Australian Bacon = WRONG

I’m sorry (well not really) but Australians do not know what bacon is.

What is that?! Looks more like ham to me. via Melbourne, Australia on Flickr – Photo Sharing

Ugh.

Upon more Googling, I also found Australians combine bananas with bacon. BANANAS? Ew, are you kidding me? Sure bacon and bananas both start with the letter “b”, but that is no excuse to serve the two together. UGH.


The clustermess of flavors aside, at least the photo is…um…pretty…? Still. That seems yucky. And outright wrong. (via tao of bacon) I also found an action video of Australian bacon cooking — McDonald’s style. Watch if you dare here.

These are the times I’m glad American bacon is… well… bacon. ;)

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64 comments

  1. Duncan

    I’ll agree with you on the Banana, but that’s some mighty fine short back bacon you’ve got pictured there. The difference between our bacon and yours is that essentially your bacon is mostly fat, where as we cut the same part, but differently, to reduce the fat. You can get more fat then pictured (it’s called long back) but no where nearly as much as American bacon. The better news: our bacon is healthier :-)

    • Kathy

      Duncan, As a pure bred Aussie, I agree with you 100%. Sorry but you Americans have got it ALL wrong. You cannot change bacon, it is what it is, from a blooming pig. It all comes down to what parts you choose to eat and how you cook it. The uncooked bacon that you refer to, in OZ is called rashers of bacon, basically it is a long strip with the fat attached. Short cut or eye bacon (as pictured above) is the roundish piece which has been seperated from the fat, you simply pull it away from the fat. Many Aussies including me choose to eat it like that simply because we are now educated enough to know about cholesterol and its effects, to which bacon is probably the worst offender, and invites heart attacks. Quite simply the people that give a sh*t about their health, do not eat the fat, as tasty as it is, because its simply not worth dying for. As for overcooking the hell out of it as it seems Americans do, well I suppose thats up to individual taste, I mean do you do that to your other meat?, ewww. Put simply, we could eat it like that too, but we are too informed and educated to do so, and quite frankly, we have a more refined taste, sorry guys.

      • Ivy

        Actually, fat is healthy.. So in this one instance, Americans are correct. Don’t believe me? Check out the Paleo/Primal diet.. I’m on it and I’m seriously wishin we had some super fatty bacon over here.

      • navoff

        Ivy is correct. Eating cholesterol and saturated fat does not raise cholesterol levels in the body or clog your arteries. If you don’t eat enough, your body will make it’s own. In fact, 75% of the cholesterol in our bodies is produced by the liver. (see: http://chriskresser.com/the-diet-heart-myth-cholesterol-and-saturated-fat-are-not-the-enemy). Arteriosclerosis is a chronic inflammatory response in the walls of arteries caused by eating too much in the way of seed oils, sugars (especially fructose) and artificial sweeteners, food additives, hydrogenated and trans fats found in margarine and processed foods, gluten found in grains (in particular those in wheat, rye and barley) as well as corn which is often genetically modified to contain an insecticide (aka BT Corn), and cancer-causing preservatives like nitrites and nitrates found in many deli meats.

        Eating saturated fat can:

        1. Reduces the levels of a substance called lipoprotein (a) that correlates strongly with risk for heart disease.
        2. Increases bone strength because saturated fat is required for calcium to be effectively incorporated into bone.
        3. Improves liver health because saturated fat encourage the liver cells to dump their fat content.
        4. Improve lung health because for proper function, the airspaces of the lungs have to be coated with a thin layer of what’s called lung surfactant. The fat content of lung surfactant is 100 percent saturated fatty acids.
        5. Improve brain function because your brain is mainly made of fat and cholesterol and a diet that skimps on healthy saturated fats robs your brain of the raw materials it needs to function optimally.
        6. Improves nerve signaling because saturated fats like butter, lard, coconut oil, and palm oil, function directly as signaling messengers that influence the metabolism, including such critical jobs as the appropriate release of insulin.
        7. Improves the immune system because loss of sufficient saturated fatty acids in the white blood cells hampers their ability to recognize and destroy foreign invaders, such as viruses, bacteria, and fungi.

        (source: http://www.fourhourworkweek.com/blog/2009/06/06/saturated-fat/)

        Oh, and for the record, 3/4 of the people admitted to the hospital in the U.S. with a heart attack have cholesterol levels below 200. It’s not the total cholesterol or even the total LDL cholesterol that is a sign of risk for a heart attack but the HDL to triglyceride ratio. Ideally, your HDL level should be as high or higher than your triglyceride level. The LDL level in the typical cholesterol test is not an actual measurement as a calculated number. It also doesn’t distinguish between the two types of LDSL, the light fluffy, benign kind and the small, dense, dangerous kind.

      • Aussie In DC (@Aussie_in_DC)

        Kathy, If you know about cholesterol, why do you avoid eating fat? Sugar is the heart disease culprit, not fat. Not even saturated fat. Lay press example: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/10679227/Saturated-fat-is-not-bad-for-health-says-heart-expert.html and many more peer-reviewed papers if you want to go deep on it. I agree with Ivy. Check out Tim Noakes’ LCHF book “The Real Meal Revolution” if you want more info. I’m an Aussie that lives in the US. Just got back from two weeks down under and ate bacon every day. I have to say, while I prefer Aussie bacon because it generally has the middle rasher, is cut thicker and there is a larger proportion of unprocessed bacon available, there is good bacon available in America – it just has way less meat on it. Aussie bacon is also huge by comparison, we were cooking up unprocessed slices we got from the local butchers that were well over a foot (30 cm) long and wide. Cooks amazing on the grill. I actually prefer the Aussei way of cooking it which is not on low heat until it is stiff – flame grilled and floppy for me.

    • Tanya Loibl

      Actually the fat of the pig is the worst part to eat as pigs don’t sweat they hold all their toxins in their fat!! I agree with Kathy as an Aussie I’ve never eaten bacon and banana the idea seems too weird to me, but in saying that if I had the opportunity to try it I would, I believe that you should try most things once and I would, it’s less disgusting than some of the shit I see Americans eat, did someone glaze the shit out of your food? I’m sure Vegemite is the last thing on your minds for breakfast I guess it comes down to what you were brought up on and what your willing to try. PS Macca’s (Macdonald’s) is shit food anyway not sure why we care about that one!!!

  2. jim

    Duncan, bacon should be good for the soul, not the heart. Australian “bacon” is ham, pure and simple. Nice it its place, but not the smoky crispy fatty bacony yum I want on my BLT or with my eggs.

  3. neo

    Australian bacon is the best bacon I have ever had…and I LOVE thick center cut american bacon…period. Whether you want to call it ham or whatever, it is plain good and I wish we had those cuts sold here in America…

  4. Myujin

    I’m living in oz currently, and yes i had those bacon. Its not that they taste bad, but they simply doesn’t taste like bacon (well maybe just a tiny bit), but they are very different, instead of bacon they feel more like ham with some fat. In my opinion, if its about food; taste is number one; whether they are healthy or not comes latter

  5. tony meman

    Bacon as in the States is very similar. its the same part of the “rasher” that australians call short/long back (older aussies)
    or speck
    or streaky bacon
    it is still smoky
    it is still fatty
    less fatty albeit… but still nowhere near HAM. the BUTCHER CUTS of the pig are called HAM and PORK and BACON etc… (i am a chef) but the “Eye” of the bacon is not HAM.

  6. tony meman

    by nowhere near ham i mean nothing like it…
    that sentence implies ham is not fatty… but.. its grammatically wrong in the way i meant to intend it

  7. jesse owens

    Australian Bacon = Best bacon in the world.

    the writer of this article obviously has no taste in quality food what so ever.

    Australian Bacon is by far the most delicious bacon in the world (especially cooked by me).

    American bacon consists of about 80% fat which is gross whereas Australian bacon has about 10% fat.

  8. Shark

    Having just returned from five weeks Down Under, I humbly submit that Aussie bacon is the best I have ever tasted. And I have tasted many an American artisan bacon. Be it with eggs for breakfast or a lunch BLT, the flavor and lack of globs of fat makes this one delicacy that is going to have me making friends with many butchers here in North Carolina until I find the proper cut.
    My (Australian) wife suggested Canadian bacon… not close at all.

  9. vanessa

    that is a gourmet dish and literally no one eats friggen bacon and bananas together, you shouldn’t stereotype. it’s unbecoming and offensive.

  10. Kinz

    So I have to admit that this website was so perfect for my situation I was in the other day! My boyfriend (who is an Aussie) and I (an American) were discussing how Aussie bacon is not the same. We both insisted that our own bacon was right, so I wanted to google pictures to show the difference and how American bacon is the REAL bacon and this website popped up. Thank you for proving my point in your title alone :) Cheers!

  11. Jon

    Hey,

    Thanks for that page. I agree, Aussie bacon is wrong. Especially when you go to Subway or any chains, but Subway most of all, it says : Add some sizzle to your sub and on the picture the bacon looks like american bacon, nice and crispy. Then in my sub it is just a piece of undercooked ham with fat.

    Breakfasts restaurants usually do the same. For some reasons you don’t like to seem to like cooking bacon in Australia. I have to agree the cut isn’t bad, but the cooking in every restaurant or fast food chain is just so poor. Bacon is meant to be crispy so the fat melts completely and all is left is a crispy bit of meat. If I wanted something else I would get ham.

  12. Thomas

    Ok I’m an Aussie in america
    may I just start by saying having bacon with banna is odd.
    However if you so some research you will find that American bacon is what is call fatty bacon. Basically your getting all the crap left over. In europe, australia & new zeland we get the thigh where there is less fat.
    I have worked with 3 Americans in Australia and everyone of them have said that the quality of food in Australia is so much better.
    More expensive yes. However better quality
    also in Australia gm food is against the law.

  13. Mike

    American bacon is from the belly of the pig – Australian bacon is from the rib or back down to what Americans call the “loin”.

    Australian bacon is no more “ham” than Sprite is “water” because from a cursory glance they look similar – Bacon is bacon because of the curing process involved, not because of “how it looks”.

    Speaking as an Australian who has lived in the USA for four years, I can tell you that while I have become used to American bacon, I still prefer Australian bacon. It does NOT taste like “ham” and doesn’t taste the same as Canadian bacon either (despite the fact that they eye piece is generally the same cut, it’s treated differently). Ask any Australian (or for that matter anyone from any Western nation outside of the US of A where back or rib bacon is far, far more popular than American bacon) and you won’t find any bacon lover who would be just has happy with a fried up slice of ham than a few awesome rashers of back bacon. The meaty “eye” is the best tasting bit – I remember as a teenager my parents would be annoyed because I would always cook up all the eye sections and our bacon packs would end up being nothing but the streaky, fatty stuff left over.

    At the end of the day it’s all what you grow up with and get used to. American bacon is made from a cheaper, fattier piece of meat that would really be waste meat if they didn’t do -something- with it and Americans have developed a taste for it. The reason is is friend up “all nice and crispy” is because you simply have to do that to it in order for it to be edible, otherwise you are chomping away on squishy strips of fat – it has to be fried into submission so it becomes almost a strip of pork crackling.

    • Yummy Bacon

      At the end of the day, who cares, I’ve has bacon in Australia, NZ, USA, Italy, Mexico, you name it. It’s never bad. I am an Aussie, so I am partial to the Aussie cuts but only because they are now tending to be thicker and longer than American cuts which equals more. To me the cooking method is the biggest differentiator. I don’t like my bacon cooked stiff like Americans do it as much as I like it slightly charred and “floppy” like the Aussies do. Personal preferences but whatever. Seriously…it’s all delicious.

  14. Robert Dros

    I have been looking for real BACON all the time here in Oz, just came back from State side and it was wonderful to have some crispy bits, I even added some extra’s in the frying pan! But back here it is back to search for it, sometimes I ask the butcher to slice it for me the way I like it, not always appreciated though as they have trays full, cut in their own way.
    Streaky might come close!

  15. rt

    Sorry, but you just cannot beat bacon bought from an Australian butcher. Its that simple and its how bacon should be. I’m Australian and live in the UK and the bacon you get here is rubbish and loaded with water. Its horrible stuff.

    Do yourself a favour and get your back from a true blue Australian butcher.

  16. joel

    hmmmm – why the argument is my point. They are aren’t the same. But both are great – but you just cannot get the American version in Australia – and therefore its impossible to create some great recipes. Is there anyone who is producing it in WA?

    • Earl

      If you want some American bacon in Aus, simply grab some Australian bacon, throw away the delicious eye part, and what you are left with is a slightly less fatty version of american bacon.

  17. BaconLover

    Hi all, Im Australian and that bacon and bannana combo is 1 unheard of, and 2 not very appealing.

    The cut of bacon in the photo is the remaining 50% of the “american bacon” it is the “heathier” part of the bacon. Most places here sell the “heathy part” togeter with the “American Bacon” or seperate. I like it together. BACON FOR LIFE BABY. lol

  18. marko

    YOU are all wrong, ive lived in australia for 8 years and the bacon i ate over there is the best bacon in the world, my old man works for an embassy so i travel around the world a fair bit, and the bacon they sell and eat in australia is just amazing, i could never find nothing similar to it in europe which is where i currently live, even in the astralian mc donalds when you order something with bacon its just amazing, and that is how i stumbled across these posts looking for bacon lol and trying to figure out what is so different about australian bacon than everywhere else…

  19. BaconLover

    Hi All! Streaky Bacon sold here in Australia resembles closely to American bacon. You just need to cook them for a hell much longer to get the American version (loosing lots of nice taste). And if you want to get the ones with more fats, buy the budget and the home brands versions in the supermarkets.

    From what I have seen so far, the reason why Australian bacon has a nice pinkish colour is the ones sold in supermarkets are mostly not fully cooked, they are just naturally smoked in traditional smokehouses for a long time under a mild temperature (not liquid smoked and put into oven like in most manufacturers in America). You get to keep all the natural taste of smoke and nicely cured meat when you just smoked it and then individually cook them at home. Both Australian and American version are injected with solutions to tenderised the meat. In Australia, we get to do this as demand are not as high (we don’t need to make same thing in high speed) thus we can stick to traditional method of cooking which is more time consuming.

    The variety of bacon available in Australia (Rasher, pan sized, short cut, streaky all with choice of rind on or rindless) can all be cooked in different ways to suit everyones taste!

  20. IceGecko

    Australian living in california, Ive eaten both, not just looked at pictures some stupid american has put online claiming this is how we do it down under….

    I miss my aussie bacon, and dont like eating the crap bacon or anything else for that matter in america that has made this the fattest country in the world, in the first 3 months here i put on 25 lbs.

    So yeah yankees, keep eating yr awesome bacon and riding around walmart on yr electric scooter.

    • Aussie in Kansas

      Haha! Spot on, Thanks for the giggle. Made my day. The kid that wrote his highly opinionated, naieve and opinionated article is just another silly uneducated douche.

  21. bortello

    im aussie and went to the US to visit my cousin

    he cooked that US bacon and looked proud of himself.. i was like WTF is that crap…

    just looking at it nearly gave me a fat attack!!

  22. Top Jimmy

    American bacon looks like its just fat with a tiny streak of meat. I’m sure its nice (I love pork belly once in a while) but kind of a ripoff. Good Aussie middle bacon (well probably most places except the US) has that “American” streaky part as well as a nice piece of meat. You could cut off the meat part and just eat the “American” part if you were a little retarded, but to me the package is beautiful (and don’t worry it crisps up beatifully, I just fried some up for lunch). I’ve seen streaky bacon once in a while here too. What you’ve got pictured there is short cut bacon which has the streaky part mostly cut off. Its a little more expensive, more for your health conscious folk or when you want to eat meat rather than fat.

  23. Aussie in Kansas

    Meh. Both varieties of bacon are awesome. Aussie more healthy? Absolutely. This ‘Pixelbits’ tool is just another example of a US citizen unaccepting of other cultures or ways of life. Hey dickhead: You think Australia is weird to you? Go visit Japan. I’m surprised you were actually able to do what most Americans want to do: visit Australia. I bet mommy and daddy paid for your trip, too.
    I appreciate your opinion of some of Australia’s ways, but in the end, you are giving your fellow American a bad name, further cementing the fact that most people on this earth in developed nations see you as a bunch of fuckwits. Don’t tak that personally or anything….Free speech remember?

  24. Aussie in Kansas

    OK, so the previous comment was a bit harsh. My apologies. Didn’t mean to be a troll. Bacon in Oz has always been this way. Just because it is new to you, doesn’t mean it is ‘wrong’.

  25. Wazzle

    I think the point is not whether one is better than the other which is a matter of personal taste surely, the important point which was being made was that irrespective of the cut of meat, the curing process appears to result in a different type of meat. I stumbled on this thread as I was trying fathom what was so different between Aussie and UK bacon. Its not the fat as I dont eat streaky bacon and cut all the fat off. UK bacon is translucent when held up to the light and a red colour whereas Aussie bacon is opaque and pink, thus giving the appearance of ham. I think thats the point the original poster was making? If not its the point Im making and interested in determinign what the qualitative difference is and why, I have no interest in who prefers which type or which is better as these are both as poiintless as arguing over which people’s favourite colour…..

  26. Paul Bingham

    I am sorry but American Bacon is crap!
    The cut is just wrong and full of fat! The Bacon in this picture is cut the correct way and healthier for you with less fat. There are certain things that America does badly Bacon, Beer and driving!!

  27. WT

    Seriously… First and foremost ya silly lot of offspring by a bunch of convicts American Bacon predates the founding of Australia. Just because your girly pallets can’t handle the manliness of our bacon don’t get all bent out of shape that someone shared the divine truth about the one true bacon. When you guys become a real country with a real military and not some psuedo pansy ass nation dependant on the US to defend your sovereignty you can then open your mouths about big boy business like bacon. God Sissies (proper name for Aussies) are obnoxious.

    • Lard for breakfast

      This is a stupid debate. Go with what your taste buds dictate.

      I’m an Aussie that lives in the USA (10+ years). US “bacon” is mostly fat, plain and simple. I have tried it many times but don’t like it. For my taste buds, Aussie bacon is superior in every way. Canadian bacon is basically like eating a cooked ham cut. Still I’d take that over American bacon too. If the yanks like their lard strips, which they clearly do, enjoy it (along with your growing rates of obesity and diabetes that threaten to ruin the American economy as health care costs swallow 20% of your GDP – but this might not be the right forum for the discussion of the general pollution of American food with the junk that is killing them.)

      I also chuckle when reading the above comments to hear that say bacon is “American”, when so many countries have their own versions. Kinda like the “Chicago-style” or “NY-style” pizza. AFAIK, pizza was invented by Italians, which could just use the prefacing descriptor of “real-style” or “actually good-style”.

      Cheers

    • Dave

      I like how WT says “…with a real military” well how bout you Americans stop calling us up for backup with every conflict you get into… And Australian bacon is the real cut of bacon, and not burnt like the US bacon.

  28. wingcharm

    All I can say is real bacon is American bacon. I’m now in Australia and don’t say I’m biased because I’m American coz I’m not. But I’m really frustrated with the Aussie bacons. They don’t taste bacon at all! I can’t even make them crispier. Why don’t you just call them ham. Erase that. Australia has no bacon. Just ham pretending to be bacon. That’s it.

  29. John Martin

    Wingcharm .. you’re cooking Oz Bacon wrong, it is a subtly different product that treated correctly provides a more flexible product. In general even the back portion of the bacon has less fat and is thicker, for this reason to get the crispy bacon you’re looking for you need to be a little more patient and cook over a lower heat until the fat renders, why this seems to take longer on australian bacon than on american bacon is something of a mystery to me, but I suspect it has something to do with the presence of more meat and possibly the rind (none of the american bacon I was presented with still had the rind on it). If you just cant wait, try adding some macadamia oil or lard to get the process kicked off (don’t use poly-unsaturated oil it oxidizes too easily under the heat you need to attain for proper crispy bacon). With sufficient fat in the pan, crank the heat until the rind has crisped, then turn over for about 40 seconds, remove, drain and serve. The loin portions are akin to thick cut ham or canadian bacon and can be nice when cooked to a crisp, but for the most part all that does it creates tough little bacon biscuit like things that are impossible to cut without a surgically sharpened knife or possibly an industrial laser. For this portion, try cooking the back portion as described above, then draining the oil and then lightly frying each side for about 1.5 minutes on a low-moderate heat until they brown lightly, remove and serve seperately for the australians, or try them under eggs benedict as a ham replacement, but MUCH nicer (its still cured like the rest of the bacon regardless of any prejudices), or in any other way you might consider using canadian bacon.

    Lastly the rind is arguably the best pieces, under no circumstances throw them away, they should be cooked seperately to a much crisper degree than the rest of the serving until they become brown curly little pieces of crunchy heavenly bacon joy … bacon crisps .. oh god .. yes … bacon rind crisps … must buy more bacon tomorrow.

  30. User

    Not only has fat been shown to be healthy (take a look at Good Calories, Bad Calories to clear up that myth), it’s also delicious, and the reason fattier stuff simply tastes better. I found Australian bacon to be less flavorful and had a less appealing texture. Usually bacon would enhance anything, Australian bacon just doesn’t do it.

  31. Roger

    So Mona writes comments about Oz bacon and a combination based on internet pictures? What a fool. Seriously, that’s like me writing about what its like going to the moon after looking at some photos of it. Talk about immaturity. I’ve eaten both styles of bacon and can say I prefer the Oz one hands down (and I live in America). American bacon is essentially half fat. Oz bacon is meat. I want to eat meat, not fat. Still, probably almost all the commentors have more experience than Mona and her idiotic post. Your first sentence should really read, “I’m sorry but I have no idea what I’m talking about, but I will comment anyway”.

  32. blair

    bacon in australia is rubbish compared to quality new zealand bacon , a good quality bacon in newzealand is brined , cold smoked and sliced and remains a raw meat, not par cooked like mostly all australian bacon i have had here , the bacon in australia resembles ham and quite often has a rubbery texture …not good

  33. Corey James Hedges

    This is obviously an ill educated and obscenely biased case of the average Internet blogger. Australian bacon has no hormones added, no fake feed given to the pigs and comes pre-smoked for the flavour. And as I’ve seen with many bacon eaters, you guys in the states eat it with Maple Syrup: something sweet. I agree with that, it’s fucking delicious and I discovered that at a young age, but banana is also sweet but provides a different taste. Besides, you’re going off of a picture you found on the Internet and obviously aren’t game enough to spend a tiny bit of money to taste it and broaden your horizons a bit. Bacon and fruit are delicious, plus you don’t seem to have done much research on our bacon. Why don’t you try something before judging it, unless you’re allergic to fruits, what with your highly processed diet and all.

    P.S. My girlfriend is American and thinks our bacon is beyond words.

  34. rebel-love

    Wtf are all you people on about? For one if you have ever tasted bacon & banana together you’ll know its a match made in heaven, salty byt sweet at the same time, beautiful!!
    Ok so I live in aus (15+ years) and I can truly say aussie bacon is gross!!
    While im not American nor have I ever been there I could imagine that it would be yummy.
    I do have to say though of all the bacon I’ve tasted from around the world New Zealand bacon is the best by far!
    Aus bacon is more ham than bacon and its cut thick and so very very fatty. Unless you have short cut bacon, but then you may as well just cook up a ham steak.
    Anyway thats my 2 cents, but honestly if you haven’t tried bacon and banana, you dont know what your missing out on, add a bit of maple syrup and you’ll wonder whar the hell you’ve been missing out on :)

  35. robert Dasilva

    hey sorry guys but australia not too long ago actualy won an award for worlds best bacon btw ive never seen any one in australia eat fruit with bacon get the facts right xD

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