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On National Bacon Day, Eat These Other Meats Instead

Yes, yes, yes, bacon is pretty damn delicious, but it this cured pork-obsessed city — where you can order it on everything from your ramen to your cocktail — we're getting a little bacon fatigued.

So in honor of National Bacon Day (Sunday, August 31) we asked some local meat experts for alternatives to SF's favorite fatty treat — all guaranteed to be just as crispy and satisfying. Here's what to eat instead of bacon this weekend: 

Hams Steaks - Taylor Boetticher, Fatted Calf 

Ham steaks cook quicker than bacon, you get all the crispy sweet browned meat deliciousness that you get from bacon, and you can deglaze the pan with some coffee to make red eye gravy.

Guanciale - Chris Cosentino, Porcellino 

Guanciale is a great alternative to bacon. Its richness and depth of amazing flavor is unbeatable. I like to call it "face bacon"— it's made from the jowl, which is a muscle with a layering of fat and muscle just like pork belly, and can be just as crispy as bacon. At Porcelinno we use it in a PLT, but it has even more uses in traditional italian pasta dishes such as amatricana and carbonara.

Thinly Sliced Brisket - Ryan Farr, 4505 Meats

The sliced brisket at our butcher shop is equally as delicious as bacon and can be a great alternative — the brisket is sliced to the same thickness, and you cook it the same way.

Thinly Sliced Lardo - Mark Pastore, Porcellino 

Thinly sliced lardo or pancetta can be used in very similar ways to bacon. Lardo can be used for larding game birds or fish; i.e. wrapping them to keep them from drying out.  Pancetta can go on pizza goes before it goes in the oven and crisps up, lardo is typically added after the pie comes out of the oven and it just wilts into the pizza.