Grandad used the fat for bacon.

        1. wowfood

          Re: It's how you cook it

          I should also say where I used to work they once tried deep frying bacon. "just to see how well it cooks"

          I think americans would have liked the outcome.

  12. king of foo

    it's because we are all naughty sinners...

    If Leviticus was written today I'm sure it would have told us we weren't allowed to eat chocolate ice cream as well.

    Mmmm... food... Bacon rolls for lunch it is then...

  13. Elmer Phud


    There's some lonely rashers in the fridge and I've no bread.

    Even though the corner shop is very close I may not be able to wait that lon

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Bastards!

      Just try the double baconwich a sandwich with bacon instead of bread.

  14. phil dude

    just to be non sequatur about it...

    here in the southeast of the US you can be bitten by an insect (the zoo tick) and become allergic to bacon....


    PS. It is called alpha-gal immunity and was discovered in the 90's when they transplanted the first pig heart valves.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    My bacon sandwich is going to taste even better in the morning now.

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: Mmmm...

      I'm suffering from feelings of terrible guilt and shame. I can hardly bring myself to say this, but this morning…. I had fresh bread, and bacon in the fridge. I'd had some nice wine last night, and I had a bit of time for a nice brunch. And yet… I chose… This is awful! I chose to have soup with my bread.

      And then, this article appeared on the Register to show me the error of my ways. How could they know!?!? I feel dirty now. I've let my family down, I've let myself down, I've let El Reg down. Hopefully it's not too late to redeem myself, by having a bacon sandwich on Sunday morning.

      1. Anomalous Cowturd
        Thumb Down

        Re: Mmmm...

        Dear Mr. Not Spartacus.

        You sick bastard.

        May you burn in eternal hell, for your heretical deeds.

        Bacon is the only true way to Heaven.

        End it now...

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    > everyone's favorite cured breakfast meat

    Perhaps not in the Arab world.

    1. Manolo

      Re: > everyone's favorite cured breakfast meat

      "Perhaps not in the Arab world."

      And don't forget the Jewish world.

      Though I have an Israeli acquaintance who keeps kosher, but makes an exception for bacon, because it just tastes so good, God can't have meant for him not to eat it.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: > everyone's favorite cured breakfast meat

        Yes, well, the whole kosher and halal thing are rules to guide you through "safe" eating based on 2000+ year old agricultural methods and food storage/prep technology. If God cared enough he'd rescind those rules. Which means either there is no God or he doesn't care.


        1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

          Re: > everyone's favorite cured breakfast meat

          Well, the Israelites had been very naughty boys… that's why God punished them with a continuing lack of bacon. And it is also proof that the English are God's chosen people.

          1. Irony Deficient

            God’s chosen people

            I ain’t Spartacus, to quote Tevye from Fiddler on the Roof — “I know, I know. We are Your chosen people. But, once in a while, can't You choose someone else?”

            1. Tom 7 Silver badge

              Re: God’s chosen people

              as far as I can tell bacon and sausages are regarded as both kosher and halal by friends still clinging to religion.

        2. Tom 13

          Re: If God cared enough he'd rescind those rules.

          He did. But only for True Believers.

      2. DrTeeth

        Re: > everyone's favorite cured breakfast meat

        You do NOT keep kosher if one eats Bacon.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Can I just add..

    ..that as a Vegetarian, I find the smell of Bacon very, very annoying. (Charring/burning Bacon doubly so)

    Reason It's so bloody annoying: it smells so damnably, damnably good, I even start salivating at times.

    I curse you, you vile carnivores..

    you fain taunt me, on a daily basis, with the glorious smell of that which I can ne'er eat again (that is, unless they come up with a bloody miracle cure for the allergies I suffer), and, whilst I'm at the cursing malarkey, I doubly curse you, vile artificers of faux Bacon sprinkles and the suchlike made out of Soya.

    no, they're not even bloody close.

    (33 Baconless years, read that and weep for me, you lovers of fine porcine fare.)

    1. Irony Deficient

      vile artificers

      Anonymous Coward, it might only be a slightly less vile artifice than soya, but do you have “bacon” made from turkey thigh meat available to you, if your allergies allow?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: vile artificers

        I'm afraid turkey is on the verboten list as well..but thanks for the thought though!

    2. Nick Ryan Silver badge

      Re: Can I just add..

      I curse you, you vile carnivores..

      I'll have you know that I'm an omnivore, not a carnivore. (Just like almost every non-vegetarian/vegan).

  18. Steven Raith

    I've just had a fry up.

    Three eggs, eight irish sausages (I know, I know, but I couldn't help myself), three eggs, a snap-pot of beans (just plain lazy-itis) and six rashers of dry cured bacon, fried hot and hard till the edges went crunch when I prodded 'em.

    Just add brown sauce. Nom.

    Now polishing it off with some Black Sheep Ale.

    I'll swear bacon could be used as an effective anti-depressant, I feel very blissed out at the moment....

    Tomorrow? Chicken breasts stuffed with soft cheese, wrapped in bacon.

    Steven 'big boned' R

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I've just had a fry up.

      Irish sausages? Would those be Pork and Whiskey?

    2. Michael 28

      Re: I've just had a fry up.

      Wot? No black puddings ?*

      Have been looking further afield to other applications. The perfection of bacon-flavoured e-liquid for vapers? Also... maillard reaction in chocolate.. (opportunities for production line integration and scale-up) . Not to mention multifactorial expression of , and enzymatic breakdown of , the glycoprotein precursors in an static , harvestable in-vivo environment, which remains the ultimate goal. (Bacon-tree anyone?... Not to be confused with the sausage tree alluded to in Family Guy**.


      * for standardised Irish breakfast roll (Pat Short- )

      ** (Seth McFarlane)

      NB: @Americans... don't mention British Sausages.

      See for specific political implications

      1. Steven Raith

        Re: I've just had a fry up.

        I'm not sure you could get a bacon flavour that would work in an e-cig. Also, as the atty degrades, it'd taste more and more burnt, which is never a good thing, not even for bacon.

        Crispy = good.

        Charcoal = bad.

  19. Roger Varley

    Bacon: mmmm........

  20. Terry Cloth

    Other deliciousness

    Bacon's great, but for years, I'd come home from work, take one breath, and tell my wife ``Boy that smells delicious.'' And she'd reply it's only onions and garlic sauteeing for whatever dinner was to be....

    I still couldn't help it---next time, the same comment. That's a good aroma.

  21. Number6

    Proper Bacon

    Properly-cooked bacon should bend, not shatter. That seems to imply a bit of thickness, too, so it doesn't dry out and become brittle.

    To the Reg SF team - where in the Bay Area can I buy proper English bacon? At the moment I have Canadian bacon from a good place in Mountain View. They used to do English but stopped. It's far enough away that I buy in bulk so I only have to go there once a month. Today I pointed to the lump of Canadian bacon on display and said "I'll have that, sliced thick. Yes, all of it please".

    1. Dropper

      Re: Proper Bacon

      1. Number6

        Re: Proper Bacon

        Thanks, but for perishable foods I'd prefer a local place. Too much scope for things to go wrong with the delivery process from the other side of the US.

  22. illiad

    obligatory Al Murray vid!!! :)

    proof of bacon!!! :)

    yes, even veggies love the smell, it goes back to our original ancestry, where finding food just to be able to survive was the main thing! WHY do you think we have pointed, sharp teeth that are good at ripping flesh, and not the large flat type that cows use, more effective at chewing vegetable matter???

    when primates came down from the trees, they found that the reason tigers etc have much more energy due to the food they eat!! :)

    1. king of foo

      Re: obligatory Al Murray vid!!! :)


      1. illiad

        Re: obligatory Al Murray vid!!! :)

        Is that what you poor people think bacon is??????? :O

        click this for a proper picture!!!

        don't need anything else except a good fry-pan on the cooker for it..... :P :P

  23. Ducklet

    This explains the how, not the why.

    1. illiad

      ER, the WHY is the same reason most people cannot do without coffee...

      or google "pavlov's dog" may help more??? :)

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I have only just woke up (12:30 on a sunday)... With a hang over (I only had a couple...) and come for my daily does of tech news. First news article about bacon... COME ON! Give a guy a break - now you make me hungry :-)

    1. illiad

      Re: Hunger....

      ahhhh... :) you obviously do not have a loving partner, to put some bacon on for you... this is mainly what al murray has, in the YT clip... :p

  25. DrTeeth


    The smell of bacon makes me gag.

  26. Chris G Silver badge

    Optional extra

    If you cook enough bacon, it will produce enough heart and artery destroying bacon fat to produce fried bread to die for ( almost literally).

    My wife got some of the amazing lean Spanish streaky this week, at €14/Kg she bought a kilo, mmm Sunday breakfast sarny this morning 5 crispy rashers in lightly fried bread with a very smoky barbeque ketchup!

    Have a Jewish friend here who does some of the best BLTs on the planet, eats 'em too!

    He may go to Jewish hell (Gehenna) but it will be with a bacon sarny in one hand.

    1. illiad

      Re: Optional extra

      well, dont just shove it all in yer gob!! :D :D

      FIRST you separate the fatty part, and eat the lean part!!

      note you do NOT need oil in the pan, the bacon provides it's own natural stuff!! :)

      1. Tom 7 Silver badge

        Re: Optional extra

        Heart problems? The only problems the fat in bacon will cause you problems is if you let it rest in your arteries. My dog gets sore paws after a loaf of bread and half a pig and an illegal amount of butter but the doctor cant find a problem with it! Foods not bad for you - chairs are!

  27. Skyraker

    To quote Jim Jeffries

    If you took away my bacon and beer, I'd fly a fucking plane into a building.

  28. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

    To add further confusion...

    In Ireland, 'bacon' usually refers to a cured joint of pork, and what you actually want is what they refer to as 'rashers'.

  29. Lallabalalla

    aldehydes, hydrocarbons, and nitrogen-containing pyridines and pyrazines


    I'll have bacon instead thanks :)

  30. Will Godfrey Silver badge

    Fat? Oil?

    By itself under the grill is best.

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