You’ve heard the term “Canadian bacon” and may have even ordered it on a pizza or enjoyed it in eggs Benedict. But why do we call it that and how is it different from the usual bacon?
• The name “Canadian bacon” is used solely in the US. You won’t hear Canadians use the term - instead they may refer to it as “back bacon” since that’s where it comes from or simply “bacon”.
• The term originated during a meat shortage in WWII when meat was imported from Canada and given a name to differentiate it.
• American bacon as we know it comes from the belly of pigs and is fairly fatty, Canadian bacon is cut from the eye of the loin (or center of the pig’s back) and is far less fatty and somewhat lower in calories.
• American bacon is smoked and usually sold raw, Canadian bacon is cured and usually sold ready to eat.
• American bacon is fried to crispy perfection in its own fat, while Canadian bacon is best served soft and juicy as it’s already cured and loses its sweet flavor if cooked too long. It’s closer to ham in taste and texture than the bacon we typically think of.