Bacon has been a breakfast staple for generations, but have you ever noticed that the rind is missing from most bacon these days?
The crispy, crunchy texture of the rind used to be a sought-after feature of bacon, but now it’s hard to find. What happened?
In this article, we’ll explore the reasons behind the disappearance of rind-on bacon and whether it’s still possible to find this traditional style of bacon.
So sit back, grab a cup of coffee, and let’s dive into the world of bacon!
Why Is There No Rind On Bacon Anymore?
There are a few reasons why rind-on bacon has become less common in recent years. One reason is that consumers simply don’t want it anymore. While some people enjoy the texture and flavor of the rind, many others find it unappetizing or difficult to chew. As a result, bacon producers have shifted their focus to producing rindless bacon that appeals to a wider audience.
Another reason for the decline of rind-on bacon is that it can be more expensive and time-consuming to produce. Leaving the rind on requires extra processing steps, such as curing and smoking, which can drive up the cost of production. Additionally, rind-on bacon may not have as long of a shelf life as rindless bacon, which can make it more difficult to transport and store.
Finally, changes in consumer tastes and preferences have also played a role in the decline of rind-on bacon. As people have become more health-conscious and concerned about their diets, they may be less likely to choose bacon with a higher fat content or more unconventional textures.
The History Of Bacon Rind
Bacon rind has a long and interesting history, particularly in the context of Native American culture. Bacon Rind was the name of a prominent Osage political leader in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He was known for his political progressiveness and support for the development of the Osage Reservation’s oil and natural gas resources, while also maintaining his traditional customs and dress.
Interestingly, Bacon Rind was also known for being a gifted speaker of the Osage language and was claimed to be the most photographed American Indian leader of the 20th century. Despite being removed as principal chief in 1913 due to a bribery incident, many Osage continued to recognize him as their leader.
In addition to the political figure, bacon rind also refers to the outer skin of the hog where bacon comes from. It is considered a delicacy by some due to its crispy texture and unique flavor. However, it is not as commonly found in supermarkets today as consumers tend to prefer rindless bacon.
The decline of rind-on bacon can be attributed to various factors such as changing consumer tastes, cost of production, and difficulty in storage and transportation. Nonetheless, bacon rind remains an important part of Native American history and culture, as well as a flavorful option for those who enjoy it.
Why Did Bacon Rind Disappear?
Bacon rind, also known as the skin, used to be a common feature on bacon until the 1980s. However, it gradually disappeared from supermarket shelves and became a rarity by the early 1990s. The reason for this change is primarily due to consumer demand for rindless bacon. Many people found the texture and flavor of the rind unappetizing or difficult to chew. As a result, bacon producers shifted their focus to producing rindless bacon that appeals to a wider audience.
Another reason for the disappearance of bacon rind is that it can be more expensive and time-consuming to produce. Leaving the rind on requires extra processing steps, such as curing and smoking, which can drive up the cost of production. Additionally, rind-on bacon may not have as long of a shelf life as rindless bacon, which can make it more difficult to transport and store.
Changes in consumer tastes and preferences have also played a role in the decline of bacon rind. As people have become more health-conscious and concerned about their diets, they may be less likely to choose bacon with a higher fat content or more unconventional textures. In response to these changing preferences, bacon producers have shifted towards leaner cuts of meat and rindless bacon options.
Health Concerns And Bacon Rind
Apart from the reasons mentioned above, there are also health concerns associated with consuming bacon rind. Bacon rind is high in calories, sodium, and saturated fat, which can contribute to weight gain and high blood pressure. Studies have found that excess fat stored in the abdominal area, or visceral fat, is linked to insulin resistance, which can raise insulin and blood sugar levels and eventually lead to diabetes and heart disease. Eating a high sodium diet can also increase blood pressure, which can contribute to heart disease, stroke, and kidney disease. Moreover, about half of the fat in pork rinds is saturated fat, which is thought to contribute to heart disease by raising cholesterol levels. Although not all saturated fat has the same effect on the body, the two main types of saturated fat in pork rinds – stearic acid and palmitic acid – have different effects on cholesterol levels. Studies on stearic acid have found it to have a neutral effect on cholesterol levels. However, palmitic acid may increase cholesterol depending on your overall diet.
Considering all these health concerns associated with bacon rind, it’s no surprise that consumers are opting for rindless bacon more often. While some people may still enjoy the texture and flavor of bacon rind, it’s important to be mindful of the potential health risks associated with consuming it frequently. Moderation is key when it comes to consuming any type of food, including bacon.
Where To Find Rind-On Bacon Today
While rind-on bacon may be less common than it used to be, it is still available if you know where to look. One option is Stripling’s Rind on Bacon, which is known for its traditional, honest products. Stripling’s has been a mainstay of Georgia families for the past 45 years, and they offer rind-on bacon for those who prefer the old-fashioned tradition of keeping the “rind” on the bacon.
Another option for those looking for rind-on bacon is Fermín, a Spanish producer that is known for producing the finest Ibérico in the world. Fermín offers the first Ibérico bacon in the world, which is made from smoked Ibérico belly and can be enjoyed as is or in other applications like sandwiches and salads.
For those looking for a British option, Free Range Unsmoked Rind-On Bacon is available from outdoor-reared pigs. This bacon is beautifully cured and dry-cured by massaging the curing salts into the pork over approximately 21 days. The outcome is exquisite characteristic flavors that won’t shrink in the pan. The rind-on bacon can be fried until crispy and served immediately with your cooked breakfast or chopped into bite-size pieces and added to your favorite recipes.
While rind-on bacon may not be as widely available as it once was, there are still options out there for those who prefer this traditional style of bacon.
How To Cook Rind-On Bacon For The Perfect Breakfast
If you’re a fan of rind-on bacon and want to enjoy it for breakfast, there are several ways to cook it to perfection. One method is to cook it on the stovetop. First, bring the bacon to room temperature for 15 to 20 minutes. Then, place it in a cold frying pan without overlapping the rashers. Cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes, turning as necessary. Another option is to cook the bacon in the microwave. Line a microwave-safe plate with paper towel and lay the bacon on top without overlapping the rashers. Cook on high for about 5 minutes.
For a crispy and delicious oven-baked rind-on bacon, preheat your oven to 400 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Lay the bacon on top of the parchment paper, making sure not to overlap the rashers. Bake for about 30 minutes until done to your liking, then drain on paper towel.
If you want to add a gourmet twist to your rind-on bacon, try dipping and coating it in pork rind crumbs before roasting it in the oven. Set up a dipping and coating station with beaten egg and pork rind crumbs. Dip the bacon in the egg, then in the pork rinds, and place it on a baking sheet lined with a silicone mat. Roast for 10 minutes, turning halfway through the cooking time. Transfer the bacon to a wire rack set over the baking sheet and cook for a further 5-10 minutes until crispy.
No matter which method you choose, cooking rind-on bacon can be a delicious and satisfying way to start your day. So go ahead and give it a try!