How Did Canadian Bacon Get Its Name?

did-canadian-bacon-its-name Credit: Dietrich Ayala/CC-BY-2.0

During the mid 1800's, the United Kingdom was forced to import meat from Canada due to a pork shortage. Once imported, the English would cure the backmeat in a special brine and smoke it. Americans in the U.K. liked the meat, so they brought it back to the United States and gave it the name Canadian bacon due to its origins. Only Americans refer to this bacon as Canadian bacon.

Canadians refer to this product as peameal bacon because in the 1800's, they would preserve the meat by rolling it in the ground with yellow split peas. The English would smoke the meat during the preparation process, and Americans liked its taste and brought it back to the U.S. from the U.K.

If a person asks for Canadian bacon while in Canada, they would likely receive peameal bacon, which comes from the loin of a pig. The bacon that Americans typically eat is also common in Canada, and it comes from a pig's belly. In the United States, the loin of the pig is usually used for pork chops. In Canada, the loin of the big is not smoked or pre-cooked in any way, making it lean and boneless pork.