Focus on New Foods
This is Real Canadian Bacon
Curiosity was high when Meat Processing taste-testers came to pick up their Canadian bacon for this test. One look told them this would be like no Canadian bacon they had tried before, because this is the real Canadian bacon, the bacon sold in Canada, and the only similarities to the U.S. product called Canadian bacon are that both are pork and USDA inspected. Real Canadian bacon is called peameal bacon, and is made from boneless pork loins, short cut from the leaner portions of the loin and then sweet-pickle cured, but not smoked. It is lean, moist, and contains just five grams of fat per serving. The name peameal bacon comes from early days when the preserved product was rolled in peameal to keep it moist. Today, external fat is trimmed to ⅛ inch, and the trimmed loin is rolled in a traditional golden cornmeal coating. A 112-gram serving of peameal bacon from Real Canadian Bacon Co. has 130 calories, five grams of total fat, 40 milligrams of cholesterol, and 1,120 milligrams of sodium. A 40-percent reduced-sodium product is available.
Our testers returned their evaluation forms with enthusiastic responses, though the product costs more than most are willing to spend. Peameal bacon from Real Canadian Bacon is currently sold on the Internet or by phone. It comes in 2.5- and 5.0-pound roasts and in slices, ranging in price from $9-12 (US) per pound, thus taking it out of budget range for some of our tasters. Basic shipping is free. But responses indicate that some tasters may make an occasional exception in order to enjoy real Canadian bacon at a special occasion. The roast can remain frozen for up to a year, and stays fresh and wholesome, with a very lean appearance and uniform slices for the sliced version. “The cornmeal coating enhanced the lean appearance,” said one taster. “It looks very healthy and has good color,” said another. One taster said he “had to get used to the sweet-pickle taste,” but then gave it a 9.0 for flavor. A few of our testers were concerned with the saltiness of the product, and although the low-salt alternative would eliminate that problem, their scoring negatively impacted the flavor score in this report. The product was accompanied by a number of recipes, and one taster who had prepared it in its original form wished he had tried a glaze, because “the sweetness would have enhanced the natural flavor of the meat.”
Our taste-testing team was asked to evaluate the product for a number of attributes, and then award a score on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being excellent. The table at left shows our results.
You’ll find peameal bacon at www.realcanadianbacon.com.
- Appearance – 9.2
- Ease of Preparation – 9.7
- Flavor – 8.4
- Tenderness – 9.2
- Moisture – 9.6
- Mouthfeel – 9.0