What Is Canadian Bacon? Is It Actually Canadian?

We’re always on the lookout for the perfect breakfast sandwich. You need eggs. Cheese is a must. Meat is where things get a little tricky. Breakfast sausage and bacon are the Lennon and McCartney of a.m. protein choices. But every once in a while, you want to hear a George Harrison tune, and that’s where Canadian bacon comes into play. Yes, we can all agree that the unsung hero of breakfast pork products is the noble Canadian bacon, but what is it, exactly? Well, now that your order is in, you can sit back and hear all about it. (We’ve got a while, the service here stinks.)

Is Canadian bacon ham?

Those who are only vaguely familiar with it may be of the mindset that Canadian bacon is just glorified ham with a fancy North-of-the-Border name. To that, we say, “Tsk, tsk!” Both ham and Canadian bacon share a number of similarities, most glaringly obvious is that they both come from a pig. However, the main difference between Canadian bacon and ham is where on the pig these meats come from. Ham is taken from the thigh and rump of the pig, whereas Canadian bacon comes from the pig’s back. This is why it’s commonly referred to as “back bacon,” especially by Canadians, who have their own idea of “Canadian” bacon: unsmoked back bacon that has been sweet pickle cured and coated in yellow cornmeal. 

Canadian bacon vs ham

Ham has far more in common with traditional bacon than it does Canadian bacon, since it comes from the same part of the pig. But that’s not the only difference. When it comes to ham vs Canadian bacon, you can also point out the difference in sodium content, which is higher in straight-ahead ham than in Canadian bacon. Also, the preservation method for each is completely dissimilar: Ham is cured or smoked, while Canadian bacon is brined. 

Canadian bacon vs bacon

Let’s talk “traditional” bacon vs Canadian bacon. Well, one notable distinction is how they compare health-wise. Canadian bacon is far less caloric than standard bacon. Regular strip-style bacon comes in between 120-150 calories with 10-12 grams of fat uncooked, while a serving of Canadian bacon is just 30 calories with less than 1 gram of fat. 

How to cook Canadian bacon

Canadian bacon comes pre-cooked, so you don’t technically need to cook it to eat it—but it’s certainly more enjoyable. Pan-fry it in a little oil to get that delicious sear going, and, heck, add a little maple syrup to the mix for a sweet pop. It is Canadian after all! 

Is Canadian bacon pork?

For those asking, “What is Canadian bacon made of?” the answer is quite clear: Canadian bacon is pork. (All the pig stuff from before should have given this away, but we just wanted to be perfectly clear.) 

Why is it called Canadian bacon?

Simple! Canadian bacon gets its name because it’s just standard bacon, but with free healthcare! Just kidding, Canadian bacon got its name because it was originally imported to New York City from Toronto. Hey, at least we gave credit where credit was due! 

About the Author

Joe Rumrill

Joe Rumrill is a fictional one-eyed spinach-loving sailor created in 1929 by E.C Se- Wait, no, that's not right... Joe Rumrill is a stand up comedian and writer currently based in Los Angeles. His favorite thing about food is a close tie between the taste and the nutrients one gets from it. His least favorite thing about it is the "gritty, dirt-like quality some food has", but he's most likely referring to the time in third grade he was dared to eat playground sand.

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  • Im trying to find the other common name for canadian bacon – nope didn’t find it but boy did I laugh when you said how it got its name! I hardly ever leave messages but wow – that was funny!! I have terminal brain cancer called glioblastoma and this was a great laugh for me – thank you!!!