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Canadian Bacon Eh?

Updated on February 1, 2012

What is Canadian Bacon?

It is time, once and for all, to clear up the confusion surrounding the issue of Canadian bacon. I am from Canada, born and raised, and Canadian bacon has always been one of many accompaniments to my eggs, toast, and hashbrown breakfast. Having recently dated an American guy, I realized that what Americans interpret as Canadian bacon, isn't Canadian bacon at all. It's actually ham!! Yes, we have ham in Canada too, but I can assure you that it is not the same as Canadian bacon. In Canada, we also have another incredible bacon called peameal bacon. This is a bacon my family only had on special occasions as a treat, as it is more expensive than any other bacon. We would also often have what Americans refer to as bacon. Canadians call regular American bacon, strip bacon so that there is no confusion when ordering bacon on pizza or at a breakfast restaurant. And finally, there is ham - which is not bacon at all. Bacon in all it's forms is delicious as all meat loving people know, so let's get educated about bacon!

American Style Bacon

In the United States, bacon is almost always cut from the belly of the pig. Outside of the U.S. and Canada, it is usually referred to as streaky bacon or fatty bacon. Canadians will often refer to it as strip bacon. American style bacon is very fatty and has a long strip of fat that runs parallel to the rind of the bacon. The bacon can then cook in it's own fat and this results in an excellent tasting piece of bacon, despite how gross all the "fat talk" sounds. Strip bacon can also be crumbled up after it is cooked and then it will become bacon bits which are a great accompaniment to salads or potatoes. Pancetta is Italian streaky bacon, smoked or aqua (unsmoked), with a strong flavor. It is generally rolled up into cylinders after curing. In America, bacon is usually cured and smoked, and different flavors can be achieved by using various types of wood or more rarely, corn cobs. American bacons include flavorings such as red pepper, maple, honey, molasses, and occasionally cinnamon. They vary in sweetness and saltiness and come from the Ozarks, New England and from the upper South (mainly Kentucky, North Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia). There are several ways to prepare American style bacon, but most people tend to pan fry it, microwave it or bake it in the oven. Either way, American bacon is delicious and is a great treat to have once in a while either in a BLT sandwich, on a burger, sprinkled on a salad, on pizza, or eaten in the more traditional way with eggs, toast, and hashbrowns.

3 Ways to Cook American Style Bacon

Learn how to properly cook American style bacon using either the microwave, oven or a frying pan.

Other Ways to Cook American Style Bacon

“Yes, I’ll have a non-fat, decaf latte, please. Oh, what the hell? Look, make it a full-fat mocha with extra whipped cream. What the hell, put a slice of bacon on it!”

Dr. Frasier Crane, Frasier

Canadian Bacon or Back Bacon

Canadian bacon or back bacon is different than regular American Style bacon in taste, appearance and texture. It is made using the loin of the pig, which is located at the center of the pig's back. This is a much less fattier part of the pig than the stomach, which is used for strip bacon. This results in a much leaner and meatier piece of bacon and since it's dry cured, it has no added water or phosphates. The meat is lean, slightly sweet, and juicy. To Americans, Canadian bacon may look uncooked, but that is only because American's are used to strip bacon, which is cooked on both sides in it's own fat, until it reaches the desired crispiness. Canadian bacon does not reach the same level of crispiness, because of it's much lower fat content. The meat is meant to be served in a soft, juicy stage of cooking, and it will be dry and tasteless if it is allowed to crisp up. It is also usually served in thicker wedges than those used for American Style bacon. Canadian bacon or back bacon is prepared in the same way as conventional bacon, with a salting and smoking process intended to cure the meat. Slightly more sugar is usually used, lending a sweet quality to Canadian bacon. Canadian bacon is absolutely delicious and if you have never tried the real thing, then I strongly suggest you do.

Canadian Bacon Poll

Have you ever had REAL Candian Bacon?

See results

Canadian Bacon - The Movie

The U.S. President, low in the opinion polls, gets talked into raising his popularity by trying to start a cold war against Canada.

Director:

Michael Moore

Writer:

Michael Moore

Stars:

John Candy, Alan Alda and Rhea Perlman

Canadian Bacon DVD - Trailer

Peameal Bacon

The other type of Canadian bacon is known as peameal bacon. Peameal bacon is Canadian bacon (cut from the loin), but it is cured in a sweet pickle brine and it has a crust made from yellow cornmeal. Peameal bacon is sweet and slightly salty. It is usually sold in both cooked and parbaked forms. Peameal bacon is more expensive than other types of bacon. It is usually bought in a slab form, and the person cooking it can cut it to the thickness that they desire before frying it up. It is incredibly delicious and was always a family favorite of mine growing up. Peameal bacon is eaten with numerous breakfast foods in Canada and parts of the United Kingdom.

How to Make a Peameal Bacon Sandwich

It's Ham - Not Canadian Bacon

When Americans go to buy Canadian bacon, or try ordering it on pizza, they are not actually getting Canadian bacon. What they are getting is nothing more than glorified ham, which is not at all the same or as tasty. I found this out when my American boyfriend thought he was doing something cute and ordered us a pizza with "Canadian bacon". Although the gesture was certainly thoughtful, when the pizza arrived, I realized that it was simply a pizza featuring ham - there was no Canadian bacon to be found. Of course, this was disappointing to me because I love Canadian bacon, and yet, I am not a big fan of ham.

Fresh ham is taken from an entirely different part of the pig than Canadian bacon and American bacon. Fresh ham is actually an uncured hind leg of pork. Country ham is uncooked, cured, dried, smoked or unsmoked, and is made from a single piece of meat from the hind leg of a hog or from a single piece of meat from a pork shoulder (picnic ham). Country ham typically is saltier and less sweet than city ham. There are several other types of ham like cooked ham and black forest ham, but our focus here is bacon, so that is all I have to say about ham - I'm just not a fan.

Pick Your Favorite

Which do you prefer?

See results

Funny Quotes By Homer Simpson

Homer Simpson Loves Bacon!!!

LISA - "I'm going to become a vegetarian"

HOMER - "Does that mean you're not going to eat any pork?"

LISA - "Yes"

HOMER - "Bacon?"

LISA - "Yes Dad"

HOMER - "Ham?"

LISA - "Dad all those meats come from the same animal"

HOMER - "Right Lisa, some wonderful, magical animal!""

HOMER - "Porkchops and bacon, my two favorite animals."

HOMER- "When you're in my house you shall do as I do and believe who I believe in. So Bart butter your bacon."

HOMER - "Mmm...bacon"

HOMER - “Special day! Oh, what have I forgotten now? Now, don’t panic. Is it Bacon Day? No, that’s crazy talk!”

Order Bacon

3 Lbs Peameal Canadian Back Bacon Cured Pork Loin Roast
3 Lbs Peameal Canadian Back Bacon Cured Pork Loin Roast

Here it is! Real Canadian Pealmeal bacon. Talk about DELICIOUS!

 
Sliced Canadian Bacon
Sliced Canadian Bacon

The real thing for those who know they love it and for those who want to try it!

 

Canadian Bacon Nutrition Facts

In supermarkets, you will find Canadian bacon sold in small circles of meat similar to lunch meat. A 2-slice serving, or 2 oz. of Canadian bacon grilled, contains:

Calories: 87

Protein: 11.39 grams

Fat: 3.97 grams

Cholesterol: 27 mg

Calcium: 5 mg

Iron: 0.39 mg

Magnesium: 10mg

Phosphorus: 139 mg

Potassium: 183 mg

Sodium: 727 mg

Folate: 2 mcg (trace amounts

of the other B vitamins)

Vitamin E: 0.16 mg

Vitamin D: 20 IU

Thanks for stopping by. I would love to hear your thoughts about bacon.

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    • Redneck Lady Luck profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 5 years ago from Canada

      You have given me a real education on the difference between Canadian and American bacon. I am very impressed. I guess I must just love bacon because I like both styles of bacon.

    • profile image

      Satdin 5 years ago

      I love becon and all foods made with it

    • profile image

      Edutopia 5 years ago

      If you want my thoughts on bacon it can start right here: Bacon is amazing. Full stop.

    • SandyMertens profile image

      Sandy Mertens 5 years ago from Frozen Tundra

      Blessed! Please add this to my New Year 2012 Blessings and Zazzle lens. I love bacon.

    • profile image

      duncan73 5 years ago

      it may be canadian but it's stiiiilll bacon!

    • Morgannafay profile image

      Morgannafay 5 years ago

      Now I've got to try the real thing. What's even weirder is that some pizza joints list Canadian bacon and ham on the menu. Them swindlers! lol

      By the way I love real Virgina/country ham. All that salty salty goodness. Nom!

    • Image Girl profile image

      Image Girl 5 years ago

      Love this lens!!

    • Inkhand profile image

      Inkhand 5 years ago

      I see Canadian Bacon is not ham.