Canadian Bacon...WTH???

wulfie68

Council Member
Mar 29, 2009
2,014
24
38
Calgary, AB
I was born and raised and lived the majority of my life in Alberta (mostly in places north of Edmonton but I spent time in Medicine Hat, Taber and lived the last decade in Calgary). This past summer I moved to Pennsylvania, just east of Pittsburgh, married the woman of my dreams and had a son here. I take the ribbing on my "accent" in good nature ( I speak the Queen's English, not the drawling mutation they speak down here! And I don't say "aboot" no matter how much my wife and her 12 year old son claim) but one thing has me genuinely perplexed.

In restarants, on pizzas, sandwiches, with omelettes, they talk about "Canadian Bacon" and present it as this small piece of what looks to me to be some kind of ham, about 2" across. In Alberta I have never seen "bacon" that looks like this, or called any such thing bacon. It may be smoked/cured/pork but that doesn't mean its bacon. Bacon to me is the stuff that comes in strips as shown in the images on this page:

Google Image Result for http://baconhaikus.files.wordpress.com/2009/04/bacon-05.jpg

Do you guys in other parts of the country have such a creation or is this just some marketing gimmick by some American companies to jazz up their ingredients (because Canadian Bacon sounds more exotic than ham...?!)?
 

countryboy

Traditionally Progressive
Nov 30, 2009
3,686
39
48
BC
I was born and raised and lived the majority of my life in Alberta (mostly in places north of Edmonton but I spent time in Medicine Hat, Taber and lived the last decade in Calgary). This past summer I moved to Pennsylvania, just east of Pittsburgh, married the woman of my dreams and had a son here. I take the ribbing on my "accent" in good nature ( I speak the Queen's English, not the drawling mutation they speak down here! And I don't say "aboot" no matter how much my wife and her 12 year old son claim) but one thing has me genuinely perplexed.

In restarants, on pizzas, sandwiches, with omelettes, they talk about "Canadian Bacon" and present it as this small piece of what looks to me to be some kind of ham, about 2" across. In Alberta I have never seen "bacon" that looks like this, or called any such thing bacon. It may be smoked/cured/pork but that doesn't mean its bacon. Bacon to me is the stuff that comes in strips as shown in the images on this page:

Google Image Result for http://baconhaikus.files.wordpress.com/2009/04/bacon-05.jpg

Do you guys in other parts of the country have such a creation or is this just some marketing gimmick by some American companies to jazz up their ingredients (because Canadian Bacon sounds more exotic than ham...?!)?

Wulfie - we call it "back bacon" in most parts of Canada...I think it's in Alberta too under that name, isn't it? I'm sure it was when I lived in Edmonton for about 5 years.
 

karrie

OogedyBoogedy
Jan 6, 2007
27,780
285
83
bliss
I've lived in Alberta (almost) all my life (I don't relaly count Fort St John as moving to BC... lol), and eaten plenty of back bacon. It's more expensive though (from a better cut of meat), so it was eaten less often than conventional ham, and, of course, is used in different applications because it's not a fatty, crispy bacon.
 

lone wolf

Grossly Underrated
Nov 25, 2006
32,493
210
63
In the bush near Sudbury
Seems to me I remember my sister freaking at the breakfast table because the rind on her bacon had a nipple on it....

Farm fresh pork - excellent

Look on brother's face when sister knocked a fat lip onto him - priceless
 

petros

The Central Scrutinizer
Nov 21, 2008
110,103
11,708
113
Low Earth Orbit
One is made from pork bellies (the underside of the abdomen) the other is made from muscles in the back of the pig with a little different curing and smoking process.
 

countryboy

Traditionally Progressive
Nov 30, 2009
3,686
39
48
BC
At the CNE in Toronto, one of the favorite treats used to be back bacon on a bun...all piled high...yum. Haven't been there for years, but I hope they still continue that tradition.
 

#juan

Hall of Fame Member
Aug 30, 2005
18,326
119
63
At the CNE in Toronto, one of the favorite treats used to be back bacon on a bun...all piled high...yum. Haven't been there for years, but I hope they still continue that tradition.

The best back bacon is made from large pork tenderloins while side bacon is made from the abdominal wall of a side of pork.
 

AnnaG

Hall of Fame Member
Jul 5, 2009
17,507
117
63
Yup, cured pork loin is back bacon (AKA Canadian bacon).
Cured belly is side bacon.
Ham is from the thighs and rump.
3 different cuts.
There's also something known as fatback or something like that and it's almost completely fat cut from the backs of hogs.
 

countryboy

Traditionally Progressive
Nov 30, 2009
3,686
39
48
BC
Seems to me I remember my sister freaking at the breakfast table because the rind on her bacon had a nipple on it....

Farm fresh pork - excellent

Look on brother's face when sister knocked a fat lip onto him - priceless

Ha, ha...I've seen "the nipple" on some bacon slabs too...makes you back up and take a second look the first time it happens...My dad used to say, "Well, whatever was wrong with that pig's t*ts is certainly cured now!" :lol:
 

VanIsle

Always thinking
Nov 12, 2008
7,046
43
48
I was born and raised and lived the majority of my life in Alberta (mostly in places north of Edmonton but I spent time in Medicine Hat, Taber and lived the last decade in Calgary). This past summer I moved to Pennsylvania, just east of Pittsburgh, married the woman of my dreams and had a son here. I take the ribbing on my "accent" in good nature ( I speak the Queen's English, not the drawling mutation they speak down here! And I don't say "aboot" no matter how much my wife and her 12 year old son claim) but one thing has me genuinely perplexed.

In restarants, on pizzas, sandwiches, with omelettes, they talk about "Canadian Bacon" and present it as this small piece of what looks to me to be some kind of ham, about 2" across. In Alberta I have never seen "bacon" that looks like this, or called any such thing bacon. It may be smoked/cured/pork but that doesn't mean its bacon. Bacon to me is the stuff that comes in strips as shown in the images on this page:

Google Image Result for http://baconhaikus.files.wordpress.com/2009/04/bacon-05.jpg

Do you guys in other parts of the country have such a creation or is this just some marketing gimmick by some American companies to jazz up their ingredients (because Canadian Bacon sounds more exotic than ham...?!)?
Americans are the ones who started referring to "back bacon" as Canadian Bacon. Yes - others are correct when they state it is the cut from the back (probably the loin), side bacon (stripes) is taken from the rib area. Back bacon is usually considerably more expensive than side bacon and contains much more meat and less fat than side bacon. There is nothing quite as tasty as a toasted tomato and back bacon sandwich. (you can even add a little cheese and lettuce).
 

VanIsle

Always thinking
Nov 12, 2008
7,046
43
48
BTW - it is sold everywhere in Canada under the name of back bacon. It's just not usually right with the bacon. It's usually near the packaged cold meats.
 

DurkaDurka

Internet Lawyer
Mar 15, 2006
10,385
129
63
Toronto
Mmm, peameal. I usually buy a big chunk of it from the Saint Lawrence market every once in a while, much better then bacon strips.
 

Bar Sinister

Executive Branch Member
Jan 17, 2010
8,252
19
38
Edmonton
Judging from the amount of so called "Canadian bacon" on the shelves of supermarkets it appears that a majority of Canadians do not eat it. I suspect this is simply another US myth about Canada. like the "fact" that we are so damned polite.