What is White Bacon? The Essential Guide to This Unique Spanish Delicacy

White bacon is a unique type of cured pork product that originates from Spain While regular bacon is made from pork belly, white bacon is made from the skin of the pig along with a thin layer of fat attached to it. This results in bacon that has a distinctive white color and very crispy, crackly texture when cooked.

In this comprehensive guide, we will cover everything you need to know about white bacon including how it’s made, its flavor and texture how to cook it, and some delicious ways to enjoy this speciality Spanish bacon.

What Makes White Bacon Different From Regular Bacon?

The main difference between white bacon and regular bacon is the cut of meat used Regular bacon like American streaky bacon comes from the belly of the pig which has alternating layers of fat and meat White bacon on the other hand uses the pig’s skin along with a very thin layer of fat attached to it.

This gives white bacon a pure white appearance compared to regular bacon that has some pink/red meat visible. It also results in a very different texture when cooked since the skin becomes super crispy and crackly, while the fat renders and becomes oily.

White bacon is a traditional product from the region of Teruel in Spain. It is made by a company called Jamones Carbó that specializes in artisanal Spanish pork products. The meat for white bacon is taken from the skin and fat of pigs bred specifically for Jamones Carbó.

How is White Bacon Made?

To make white bacon, the pig skin is first cured using salt and nitrites. This curing process preserves the meat, adds flavor, and gives it its characteristic pink color. The skin is then slowly air dried to extract moisture. Finally, it is lightly smoked to impart flavor without cooking it.

The end result is cured and smoked pig skin that is white in color with some fat attached. It is sold in wide strips around 1 cm thick and 15 cm or longer. White bacon is always sold raw and needs to be cooked before eating.

The Unique Flavor and Texture of White Bacon

When cooked, white bacon develops a very distinctive texture that is beloved by bacon fans. The skin becomes incredibly crunchy and brittle, while the fat layer liquefies and becomes oily. This creates an amazing contrast of textures in each piece.

The flavor of white bacon is described as fatty, smoky, and intensely porky. The curing process gives it a ham-like flavor that is balanced by the smoke. When fried, the skin takes on nutty notes. The fat has a rich mouthfeel and leaves a lingering savory taste.

Overall, white bacon is loved for its robust pork flavor, crunchiness, and rich unctuous fat. It makes a premium addition to any pork or bacon dish.

How to Cook White Bacon Perfectly at Home

White bacon needs to be cooked before eating. There are several easy methods to cook it right at home:

  • Pan-frying: This traditional method gives great results. Fry over medium heat till the fat renders and skin crisps. Turn frequently.

  • Oven baking: Arrange in a single layer on a sheet pan and bake at 400°F for 15-18 minutes till browned and crisp.

  • Microwaving: Layer between paper towels and microwave for 1 minute per slice. Drain excess fat after.

Regardless of method, cook till golden brown and the skin iscrackly. Drain on paper towels before serving.

Pro Tip: Start with a cold pan and cook over low heat to render the fat slowly. This prevents the skin from toughening up.

Incredible Ways to Enjoy White Bacon

The rich flavor and crunchy texture of white bacon makes it an amazing ingredient. Here are some tasty ways to enjoy it:

  • Chop up and use as a topping on soups, salads, pizza and pasta
  • Serve alongside eggs for a gourmet breakfast
  • Wrap around chicken, steak or shrimp before grilling or roasting
  • Crumble into mac and cheese, potato salad or on top of baked potatoes
  • Fry some bacon bits to sprinkle over bruschetta
  • Make BLT sandwiches for a twist by using white bacon
  • Add to fried rice or paella for a smoky, salty flavor
  • Infuse into stews, beans or collard greens while cooking
  • Use rendered fat for cooking other foods

With its stellar crunch and rich porky taste, white bacon can elevate both simple comfort foods and gourmet dishes alike. This Spanish delicacy definitely deserves a place in any bacon-lover’s kitchen!

Fun Facts About White Bacon

  • White bacon is also referred to as torreznos in Spain which means “crunchy pork rinds” describing its texture.

  • It originated in Teruel, an area known for artisanal pork products. Jamones Carbó is the main producer.

  • Pigs bred specially for making white bacon have thinner skin than average pigs.

  • High-quality white bacon is marked “Superior Category” indicating the best craftsmanship.

  • It has Protected Geographical Indication status from the EU to protect its traditional production method.

  • White bacon contains more mono-unsaturated fats compared to regular bacon.

  • It has a higher skin to fat ratio than regular bacon.

  • The skin is said to have a similar crunchy, crackly texture to chicharrón pork rinds.

White bacon is a unique Spanish delicacy that is worlds apart from regular bacon in both taste and texture. Made from cured and smoked pig skin with a thin layer of fat, it fried up into deliciously crackly and crispy bites with a rich, fatty flavor. With its stellar crunch and intense porky essence, white bacon can elevate everything from simple sandwiches to gourmet entrees. Try cooking up this Spanish specialty to add oomph to your next bacon recipe!

White residue emerging while cooking bacon


What is the white stuff in bacon?

Basically, that residue is mostly water, along with denatured proteins from the meat. When meat is cooked and the cells expel moisture, there are a lot of dissolved proteins which sometimes make the liquid light-colored and thick. People tend to notice it more with certain meats than others.

What are the white fat spots on bacon?

Pork exudate during the cooking of high-injected meat has the potential of causing white spots of high microbial activity on bacon logs. Chemical reactions between the constituents of hard water, nitrite and phosphate can react to form white spots on dried bacon as well as dried meat such as jerky and biltong.

Why is bacon red?

Cured meats, such as bacon and ham, have a distinctive pink color produced by chemical reactions between sodium nitrite and myoglobin. The curing process begins by infusing fresh meat with a sodium nitrite solution where it is quickly converted to nitric oxide (NO).

Why is my bacon cooking weird?

Using Heat That’s Too High Bacon cooks best low and slow. Whether on the stove or in the oven, don’t cook it at a temperature that’s too high or you risk uneven cooking, or worse, burned bacon.

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