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Difference Between Bacon and Gammon

Bacon vs Gammon: How Related are They?

Everyone is familiar with bacon. Bacon is a popular dish served during breakfast, usually paired with rice, eggs, or bread. Bacon is a staple breakfast dish not only in America, but over the whole world as well. The popular way to cook bacon is to fry it so that it attains a strong flavor and is deliciously crunchy when eaten. However, only a few people know the origin of bacon, and its affinity with gammon, another delicacy which is often compared with bacon nowadays. Restaurants that serve bacon have also included gammon in their menu, confusing most people. Some people think that gammon is the same as bacon, only cooked in a different style, while others think that gammon is not related to bacon at all.

Bacon and gammon share something in common: they both come from pigs. Bacon was first recognized as a delicacy back in 1330 by the Teutons and the Dutch. The classic bacon dish is usually derived from the side and back areas of a pig. Nowadays, though, bacon comes mostly from the side part of the pig. Each bacon strip is cured with salt. Bacon is named according to the part where it was derived. For example, back bacon rashers come from the back of the pig, while streaky bacon comes from the belly part. Middle bacon rashers can be derived from the belly or loin of the pig. Gammon as a dish, on the other hand, was recognized later, in 1486. Gammon is derived from a joint which also yields ham. These joints are usually found on the front leg of the pig. Unknown to some people, gammon can be cooked in several ways, depending on which part of the pig the gammon came from. An example of this is the middle gammon, which is also called fillet gammon. This is derived from the top joint of the leg, and can be cooked either by boiling or roasting. Middle gammon can be cooked with the meat still surrounding the bone, or stripped then rolled into pieces for easy eating.

Other types of gammon include slipper, knuckle end, and corner gammon, also called as lean grilling rashers. Bacon and gammon also have other differences. For one thing, gammon is usually thicker than bacon, and more expensive as well. Some people prefer gammon over bacon not only because of it’s thicker, but also because it can go well with a greater variety of dishes. Both bacon and gammon can be either wet- or dry-cured, and can freely be subjected to smoking. Wet curing involves brine, while dry curing involves salt and sugar. An important thing to remember about both bacon and gammon is that high-quality pork should not have any odor, nor should it be wet. Bacon or gammon that has green or yellow transparent stains means that the meat is already old, and should be replaced.


1. Bacon is more popular than gammon because it is staple food during breakfast, often mixed with rice, eggs, or bread.

2. Bacon was first introduced as a delicacy by the Teutons and Dutch in 1330. Gammon was recognized much later, in 1486.

3. Bacon and gammon are both derived from pigs.

4. Bacon comes from the side and back part of pigs.

5. Gammon comes from the joints of the front legs of pigs.

6. There are two ways of curing bacon and gammon: wet curing, in which pork is immersed in brine, and dry curing, in which pork is mixed with salt and sugar.

7. Gammon is more expensive that bacon because it comes in thicker slices. Some people prefer gammon over bacon.

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