Bacon 101: Understanding the Distinctive Taste of Bacon

Ah, bacon. Bacon is one of the most irresistible treats we can give ourselves. We all know that mouth-meltingly delicious substance that is salty, smoky, and virtually melts in your mouth. Bacon is often called "the candy of the meat world," and with good reason!

In some manner, everything is related to the study of glutamate. Umami is one of the main flavour receptors located on the human tongue, along with sweet, salty, sour, and bitter. Furthermore, bacon has one of the greatest concentrations among all the foods that contain umami.

The word umami describes the "meaty" and "brothy"  flavour, produced by the amino acid glutamate. There are many foods that contain glutamate, but bacon has the highest quantity. Bacon's delicious and mouthwatering flavour can be traced to its high glutamate content. This is yet another factor contributing to some people's compulsive bacon consumption. Because they contain the essential nutrients that the body needs, umami-heavy foods are those that people tend to desire.

Read on as we discuss the distinctive taste of bacon today.

The Science of the Bacon taste

In the field of "flavour chemistry," it is occasionally possible to pinpoint a single molecule responsible for a specific taste, according to a BBC story. The story goes that while walnuts and bananas both have distinctive flavours of their own, they both receive those flavours from the same flavour molecule.

There is not a single flavour molecule in bacon that would be regarded to be of paramount importance. But what it does have is a seemingly miraculous amalgamation of ingredients that, when combined, give it the tart taste that so many of us adore.

Some of these qualities—like the smoky, preserved pork belly—are fairly apparent, but others are less so. Another crucial element is how much fat is found in pork sirloin. It is crucial to think about what occurs when the fat in pork belly degrades.

BBC furthers that, when heated, the cell membranes of muscle tissue contain fatty acids, which, when broken down, generate a variety of flavorful compounds, including aldehydes, furans, and ketones. In and of themselves, some of these molecules have distinct flavours or odours; for example, furans have a sweet, nutty, caramel-like note; aldehydes have a green, grassy note; and ketones are generally buttery; however, the interactions between these molecules appear to be extremely important.

Bacon's deliciousness can be compared to a feeling of harmony. The meal will not be appropriate for consumption if even one of these "flavorful compounds" is missing.

The "Maillard Reaction," on the other hand, is a different process that happens when a combination of carbohydrate and amino acid molecules is heated to a high temperature. You raise your glass in honour of the delicious mixture that was just explained.

Of course, it goes without saying that foods that have been roasted have a more satisfying taste.

How to Prepare Your Best Bacon

An essential component of bacon is the type of pig from which it is made. If you want the most flavorful flesh, look for pork that has been cut from the belly or shoulder. The greatest concentration of fat is found in this area of the swine, and the flavour is inversely proportional to fat content. The thin sections of flesh should be left to soak for several hours or overnight in a brine solution. This process will make the meat more flavorful and tender.

In addition, there are other ways to enhance the taste of bacon. Both the pig's diet and its strain have an impact on the fatty acids that are found in pork. The molecular equilibrium of the flesh can be upset by anything, including the environment the creatures are kept in.

Today, Ross & Ross Gifts sells a homemade bacon curing package. Try curing your own bacon in this award-winning kit to create dry-cured bacon at home rather than purchasing liquid bacon from the store.


Indeed, bacon offers a gastronomic experience each time. Now, bacon is even made better when you have complete control of the process. As you understand its distinct flavour and the process of preparing your own bacon, you will never have to look back again.

Are you looking for a bacon curing kit? Ross & Ross Gifts offers a myriad of quality British products for bacon lovers everywhere. Shop online today!