In the long and storied history of bacon, at no point has it enjoyed such a moment in the sun as it is right now. One of the most popular foods in existence, cured and smoked pork belly seems to be everywhere you turn. But there are plenty of other varieties of bacon out there, made from other animals as well as vegetable-based proteins and even one fruit that might surprise you. We’ve rounded up 11 types of bacon that are completely pig-free.
Until relatively recently, bacon was simply an unhealthy breakfast meat that was typically served alongside a hearty Sunday breakfast. Sure, it might show up in a quiche, club sandwich or Cobb salad, but even those are relatively recent inventions. Then one day some evil genius decided to add a couple slices to a cheeseburger, and Pandora’s box was officially opened. Today, bacon shows up in everything from macaroni and cheese to ice cream, from pizza to donut burgers, and honestly, it’s gotten a little out of hand. As a meme, bacon is so overblown that people are simply getting exhausted of it, and topping something with bacon is anything but outrageous these days.
But lost within all the pandemonium is that fact that protein that’s been cured and smoked is astoundingly delicious, and that doesn’t just apply to pork belly. There are plenty of reasons why you might opt to eat non-pork bacon: religious dietary restrictions, a vegetarian lifestyle, etc., but there are just as many reasons to ask why not? There are lots of different types of bacon out there, and we have every right to enjoy as many varieties as possible.
If you’ve been a bit wary of expanding your bacon horizons, ask yourself: why? If you’ve never eaten soy or tempeh-based “facon,” give it a shot. It’s healthier and still more or less hits all the right notes. As for bacon made from other animals, don’t go into it thinking that it’ll taste identical to pork; think of it as a completely different food product altogether. Once you look at it that way, you’ll realize that just about any meat is delicious when given the bacon treatment. Read on to learn about 11 of them.