Ever since I can remember I've heard the comment that there is "no difference" between Canadians and Americans. I respectfully beg to differ as there is a difference on so many levels! We have unique Canadian culture consisting of Canadianisms, a Canadian perspective on world events, Canadian cuisine as well as products and foods only available in Canada. This blog is dedicated to celebrating all things Canadian from "my perspective" as a Canadian. Please enjoy your visit and be sure to visit often.

Garden Gnome
Americans should never underestimate the constant pressure on Canada which the mere presence of the United States has produced. We're different people from you and we're different people because of you. Living next to you is in some ways like sleeping with an elephant. No matter how friendly and even-tempered is the beast, if I can call it that, one is effected by every twitch and grunt. It should not therefore be expected that this kind of nation, this Canada, should project itself as a mirror image of the United States.
- Pierre Trudeau

Friday, December 19, 2008

Canadian Bacon

Most North Americans have heard of the term Canadian bacon. The term has two meanings with the first being an actual food item that appears on many breakfast menus and the second is the movie.

USA Movie Poster
source: Canadian Bacon

Canadian Bacon directed by Michael Moore and staring John Candy as Sheriff Bud Boomer was released September 22, 1995. Dan Aykroyd another well known Canadian actor plays the part of an OPP (Ontario Provincial Police) officer. We have seen this movie several times. It's a comedy with good Canadian actors and filled with many Canadianisms. The more you watch it the more Canadian myths you will see. There is a lot of anti-Canadian sentiments in this comedy. While they are funny since Canadians have no problem laughing at themselves and while the director took creative license they are still myths and assumptions. The terms RMCP and RCMP are used in the movie showing a complete lack of respect for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) one of Canada's most recognizable and beloved icons.

While this is a comedy with a few Canadian actors I still have to find fault. Yes it was funny the movie perpetuated myths about Canada that simply are that. They were then and still are myths! As Canadians many saw the humour and were polite about it because after all Canadians have a reputation for being polite however, some were offended. I think to some respects having Canadian actors perpetuating the myths was a bit more offending than the director thought it would be. In retrospect this movie along with other myths widely perpetuated in North America were fodder for Rick Mercer of Canada's This Hour Has 22 Minutes segments called Talking to Americans.

Peameal Bacon aka Canadian Bacon

I love Canadian bacon so imagine my surprise when we stopped for breakfast in Duluth, Minnesota years ago for breakfast on our way out west. Now Duluth is only about 3 hours (259 km) from the Canadian border so I'm pretty sure they should know what Canadian bacon is. I ordered pancakes with Canadian bacon. The bacon that came with my pancakes was very close to what you would get if you took rolled ham, sliced it thin then fried it. Talk about a total disappointment but this is what Americans call Canadian bacon. Through our many travels in the USA that is what you will get if you order Canadian bacon. That is NOT Canadian bacon!

Canadian bacon is made by curing pork loin and it likely came to be from the French families who settled in Canada. It is very much a southwestern Ontario delicacy but can be found in other areas of Canada. It is very seldom found outside of Canada with the exception of some border towns and Canadians who make their own. It is usually marketed as peameal or sweet pickled bacon. Once the meat has cured it is rolled in cornmeal a substitute for the original peameal (ground peas) used for the coating. The bacon is then sliced and fried or baked then sliced. Peameal bacon is served as bacon for breakfast or as a lunchmeat or as the meat portion for dinner. Unlike regular cured side bacon, peameal bacon is very lean. It does have a unique colour and texture in comparison to regular bacon. The method I use for making real Canadian bacon aka peameal bacon can be found here.


2 comments:

  1. Oh, how I wish we could buy this here in the states. That stuff they sell as Canadian bacon here is a joke! My mouth is watering remembering breakfasts with a pan that looked just like that picture sitting on Grandpa's stove...

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  2. Hi Jennifer and thanks for stopping by. I do so know what the US version of Canadian bacon is :( This is really easy to make at home so do give it a try. I'm sure you will really like it.

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