Ayrshire Middle Bacon is pickled in a brine for about 2 days (better quality Ayrshire Middle is actually set in a brine, rather than having brine injected into it), then dried 2 to 3 weeks. Some is mildly smoked at the same time. Then it is cut and rolled up fat side out.
Occasionally, such as at Christmas time, the brine cure may have some spices in it.
The fat will be cream-coloured, and the flesh dark pink.
The largest producer of Ayrshire Middle Bacon in Scotland is called “Ramsay’s.” Ramsay’s says it uses only young female pigs, and does its skinning and boning after curing and any smoking.
Some Americans see round bacon and think “Canadian bacon”, which to even the most indifferent of Scots can be just a step too far.
Ayrshire Middle Bacon needs cooking. Cut thinly for broiling (aka grilling in the UK) or frying. The round shape of the bacon makes it ideal for making sandwiches in the round bread rolls that Scots call “baps.”
A whole Ayrshire Middle Bacon Roll can also be roasted.
Ayrshire Middle Bacon possibly originated in the south-west of Scotland. Using the flank just as is, would have made it too long for a slice of bacon, so rolling it solved the problem.