Desperate English Housewife in Washington, chapter 378

American bacon vs British bacon!

A lot of Brits in the USA say they miss British bacon. It’s true. I hear it a lot: ‘Oooh, this bacon just isn’t like the bacon we have back home.’

Well, a certain six-year-old disagrees. Yesterday we had some British bacon and a wrinkled nose and a frown was the response from young Harry.

‘I don’t like that bacon,’ said he. ‘But it’s British bacon!’ we cried. ‘Well, I like American bacon,’ was the retort.

But what exactly is the difference between British and American bacon? The American Paupered Chef helped me out πŸ™‚ .

Apparently, we British have got bacon all backwards. We don’t traditionally use the familiar bacon cut that Americans know and love, and there is a ton of conflicting information out there on the subject.

British bacon

British bacon

British bacon is “grilled,” which actually means “broiled”; we refer to pieces of bacon as “rashers,” but only if it’s a certain type of bacon; the cut that actually looks like American bacon is called “streaky,” and whether you choose rashers or streaky says things not only about your tastes, but your economic standing. It’s even the subject of a nursery rhyme involving someone named Jack Sprat. Yes, it is!

‘American bacon is invariably made from the belly of the pig, which is not actually its stomach but the fat-streaked padding on the side of the animal. If you’ve eaten anywhere in the last 5 years you’ve probably managed to order pork belly as a main course, and if you grew up in America you definitely have eaten pork belly (unless your vegan parents shielded you from one of life’s highest pleasures).’

Harry'll have six slices, please.

Harry’ll have six slices, please.

‘British bacon is a bit like a combination of American and Canadian (though Canadian bacon evolved from the British style and not the other way around). With British bacon, you take the loin but leave lots of lovely fat on it, especially the fat cap, and include the part where the loin attaches to the same cut American-style is made from: the belly. So a full rack of British bacon is the pork loin with plenty of pork belly attached to it: the loin section is the rasher (what [a glossary of British food terms] calls “a thin, floppy slice of fatty ham”) and the belly is the streaky. Then you take your pick.’

And that is the story of bacon. πŸ™‚

The Real Housewives of Baltimore

It can’t be helped: British folks bond over their senses of humour, especially us gals.

Yesterday I got together with Emma Kaufmann, who is a wildly wicked Brit in Baltimore (yes, a real housewife of Baltimore πŸ˜‰ ) and author of Mommy Has a Headache and Cocktails At Naptime (yes, you must read them, and just from the titles you understand why we bond!) and other excellent pieces of literature (and art).

Oh, how we crack each other up!

Oh, how we crack each other up!

Emma and I did not go to boarding school together, but I can categorically state that if we had done we would have got in terrible trouble and, no doubt about it, would have been expelled for doing something naughty and hilarious. Fact.

Anyway, Emma’s boobs were adorned yesterday by a triumphant t-shirt:

Best t-shirt (and boobs) ever!

Best t-shirt (and boobs) ever!


Most excellent. It got me to thinking, what would a Real Housewives of Columbia or Howard County look like? A figure with a masseur, a figure with a personal trainer, a figure with a cappuccino, and a figure with a covert glass of wine possibly?

Anyhow, I jest, of course, in my naughty, sarcastic British way. But I am seriously thinking of getting myself one of these t-shirts made up to fit my own purpose – what would the images portray for me I wonder….?!

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5 Responses to Desperate English Housewife in Washington, chapter 378

  1. Maryjenmary says:

    I don’t think there can be any real housewives of Columbia–they would never admit that they were housewives! You would need to be something like “real professional women with children of Columbia.” RPWWC of C for short. I am former member of my local PWWC.

  2. Christian says:

    The images would probably portray something like this:

    http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=yd8PrRaheAc

  3. EmmaK says:

    Harry has adapted to American bacon like a duck to water but I still prefer British bacon. Not sure I can get it in my neck of the woods so I usually buy Canadian which is pretty similar to British bacon.

  4. Pat and Pam says:

    As an American living in UK, I can confirm that British streaky does NOT taste anything like American bacon, even SMOKED streaky. I am not sure, as I do not have a packet of real American bacon (we used to like the extra-thick cut) to determine ingredients, but I am willing to bet that there is more sugar used in the curing than the Brit style.

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