What is Canadian Bacon?

Canadian Bacon, also known as back bacon or peameal bacon, is a popular type of bacon that has its origins in Canada. It is a unique and delicious culinary delight that is renowned for its distinct flavor and texture. In this comprehensive article, we will explore the history, preparation, uses, and nutritional value of Canadian Bacon, providing you with all the information you need to understand and appreciate this beloved food.

History of Canadian Bacon

The history of Canadian Bacon dates back to the late 19th century. It is believed to have originated in Toronto, Canada, where it was initially known as peameal bacon. The name “peameal” refers to the traditional practice of rolling the bacon in ground yellow peas, which acted as a preservative. This method allowed the bacon to last longer without spoiling.

In the early days, Canadian Bacon was primarily made from pork loin, which was trimmed of fat, cured, and rolled in cornmeal. However, over time, the use of cornmeal was replaced with a peameal mixture made from ground yellow peas. This change further enhanced its flavor and texture.

Today, Canadian Bacon is no longer rolled in cornmeal or peameal but is instead cured and sliced. However, the name “peameal bacon” is still used in some parts of Canada to refer to Canadian Bacon despite the absence of the original peameal coating.

Preparation of Canadian Bacon

Canadian Bacon is made using boneless pork loin, which is first cured with a mixture of salt, sugar, and nitrites. Nitrites are added to extend the shelf life of the bacon and prevent the growth of harmful bacteria. After the curing process, the bacon is typically smoked to enhance its flavor and aroma.

Once the curing and smoking processes are complete, the bacon is usually sliced into thin, round pieces. These slices are then ready to be cooked and enjoyed in a variety of dishes.

Traditional Uses of Canadian Bacon

Canadian Bacon is a versatile ingredient that can be used in various culinary preparations. Here are some traditional uses of Canadian Bacon:

1. Breakfast Delights:

Canadian Bacon is a classic addition to breakfast dishes such as eggs Benedict, omelets, and breakfast sandwiches. Its tender texture and slightly sweet flavor complement the hearty flavors of eggs, cheese, and bread.

2. Pizza Topping:

One of the most popular uses of Canadian Bacon is as a pizza topping. Its smoky flavor pairs exceptionally well with the tangy tomato sauce and melting cheese. It is often used in combination with pineapple to create the famous Hawaiian pizza.

3. Sandwich Filling:

Canadian Bacon can be added to sandwiches and wraps to provide a flavorful and protein-rich filling. It can be enjoyed cold or lightly heated, making it a convenient option for packed lunches or quick meals on the go.

4. Quiches and Frittatas:

The unique flavor profile of Canadian Bacon makes it a great addition to quiches and frittatas. Its savory taste balances well with eggs, cheese, and vegetables, adding depth and richness to these baked dishes.

5. Salads and Wraps:

Canadian Bacon can be chopped or sliced and added to salads for an extra burst of flavor and protein. It can also be rolled up in lettuce leaves or tortillas to create tasty wraps or roll-ups.

Nutritional Value of Canadian Bacon

Canadian Bacon is not only delicious but also offers several nutritional benefits. Here is a breakdown of its nutritional profile:

1. Protein:

Canadian Bacon is an excellent source of high-quality protein. A 3-ounce serving can provide about 15 grams of protein, making it a satisfying addition to any meal.

2. Low in Fat:

Compared to traditional bacon, Canadian Bacon tends to have a lower fat content. It is usually made from lean pork loin, which is trimmed of excess fat before the curing and smoking processes. However, the fat content can vary depending on the specific brand or preparation method.

3. Vitamins and Minerals:

Canadian Bacon contains essential vitamins and minerals such as vitamin B12, zinc, and selenium. Vitamin B12 is important for maintaining healthy nerve function and producing red blood cells, while zinc and selenium support immune function and contribute to overall well-being.

4. Sodium Content:

It is worth noting that Canadian Bacon can be relatively high in sodium due to the curing process. Individuals monitoring their sodium intake should consume it in moderation or choose low-sodium options.


Canadian Bacon, also known as back bacon or peameal bacon, is a beloved culinary delight with a rich history and unique flavor. Its origins in Canada, along with its traditional preparation and uses, make it a distinctive and versatile ingredient. Whether enjoyed in breakfast dishes, on pizzas, or in sandwiches and salads, Canadian Bacon adds a delicious twist to any meal. With its high protein content and essential vitamins and minerals, it can be enjoyed as part of a balanced diet. So, next time you come across Canadian Bacon in a menu or grocery store, give it a try and experience the flavors that have made it a timeless favorite.