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Recipe 4 All: Pork Ingredient


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Pork is meat from pigs. While it is one of the most common meats consumed by the Chinese and Europeans, and to some extent North Americans, it is not considered kosher under Orthodox Jewish nor halal under Islamic law.

Pork from the haunch of the pig and then cured is called ham. Other eaten parts include pork shoulder, pork chops, pork neckbones, and pigs' feet. Pork ribs are taken from the pigs' ribs and the meat surrounding the bones.

Bacon is taken from the sides, back, or belly and cured, and is extremely popular in the US as breakfast food. Pork intestines are called chitterlings or chitlings. Pork is particularly common as an ingredient of sausage. Chorizo, fuet, and salami are sausages typically made with pork. Scrapple is another aggregate meat-food derived from pigs.

Pork products are often cured by salt (pickling) and smoking. The portion most often given this treatment is the ham, or [rear] haunch of the pig; pork shoulder, or front haunch, is also sometimes cured in this manner.

In earlier centuries in the United States, some pork products figured prominently in the traditional diets of poor Southerners, such as pigs' feet, hog jowls, and other parts not wanted by wealthy Southerners, because they were both available to them and affordable for the very poor.

Because of its high myoglobin content, pork is red before cooking, although it becomes lighter as it is cooked. According to the USDA, pork is considered a red meat, because it contains more myoglobin than white meat such as fish and chicken. Pork is very high in thiamin.

Despite the traditional definition of pork as a red meat, in 1987 the National Pork Board in the US began an advertising campaign to position pork as "the other white meat" due to a public perception of red meat as unhealthy. The campaign was highly successful and resulted in 87% of consumers identifying pork with the slogan. As of 2005, the slogan is still used in marketing pork today, with some variations.

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