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bacon-msg - 2/20/13


Medieval bacon.


NOTE: See also the files: pork-msg, ham-msg, cooking-oils-msg, butter-msg, larding-msg.





This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that I have collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some messages date back to 1989, some may be as recent as yesterday.


This file is part of a collection of files called Stefan's Florilegium. These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org


I have done a limited amount of editing. Messages having to do with separate topics were sometimes split into different files and sometimes extraneous information was removed. For instance, the message IDs were removed to save space and remove clutter.


The comments made in these messages are not necessarily my viewpoints. I make no claims as to the accuracy of the information given by the individual authors.


Please respect the time and efforts of those who have written these messages. The copyright status of these messages is unclear at this time. If information is published from these messages, please give credit to the originator(s).


Thank you,

   Mark S. Harris                  AKA:  THLord Stefan li Rous

                                         Stefan at florilegium.org



Date: Tue, 5 Oct 2004 11:12:19 -0400

From: "Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius"

      <adamantius.magister at verizon.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Real bacon

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>


Also sprach Sharon Gordon:

> Would people who have experience with real bacon (as different from the

> typical American breakfast slices or UK rashers of bacon) describe how it

> looks and tastes?  Also how does it differ in cooking?  If you wanted a

> butcher to give you some, how would you ask for it?


We may need to answer this in stages, with people throwing out sort

of feeler questions at various times to find out what you really want

to know, because I'm not sure what you mean by "real" in this case.


Originally, in English, bacon was virtually any cured hogmeat other

than ham. Today, what you see most often is streaky or belly bacon,

or back bacon, which comes from the loin of the hog. Then there's a

sort of grey area of cuts treated like ham but actually more like

bacon: things like Bath Chaps (essentially a hammish sort of thing

made from the boned-out jowl), etc.


The primary difference between the typical packaged, pre-sliced

American belly bacon and what I suspect you mean when you say its

"real" equivalent, is that the stuff in clear plastic packets with

the little window to show you the one viable streak of muscle meat in

it, is that water is added. This affects not only the weight, but

also the texture and its behavior in cooking. I'd suspect that the

really industrial/commercial stuff has more sugar in the cure, which,

when combined with the added water, leads to a greater amount of

sticky, burny juices in the bottom of your pan, the kind of thing

that can make it tough to fry eggs in the same pan ;-).


I would further say, speaking in my official capacity as Arbiter of

all things, that realness is not a function of the cut; you can get

good, slab bacon of the American sort (it may or may not have a rind

on it, and you may or may not choose to remove it, either before or

after slicing) at places like butcher shops, smokehouses, farmers'

markets, etc. It's called "slab bacon". Back bacon, the stuff made

from the loin, is sometimes known as English or Irish bacon,

especially when pre-sliced and packaged, but when whole, is often

called boiling bacon, because a common way to eat it is boiled with

cabbage or other greens (corned beef and cabbage is actually, I

understand, the American poor substitute).


Some butchers will also sell what they call cured or smoked pork

loin, which you can buy in a hunk by the pound, or have the butcher

slice to use as rashers.


Canadian Bacon, by the way, is supposed to be identical to back

bacon, until someone decided to cut off the best part of it and use

it for something else, leaving behind a nearly-fat-free eye of the

loin. In Canada, though, I believe this heresy is not practiced; it's

just "bacon", and functionally identical to belly or back bacon. I

guess it's like English Muffins in England: they do have them, but

don't bother calling them English. Duh! ;-)





Date: Wed, 10 Jun 2009 12:05:22 +0200

From: "Susanne Mayer" <susanne.mayer5 at chello.at>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Bacon

To: <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>


I looked up the german Text, and also checked the other sausage recipes.

Speck/bacon in modern German is ususally smoked and salted bacon from

different parts of the pig like the belly (more fat, less meat) or made from

the roast (more meat and lean). Or white bacon which is like lardo only fat

(but it usually stated white bacon if it should be used).

If you use fresh pork belly you will get a different taste as the bacon does

impart a salty, lightly smoked flavor.

But it could also be green bacon: raw and not smoked.


So I would try it with different sorts and adjust it to my taste.


And I did find a modern version which resembles the welser recipe calling

either for bacon or belly and lean pork and lean beef.


500g pork 300g beef and 200g bacon or belly. Grobe Bauernbratwurst









Date: Thu, 05 Aug 2010 07:05:32 -0400

From: Johnna Holloway <johnnae at mac.com>

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] finding bacon recipes was bacon


It's pretty easy to find bacon recipes.


By going to www.medievalcookery.com and going to the Medieval Cookbook  

Search, you can easily search for a selection of bacon recipes from  

the indexed sources.


A search quickly turns up several.



You'll find recipes listed like:


This is an excerpt from A Book of Cookrye

(England, 1591)

The original source can be found at Mark and Jane Waks' website


Take your Bacon and boyle it, and stuffe it with Parcely and Sage, and  

yolks of hard Egges, and when it is boyled, stuffe it and let it boyle  

againe, season it with Pepper, cloves and mace, whole cloves stick  

fast in, so then lay it in your paste with salt butter.


Lots of German recipes





Date: Thu, 10 Feb 2011 18:42:07 +0100

From: "Susanne Mayer" <susanne.mayer5 at chello.at>

To: <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Speck


Speck is generic for all sorts of bacon all from pigs: gru:ner Speck is

just salted and not smoked resembling pancetta (almost pure fat) and or

Lardo (pure fat), Speck made from the leg bones is resembling prosciutto,

here also the degrees of smoking varys and the "air-time" for drying the

smoked hams, bauchspeck is made from the sides and resembles berakfast bacon

but is smoked / cured. more  layers of fat and meat. Ossocollo is leg meat

deboned and "rolled" into a piece and then smoked and cured.

Kareespeck is made from the rib pieces, a bit of fat and much meat,...


This list is in no way complete,..., I am in the lucky position to have

relatives owning a farm and slaughtering their own pigs twice a Year for

smoked sausages, Salami, and all sorts of bacon,...


Regards Katharina



Date: Thu, 10 Feb 2011 14:16:42 -0800

From: K C Francis <katiracook at hotmail.com>

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Speck


I can get speck at my local Whole Foods.  I have it sliced very thin and serve as part of a cold plate.  I have also purchased it at AG Ferrari Foods for the same purpose.  It looks very like prosciutto.    Check out Google using images.





Date: Thu, 26 Jan 2012 06:43:53 -0800

From: "Laura C. Minnick" <lcm at jeffnet.org>

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Bacon news


On 1/26/2012 3:54 AM, Johnna Holloway wrote:

<<< In case you haven't heard the news, Bacon has a new or maybe it's just

a return to a former use.

"Laypeople have long known that bacon can cure innumerable ailments:

depression, unwanted thinness, tastelessness of lentil. And new

research suggests that the cured meat has medical applications that

have nothing to do with the heart and stomach. It seems that bacon --

used in a very unusual way -- is one of the best cures out there for a

bloody nose."




Johnnae >>>


Anthimus claims that the Franks eat bacon raw, and that accounts for

their good health.


No way could I choke it down raw. That must account for my condition.





Date: Thu, 9 Feb 2012 21:21:42 -0800 (PST)

From: Tre <trekatz at yahoo.com>

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Fwd: [Ansteorra] Fwd: Balson's Bangers at

      COSTCO!!    OT English bacon


Bacon here in Britain is generally "Back Bacon", which is the similar to "Canadian Bacon". You can get streaky bacon over here, but it doesn't seem quite the same. The flavor is different than ham, but a lightly smoked ham might work as a substitute as someone else suggested. A better substitute would be if you could get Canadian Bacon.


Also, you can buy back bacon either smoked or unsmoked. I don't know how much of a difference the smoked flavor would make in your recipes.



(an American currently living in Britain.)


<the end>

Formatting copyright © Mark S. Harris (THLord Stefan li Rous).
All other copyrights are property of the original article and message authors.

Comments to the Editor: stefan at florilegium.org