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Pork, to be Preserved


Pork, to be preserved, is cured in several ways, either by covering it with salt, or immersing it in ready-made brine, where it is kept till required; or it is only partially salted, and then hung up to dry, when the meat is called white bacon; or, after salting, it is hung in wood smoke till the flesh is impregnated with the aroma from the wood. The Wiltshire bacon, which is regarded as the finest in the kingdom, is prepared by laying the sides of a hog in large wooden troughs, and then rubbing into the flesh quantities of powdered bay-salt, made hot in a frying-pan. This process is repeated for four days; they are then left for three weeks, merely turning the flitches every other day. After that time they are hung up to dry. The hogs usually killed for purposes of bacon in England average from 18 to 20 stone; on the other hand, the hogs killed in the country for farm-house purposes, seldom weigh less than 26 stone. The legs of boars, hogs, and, in Germany, those of bears, are prepared differently, and called hams.

The practice in vogue formerly in this country was to cut out the hams and cure them separately; then to remove the ribs, which were roasted as "spare-ribs," and, curing the remainder of the side, call it a "gammon of bacon."

Small pork to cut for table in joints, is cut up, in most places throughout the kingdom. The sale is divided with nine ribs to the fore quarter.

Of a bacon pig, the legs are reserved for curing, and when cured are called hams: when the meat is separated from the shoulder-blade and bones and cured, it is called bacon. The bones, with part of the meat left on them, are divided into spare-ribs, griskins, and chines.


The Book of Household Management (1861).


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