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Bacon by any other name

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Shopping for an upcoming brunch, I was thrilled to see a newcomer in the specialty meat case of my local market: duck bacon. Made by D’Artagnan, the New Jersey-based gourmet food company, the bacon was packaged enticingly, with promises of having half the fat of pork bacon, and no nitrates or nitrites.

On closer examination, it was apparent this wasn’t bacon in the strictest sense (that is, the side of a pig that has been cured and smoked). It was really just a thinly sliced smoked duck breast that looked like bacon. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that!)

It cooked up quickly (in fact, I probably overcooked it a tad) and was tasty. I found it a a bit too salty, though, and thought the smoke flavor overpowered any hint that this was water fowl. But it did make for a good conversation piece.

Afterwards, I did a little research and found all sorts of alternative bacons out there: veal, turkey, even wild boar. I’d love to hear from anyone who has tried any non-pork bacons, especially if you’ve got any you’d recommend to mix up the breakfast plate offerings.

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  • chevreandvouvray | 10/28/2015

    so excited to try this. duck and beef bacon are two of my favorites.
    had chinese duck yesterday.
    lamb bacon also sounds nice.
    you couldn't give me pork bacon for free; read twice recently that cannibals say we taste like pork. stuff makes you sick even when fully cooked.
    to all the pig lovers- "you are what you eat" and you can have my portion till the cows come home.

  • SophyB | 05/01/2009

    They have this stuff at the co-op! I'm going to get some next time. Anything duck is good with me.

  • EMI48 | 04/30/2009

    Duck bacon is very consumed in France. It is called "magret séché". It is the duck breast which is salted and sometimes smoked then dried.
    It is consumed raw, I've never seen it cooked.
    It is arranged on salad ("salade landaise"), with duck's gizzards "confits" (salted and then cooked in duck's fat)sliced and sautéed, and a little foie gras. You can add walnuts or pine nuts.
    It is a speciality of the south-west of France, very appreciated.
    It is'nt a pork substitute, it's something really different.

  • bsmithfla | 04/30/2009

    I'm a traditionalist and believe bacon is and will remain PORK. I've worked internationally for most of my adult life and been served more bacon substitutes than one could imagine. Keep them all I say pig is for me!

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