Foods in Season has started selling our bacon. We've got a few different kinds of bacon - because you can pretty much cure and smoke any part or a pig.
They are all very flavorful and satisfying. There are some differences, which is what this post explores.
The picture above shows cured side (aka "bacon"). It has a very strong porky flavor. The fat is very light on the tongue. It is delicious. We had the butchers use rib pullers on the sides, explaining why there's so much lean on the pieces above - the finger-meat (normally between the ribs, and some of the best meat on the pig) is on the bacon.
Those two above are bacon made from the loin. Essentially, the loin is cured and smoked, just like sides (bellies) are smoked, to produce bacon. The one at top is from the top of the loin (near the shoulder blade). The bottom is from the sirloin area.. The rest of the loin got made into boneless chops.
It doesn't look like a typical cured loin, just as Austrian products (from Mangalitsa pigs) don't look typical. It can't have a very superior taste and look like the other stuff out there.
The lean portion has a very strong meaty flavor. The meat is marbled and has a very fine texture. The fat is incredibly luscious and melts on the tongue. The fat is fairly neutral in flavor, compared to the belly fat (above) or the jowl (see below).
Eating this bacon is like eating two different things at once. While eating a slice, it was fun to switch from meat to fat, and vice versa.
That's jowl bacon. It has a very strong meaty flavor. The fat is a bit chewier than that of the cured loin. It is less chewy than the belly bacon. It only takes a small amount of this bacon to really improve things. Others have described this bacon as having narcotic-like qualities.