What type of pig is used for bacon?

Answered by Jarrod Smith

The type of pig that is commonly used for bacon production is the Spotted Pig, specifically the American Spotted breed. These pigs are descendants of the Gloucestershire Old Spot Pig from England, which were brought over to the United States in the 1900s.

The American Spotted pig is known for its distinctive black and white spots, which give it its name. These spots are not only aesthetically pleasing but also serve as a characteristic feature of the breed. The breed was initially popular in the early 20th century but experienced a decline in numbers over the years. However, there has been a recent resurgence in interest and popularity for the American Spotted pig.

One of the main reasons why the American Spotted pig is preferred for bacon production is its excellent meat quality. The breed is known for its tender and flavorful meat, which is highly desirable for bacon production. The marbling and fat content of the meat contribute to the rich and savory taste that bacon is loved for.

Furthermore, the American Spotted pig’s ability to convert feed into lean muscle efficiently also makes it a suitable choice for bacon production. This means that the pigs can be raised to a good market weight in a relatively shorter period, making them economically viable for bacon producers.

In addition to their meat quality and efficiency in growth, American Spotted pigs are also known for their docile and friendly nature. This makes them easier to handle and manage on farms, which is an advantage for bacon producers.

When it comes to bacon production, it is important to note that the specific cut of pork used for bacon is usually the belly, also known as pork belly. This is the part of the pig that is typically cured, smoked, and sliced to produce bacon strips. However, other cuts of pork can also be used for bacon production, depending on regional preferences and culinary traditions.

The American Spotted pig, derived from the Gloucestershire Old Spot Pig, is the type of pig commonly used for bacon production. Its excellent meat quality, efficiency in growth, and docile nature make it a preferred choice for bacon producers. Its popularity has seen a resurgence in recent years, making it a sought-after breed for bacon lovers everywhere. So, next time you savor the delicious taste of bacon, remember it may have come from a Spotted Pig!