Fatty side of a pig which has been cured and smoked. Bacon should be 1/2 - 2/3 fat, which gives bacon its flavor. Rendered bacon fat, bacon grease, is often used as a cooking fat, especially in Southern U.S. cuisine.
Season: available year-round
How to select: You will get 16-20 regular slices per pound, when purchased sliced. You can also buy slab bacon to slice yourself. Cracklings are the bits of fried bacon rind. You can also purchased pre-cooked bacon bits for salads, and the like, but if they are true bacon they will need to be refrigerated. Imitation bacon bits are sold on the shelf.
Substitutions: 1 slice bacon = 1 tbsp bacon bits; bacon = smoke sausage = turkey bacon = Canadian bacon = boiled, baked or smoked ham