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The best kind of pork is fresh and pinkish in color, and the fat is firm and white. The second quality has rather hard, red flesh, and yellowish fat. The poorest kind has dark, coarse grained meat, soft fat, and discoloured kidneys. The flesh of stale pork is moist and clammy, and its smell betrays its condition. Measly pork has little kernels in the fat, and is unhealthy and dangerous food. After testing, as you would beef, so as to see if it is fresh, and making sure that it is not measly, we have still to dread the presence of TRICHINA, a dangerous parasite present in the flesh of some hogs. The surest preventive of danger from this cause is thorough cooking, which destroys any germs that may exist in the meat. Cook your pork until it is crisp and brown, by a good, steady fire, or in boiling water, at least twenty minutes to each pound. Pork eaten in cold weather, or moderately in summer, alternately with other meats, is a palatable and nutritious food. It has a hard fibre, and needs to be thoroughly chewed in order to be perfectly digested; for that reason it should be sparingly used by the young and the very old. The least fat is found in the leg, which contains an excess of flesh-forming elements, and resembles lean beef in composition; the most fat is in the face and belly. When cured as bacon it readily takes on the anti-septic action of salt and smoke, and becomes a valuable adjunct to vegetable food, as well as a pleasant relish; and in this shape it is one of the most important articles in general use.


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Twenty-Five Cent Dinners for Families of Six (1879).

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