The U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement (USMCA) addresses the world’s largest trading area.
Since trade agreements were first initiated, Canada and Mexico have evolved into two of the largest export markets for U.S. pork products.
Thank you Congress for prioritizing the ratification of the USMCA to allow the U.S. pork industry to maintain zero-duty market access to two of its largest export markets.
Discover dishes made possible by the USMCA
Pulled Pork Poutine
The origins of poutine are often disputed throughout Canada, but one thing is for sure—it originated in Quebec in the 1950’s and it’s still a late-night snack favorite.
Legend has it that the staple dish came about after a man asked for a side of gravy with his takeout fries and cheese curds. As the dish evolved, it came to include a range of toppings, most deliciously among them—pulled pork.
Pulled Pork Sandwich
The practice of slow cooking pork arrived in the United States along with the Spanish conquistadors as they settled into what is now the American south in the 16th century.
Before arriving in the U.S., conquistadors passed through the Caribbean islands and witnessed locals cooking pigs over an open and low flame. Upon tasting the delicious meat produced by the new cooking method, the conquistadors quickly adopted it and put it into practice.
As the conquistadors continued traveling west, eventually landing in the U.S., so did the practice of slow cooking pork. Soon, sauces and marinades were paired with the meat, with each region of the U.S. crafting the sauce based on key influences from new settlers. Having been settled by the British, Virginia and North Carolina use a vinegar base for their sauce, while South Carolina uses a mustard base due to the French and German influence in the area. Memphis, being on the heavily traded Mississippi river, uses molasses as a base for its sauce, giving it the sweet and dark flavor that is so popular today.
Today, each region of the south boasts their pulled pork and sauce recipe as the best, a debate not likely to be settled soon.
Tacos al Pastor
The beloved Mexican tacos have origins in the Lebanese method of cooking meat on a spit, referred to as shawarma. In the early 1900’s, Lebanese immigrants moved to Mexico and brought with them this unique technique, with lamb being substituted for pork by locals.
The tacos are a staple in Mexico City where taco shops and stands line the streets. Each taquero has a unique way of marinating, seasoning, cooking and slicing the meat in order to create the perfect taco. As such, no true recipe exists. Instead, it is up to each taquero to create their best version of a taco, sharing the recipe with only their closest confidants.
However, some things remain uniform, like the red coloring often seen on the meat, which comes from the chile adobo seasoning used on the tacos. This mixture usually consists of vinegar, cinnamon, ancho chiles, garlic and salt, though many taqueros claim to add secret ingredients.
Cilantro and onion are used as toppings for the taco and a slice of pineapple usually makes an appearance.
This famous double crusted meat pie traces its origins back to an old Quebecois Christmas tradition from the 1600s when French settlers celebrated Christmas Eve with a réveillon—a feast after midnight Mass. While the event included a variety of savory dishes, tourtière was always the feast’s focal point.
The dish has evolved across Canada, with those along the coasts stuffing it with salmon or trout and those in Montreal using ground pork. However, some aspects of the dish always seem to stay consistent: the spices used (cinnamon, nutmeg and clove) and the soft, buttery, flaky crust. The deliciousness does not end there—it is usually accompanied by a chili, mustard or wine sauce. For some extra flair, chefs often use the leftover pastry dough to decorate the top of the pie.
Did you know the hot dog can trace its origins back to Ancient Rome? Legend has it that it was Emperor Nero’s cook, Gaius who first discovered the practice of using pork intestines to pack meat and spices into, thus creating the first sausage.
The name is said to come from a German butcher in the 1600s who named his sausage “dachshund” or “little dog.” Eventually, the hot dog would make its way across the pond to New York City, where it would get its crowning fame. Story has it, it was a German immigrant who sold sauerkraut, sausages and milk rolls from a push cart in the 1860s who is credited with inventing the hot dog as we know it today.
Soon, hot dogs would begin to commercialize through their famed home on Coney Island and by 1893 hot dogs were in most baseball parks. Today, they can be found just about anywhere with an infinite list of toppings varying by region - onions, chili, slaw, tomatoes, pickles and even bacon-wrapped or deep fried in corn; they’re all wonderfully delicious.
Pozole de Chile Colorado
Pozole’s history dates back to pre-Hispanic times as a ceremonial dish for Aztecs, reserved only for the highest priests and the emperor during religious ceremonies and festivities. According to Alfonso de Jesus Jimenez Martinez, professor at the University of the Carribean, it was the Spaniards who added pork to the recipe upon their arrival in what would become Nueva España.
While pozole varies by region (with the basis of the dish still with nixtamal corn) the Jalisco style stands out for having chile colorado—red chile made with crushed dried ancho chile—while the Sinaloa style substitutes chile guajillos.
Split Pea Soup
A winter favorite for its ability to fight off the cold Canadian winter, this Quebecois favorite traces its origins back to a dish served onboard ships coming from Europe with Canada’s first settlers. Considering the voyages were long, ships were stocked with food that could be preserved for extended periods of time, such as dried fruits, grains, legumes, rice and salted meats.
Eventually, settlers planted gardens and raised livestock, and were able to include fresh pork and vegetables into the dish. This soup was especially fulfilling during the harsh winters since its ingredients composed a nutritious meal the settlers could rely on.
The recipe has variances today with some creating a more brothy ham stock base than others. The ham hock has remained an essential part of the soup, with traditional recipes calling for it to be roasted in an oven alongside carrots and onions, then added to the broth with cooked peas.
Driven by the rise of industrial meatpacking, ribs initially became popular cuts of meat because they were the leftover portions that could not be packaged into cans and were instead given away or sold for a bargain.
However, during the first half of the 20th century, barbequed pork ribs became widely popular with the African American community as they standardized a new and savory way to cook the meat. African American-owned barbeque joints were plentiful in the 1950’s, with fried okra, sweet potatoes, cornbread and hush puppies often accompanying the ribs, creating the platter we know today.
Cities like Cincinnati, Memphis and Detroit led the way to the dish’s boom in popularity, with ribs beginning to make appearances at high-end restaurants and home cookouts across the country. Today, ribs can be enjoyed as baby backs, spare or tips, and accompanied with a variety of regional dry rubs and sauces.
Often referred to as a fusion dish between the Mayans and the Spanish, Cochinita Pibil has become representative of the Yucatan region in southern Mexico. In pre-Hispanic times, the dish was cooked in a pib – an oven in the ground - during the Mayan celebration of Hanal Pixán (known today as the Day of the Dead), in which families offer meals to the souls of the departed as they return for a visit between Oct. 31 and Nov. 2.
Traditionally, the dish was made with pheasant, venison or wild boar, but was switched to pork with the arrival of the Spanish. The dish consists of pork marinated in achiote and bitter orange juice that is then wrapped in banana leaves and steamed on low heat in a pib. Conventional ovens and grills can be used as well by lining the rack with banana leaves and laying the meat directly on top.
Peameal Bacon Sandwich
Known as Toronto’s Signature Dish, the peameal bacon sandwich can trace its origins back to 1854 when William Davies arrived in Canada from the U.S. and opened a pork processing plant. The dish got its name when Davies cured pork loin by rolling it in crushed yellow peas and fried the leftover slices from the center cut, creating a perfectly delicious and juicy dish.
Eventually, cornmeal would come to replace peameal without impacting the savory taste or tenderness of the meat.
Today, Toronto, formerly known as Hogtown for its meatpacking industry, boasts the country’s greatest peameal bacon sandwich scene, drawing in crowds to its St.Lawrence Market where Canadians eagerly go to proudly savor the dish.
Roasted Green Chile Stew
Green or red? This seems to be one of the most pressing questions in New Mexico, referring to the two chile options available. Hatch Green Chiles, as they are famously known, produces both red and green —the color variance depending on when the pepper is picked and how ripe it is at the time of picking.
Green chiles, despite being synonymous with New Mexico, are not native to the land, but instead are a Spanish import. In fact, most Southwestern cuisine is a fusion of Pueblo Indian tradition and Spanish imports. It was the Spanish monks, who while settling most of what is now New Mexico, introduced the pepper to the region. The pepper became a staple and was in high demand throughout the U.S., leading Congress to begin building roads with the goal of bringing more chile to market.
Today, the stew is a fall and winter favorite because of the warm comfort it brings during the winter months. Traditionally, the stew includes chunks of pork, potatoes, onion and seasonings.
Asado de Puerco
Asado de Puerco’s history dates back approximately 150 years, with the dish originating in the northern Mexican states of Coahuila and Durango in an area known as The Comarca Lagunera. The dish is usually prepared in times of celebration such as weddings, baptisms or quinceañeras and is often offered in thanks to St. Jude Thaddeus, the Virgin of Guadalupe, or the Virgin of San Juan de los Lagos.
Tradition states that on the anniversary of the Reparto Agrario - the distribution of land to those who worked it - locals open their ranches and homes to the public to come and enjoy homemade Asado de Puerco as a community, at no cost.
This celebratory and traditional dish consists of tender cubes of pork bathed in a red chile sauce made of ancho and guajillo peppers with clove, garlic and cumin seasonings.