Distinguishing Canadian Bacon & Ham

Canadian bacon is a food product derived from pork, with a great variety in foods referred to as Canadian bacon in different parts of the world. In the US, Canadian bacon is salted and cured meat of pork in much the same way as traditional bacon, while the process of salting and curing in the UK is quite different. However, Canadian bacon resembles ham more than bacon in looks and flavor, which makes people confused. There are many who cannot appreciate the differences between Canadian bacon and ham. This article will take a closer look at these two food products derived from pork.

Canadian Bacon

Canadian bacon is a cut of meat obtained from pork that has been salted and cured. It comes from the back of the pork rather than the belly or any other part to distinguish it from other cuts of meat. Inside the US, back bacon is also referred to as Canadian bacon because of the high popularity of back bacon in Canada. The round slices of pork meat that have been smoked and sold in the US are also termed as Canadian bacon.

There are many different cuts of pig depending upon from which part of the animal they came. Thus, we have side bacon, middle bacon, back bacon, jowl bacon (cheeks of pig), Cottage bacon (shoulder of pig), collar bacon (cut from near the head at the back), and so on. Out of these cuts, it is back bacon that is referred to as Canadian bacon in the US. Interestingly, inside Canada, this particular cut of meat is called Peameal Bacon. However, in Canada, this cut is set in brine rather than being smoked as is the fashion in the US.


Ham is a cut of meat from a pig that comes from the thigh of the back leg of the animal. Ham is always sold after cooking or after it has been cured. Thus, the hind leg of the pig after it has been cured and contains at least 20.5% protein without any addition of water is called ham in the country. Ham in the US is classified on the basis of its cure and water content. Thus, we have fresh ham as well as country ham.

Key Takeaways

  • Ham is the piece of meat obtained from the thigh of the hind leg of a pig.
  • Back bacon is referred to as Canadian bacon in the US.
  • Canadian bacon is a food product that has been made from a piece of meat obtained from the back of the pig.
Dmitri Ivanov
Dmitri Ivanovhttps://whats-different.com
Dmitri Ivanov, a writer and managing editor, was educated in Canada and holds a BS in Science. Dmitri loves doing research, writing, and teaching various courses.


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