Back bacon is a traditional British cut of typically unsmoked bacon sliced to include both the pork loin from the back and a bit of pork belly in the same cut. It is either wet or dry cured, and is completely unlike and much leaner than American style smoked side bacon made only from the pork belly.
"Canadian bacon" is United States usage for a form of roughly cylindrical fully cooked back bacon, usually smoked, trimmed into medallions, and thickly sliced. The term "Canadian bacon" is not actually used in Canada, and the product is generally known simply as "back bacon", while "bacon" standing alone refers to the same streaky pork belly bacon as in the United States. "Canadian" bacon is made only from the lean eye of the loin and is ready to eat; this preparation is closer to ham than standard North American bacon.
The product may have arisen from a unique form of back bacon which emerged in Southern Ontario called "peameal bacon", which is unsmoked wet cured pork loin trimmed like "Canadian bacon" and traditionally rolled in ground dried yellow peas to extend its shelf life. Today it is generally rolled in yellow cornmeal.
- "A Guide to Bacon Styles, and How to Make Proper British Rashers" at thepauperedchef.com weblog
- The Real Canadian Bacon Co.
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