We all go for that American-style, crispy, smoked bacon in the mornings, but have you ever tried Canadian bacon? Average bacon is crispy, salty, and in general, just perfect, so Canadian bacon should be the same, right? Yet, there's a twist in that—after doing some research and trying some on my own, I can tell you that they're definitely not the normal bacon that you crave. What is Canadian bacon, you ask? Here's what you should know.

What Is Canadian Bacon?

Canadian bacon doesn't actually come from Canada—in fact, it's only called this in the US. In Canada, this type of meat is commonly referred as "back bacon" or "peameal bacon." Unlike the regular bacon strips, which are entirely cut from the fatty belly of the pig, back bacon is cut from the loin (or behind the shoulder) of a pig and includes just a little bit of pig belly, making it much leaner. It usually comes in rounded slices that are already cured and fully cooked, as opposed to regular bacon, which is smoked and comes raw.

What Does It Taste Like?

If you expect something that tastes like average bacon, then you'll be disappointed. Canadian bacon doesn't taste like bacon at all. Instead, it tastes more like ham due to the part of the pig it's cut from. The Canadian bacon I tried was very lean and tender, and there was no marbling in sight. However, it lacked the saltiness of typical ham and was leaning more towards the sweet side. It was also very juicy, unlike regular bacon, and when fried it still didn't lose its sweetness and juiciness. 

Is Canadian Bacon Healthy?

Canadian bacon strips are considered a healthier variety of bacon. Because Canadian bacon strips are much leaner, they contain a lower amount of calories than normal bacon. One ounce of Canadian bacon is roughly 30 calories with less than 1 gram of fat. In contrast, one ounce of regular bacon contains around 10-12 grams of fat

There's also more protein in Canadian bacon, which has about 12 grams per serving. That means that if you have Canadian bacon for breakfast, it would supply about 20 percent of the recommended daily protein intake (60 g).

However, do keep in mind that just like regular bacon, Canadian bacon also contains a large amount of sodium. A typical two-slice serving would supply you with 500 mg of sodium, so you wouldn't want to eat it frequently.

When to Use Canadian Bacon

When would you want to use Canadian bacon over regular bacon strips? If you would like a juicier, sweeter taste and tenderness instead of crispiness in your recipes, I would recommend Canadian bacon because of its flavors and the fact that it comes precooked. In addition, if you want to eat a little healthier, I'd suggest replacing regular bacon with Canadian bacon because it's lower in fat and higher in protein.

Personally, I still prefer the crispy, regular bacon strips over Canadian bacon—but hey, that's just me. If you've never heard of Canadian bacon, I hope that this article allowed you to know more about this unusual variety of bacon, and I encourage you to try it out to see which one fits your taste.