The “Real” Canadian Bacon – Peameal Bacon

Peameal Bacon, fried in butter.


This week I have relatives visiting from Michigan. They know that we here in the Southeastern US often have trouble getting certain northern delicacies such as Sander’s Hot Fudge, but that is not the subject of today’s post. Fortunately, they brought not only Sander’s fudge, but also a delicacy unknown to most Americans south of the 45th Parallel – Peameal Bacon.

Today I learned that what we call Canadian bacon is not really Canadian bacon. The real version is much, much better. In fact, the Canadian version is in a totally different league.

First, get rid of any notion that the Canadian bacon that comes on your pizza is, in fact, Canadian. Forget about it.

Now, take a pork loin, cut from the back where it is very lean meat, and cure it in brine. Kinda like pickling it.

Then, when cured, roll it in fine cornmeal. Traditionally, the pork loin was rolled in a finely ground powder of dried yellow peas, hence the name…Peameal.

Now the fun part. Slice the “bacon” into slabs that range from 1/8″ to 1/4″. Fry them up with a little butter, until each side has browned a bit. Take a slice or two and make a Bacon Lettuce and Tomato sandwich.

The flavor is definitely ham, but nothing like the salty Virginia ham and certainly much more flavorful than the regular pressed ham out of a can. The pickling brine gives it a slightly sweet and pungent flavor. Nothing overpowering. Just plain good.

Zingerman’s has a more elaborate description and much more of the history. (http://www.zingermansroadhouse.com/2008/07/24/canadian-peameal-bacon/) For now, just try it and enjoy!

I had a two pound slab of bacon and it made about 12 good sized slices. Aside from an old place in Japan named Saco’s, this is the best BLT ever.

The best BLT ever! Peameal Bacon on lettuce and tomato over sourdough!

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