Pork Cuts Pork is one of the oldest known sources of domesticated protein. Pork is the meat from hogs, or domestic swine. The domestication of "pigs" (immature hogs) for food dates back to about 7000 B.C. in the Middle East. However, evidence shows that Stone Age man ate wild boar, the hog's ancestor, and the earliest surviving pork recipe is Chinese, at least 2000-years old. Columbus is said to have brought eight pigs to the New Worlds on his second voyage.  Cortez brought a drove and Desoto brought 13 hogs.  Pork has been a staple in the American diet ever since.  The Eastern Indians learned to roast it and when the covered wagons went West they carried their hogs.  

Pork is the world's most widely eaten meat despite the fact that four leading religions, Judaism, Buddhism, Islam and some forms of Christianity impose some form of restriction on its consumption.  For example, Buddhism has a tendency to gravitate towards vegetarianism (Buddha himself was supposed to have died from eating bad pork) while Judaism and Islam forbid its consumption.  

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Louisiana Style Cracklin

Improvements in breeding, hygiene, transport and spoilage control have combined to make it a meat that is of good quality year around.  Young meat that is firm and fine-grained, its fat is white, its skin thin and smooth is considered the most desirable.

Pork is generally produced from young animals (6 to 7 months old) that weigh from 175 to 240 pounds. Much of a hog is cured and made into ham, bacon and sausage. Uncured meat is called "fresh pork."

Pork joints in Britain have the skin or rind left on for roasting or baking.  The skin is then scored in narrow strips which allow for spice rubs and herbs to penetrate. When roasted the rind develops into crackling, which at its best is a dry, crisp honeycomb of bubbles with intense flavor.  In the United State the skin is usually removed.

The Chinese are considered to be the most expert cooks of pork.  Most commonly, the Chinese chop it into thin slices or shreds then stir fry it.  The Chinese are famous for their preparation and use of spareribs.

Butchery Chart/Myology
Quality and Grading Standards
Storage & Handling
Pork Belly
Picnic Shoulder
Boston Shoulder

Composition & Structure

Weight Range and Tolerances
Meat Proteins
 Sausage Types  skelit3.jpg (30163 bytes)
Glossary Meat Terms
Test Your Knowledge
Pork Cuts Master
Measurement & Reference