How Canadian Bacon got its name

Posted by Butcher on Tuesday, June 12, 2012 Under: knowledge
Hey everyone, Sorry about the long time no see but we are looking at our final week in our expansion and will be opening our newly remodeled shop soon. Any way we are not here for that you want to know where some meats get their name and I am here to share.

You may know this "Canadian bacon" from your meat lover's pizza or from that McMuffin you indulge in every once in a while but what makes it Canadian? Contrary to belief the Canadians do not get credit for this one. (Sorry a'boot that guys.) Actually, originally in America we called the lean brined piece of meat back bacon. This brings up a subject worth an explanation.

What is brine? Brine is a specialized salt solution that meat is soaked in before cooking or most cases smoked. This salt solution is used to flavor the meat and also works as a way to fight bacteria growth during the smoking process. Think about a corned beef brisket and you have got the idea.

Back to the subject at hand. The specific piece used to make the Canadian bacon or back bacon is the pork tenderloin which is a much leaner piece from the pig than the more traditional side of pork. The pork tender loin comes from the back of the pig thus the back bacon name. We call it Canadian bacon because we Americans like to categorize things and because we like the fact that it really bothers our Canadian brethren. Europeans and our friends to the North rather like leaner bacon that derives from the loin and leaner part of the upper side. A lot of times Canadian Bacon is smoked in America and the Canadian counterpart is merely just brined,not smoked. So Canadian bacon is not as closely related to the bacon the Canadians eat. Sometimes the Peameal bacon is confused with Canadian Bacon but pea meal bacon (while similar in size and shape) is named for its exterior seasoning and "meal" that graces the outside.

Well, that gives you something else to think about. Talk to you soon when we explore some more meat names and until next time...

Good Grillin'

The Ogeechee Meat Market Butcher.

In : knowledge 

Tags: canadian bacon  bacon  what is brine. 
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The Ogeechee Butcher To ask a question E-mail: Please put ask-the-butcher in the subject line so it wont end up in the junk/spam box. You can also be my friend on Facebook and ask questions there.

About Me

I have been cutting meat for over50 years. I have done everything from working for shopping chains to now owning my own shop. I am part of the last group that was tested to be a certified meat cutter; when butchers still broke down the meat they needed from sides and whole carcasses. I have a vast knowledge of the field and am happy to share.