Why do Americans call ham Canadian bacon

What is the difference between bacon and ham?


I did my internship for cooking school in London and if I remember correctly what I saw in the markets there, what you call gammon would be synonymous with our ham - both come from the pig's hind leg.

What we call bacon is what you would call "streaky" or "streaky bacon", which is made from the belly of pork.

Streaky would be the best substitute for recipes that call for bacon.

As follows :

"Both ham and ham are cut from the leg of a pig. The meat is the same, but the preparation and treatment is different. Ham and ham are both charcuterie. This means that they are treated with salt, known as brine, and other things are substances before consumption.

Ham is meat that is cut from the carcass and then treated.

Ham is meat that is cut from the carcass after salt treatment.

Ham and ham can also be smoked.

Traditionally, regional variants of the process and the ingredients used would give the sausage products different flavors. This explains the origin of distinctive varieties such as York ham, Bayonne ham and Prague ham.

Air-dried ham is also cured first, but is then usually eaten raw, while salted ham is baked or cooked before serving. "

According to my local friendly butcher, gammon is a type of bacon that is specifically native to the hind quarters.

Bacon is defined as any pork that has been cured by a salting process as either dry cure or wet cure, with the meat packaged in either salt or brine. With wet cure, other ingredients can be added to give other flavors such as beer or sugar.

Typically, slices of bacon are made from the pig's body, with striped bacon coming from the belly and bacon from the back (the same cut as a pork loin chop). Bacon joints are usually made by combining slices of bacon from the shoulder and collar, while the hindquarters are sold as ham at a premium.

Traditionally, ham is referred to as cooked ham, although in modern applications it is often expanded to include other cooked bacon joints, which include shaped meats made from combining cuts with other additives to bind them together.

Well, bacon is a very general term. You may want to make it clear what you are referring to.

In America, "bacon" comes from the belly of the pig. While according to Wikipedia, bacon in the UK usually comes from the back of the pig (we call this Canadian bacon). In both cases these are usually dry cured.

Ham cuts come from the pig's hind legs. It is typically wet cured.

Update : Based on your pictures above, yes, ham can be used as a substitute for back fat.


In England, good bacon is dry salted (no sugar) and mostly cut from the back and side of the pig. It has the appearance of a pork chop with one eye (fillet) and strips of muscle and fat on the tail end (side of the ribs).

It is called rasher, is often clingy to the skin, and can be either "green" (unsmoked) or smoked (never hot-smoked as in North America).

It can be cooked until crispy or until it becomes opaque. It depends on the taste.

There are many regional varieties, with Wiltshire and Danish being premium varieties. In Scotland, Ayrshire bacon is excellent and the rasher is rolled so that the bacon rasher has a round appearance. Good bacon and ham do not swell white stuff, nor do they shrink significantly when fried.


Ham is sliced ​​thicker and thicker and consists mainly of meat like a slice of ham. It also tastes different. As I understand it, it is usually made from salted leg meat.

You can find photos of 'English Bacon Rasher' and 'Gammon Rasher' on the internet if you include UK in your search. If you haven't tried this type of bacon, you can get an idea of ​​the British bacon flavor by adding salt to a piece of pork belly in the refrigerator (it really takes fat to be delicious). Just leave out the sugar and spices. There are recipes on the web. You must never go back to the water-soaked meat in a plastic bag sold as bacon in supermarkets.

Peameal Bacon is commonly known as Canadian Bacon, it comes from the loin, is cured and rolled in cornmeal. Often referred to as Canadian bacon, streaky bacon comes from the stomach, is cured and then smoked.

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