In order to have good bacon, a brilliant pork belly must be selected. How do you select a great belly? It is all about the fat content, color and marbling. You see, when at the store there are lots of options. Here is all you need to know about selecting that perfect pork belly.
When it comes to fat content, a great belly will have about 20 percent fat. This fat should really be at the bottom of the belly, as well as add some marbling throughout the meat. Too much fat, and your bacon will shrivel to almost nothing because the fat cooks off. Most pork products are paid for by the pound (lb), so you really want to get the best value for your money as well.
Color is vitally important when selecting your porkbelly. There are three main colors to look for in a great belly. Those colors are red, pink, and white. If you see a brown color then the product has gotten too much air and the blood has turned brown because of it. The redder the better! Choosing red means that the product is extra fresh, and that is going to give you a better taste. Pink is ok too. Some manufacturers will pre-slice their belly and vacuum seal it. They will then ship it frozen to stores. That product is perfectly fine to eat.
Marbling is key. When it comes to marbling, you want to remember to ask the belly to show you it's stripes! Striping is a part of the overall signature of a pork belly. It gives classic bacon the signature look. However, you really want to look for the bacon that has about 80% red and 20% white. That marbling will bring you the best taste, flavor, and overall look you wanted to try and achieve.
Happy hunting for that perfect pork belly! May all your bacon dreams come true.