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Pork is the culinary name for meat from the domestic pig (Sus domesticus). Pork is the meat of pigs usually slaughtered before they are one year old.The word pork often denotes specifically the fresh meat of the pig, but can be used as an all-inclusive term which includes cured, smoked, or processed meats (ham, bacon, prosciutto, etc.) Pork is the most widely eaten meat in the world. Pork is eaten in various forms, including cooked (as roast pork), cured or smoked (ham, including the Italian prosciutto) or a combination of these methods (gammon, bacon or Pancetta). It is also a common ingredient of sausages. Pork is popular throughout eastern Asia and the Pacific, where whole roast pig is a popular item in Pacific Island cuisine. It is consumed in a great many ways and highly esteemed in Chinese cuisine. The colours of the meat and the fat of pork are regarded as more appetizing, while the taste and smell are described as sweeter and cleaner. It is also considered easier to digest. Most of the carcass can be used to produce fresh meat and in the case of a small pig , the whole body of a young pig ranging in age from two to six weeks is roasted. There are four basic (primal) cuts into which pork is separated: shoulder, loin, side and leg.

Pork head- as the name suggests, it refers to the head region of the pig. This can be used to make brawn, stocks and soups. After boiling, the ears can be fried or baked and eaten separately

Pork loin- The loin portion of the pig is eaten. This can be cured to give back bacon or Canadian-style bacon. The loin and belly can be cured together to give a side of bacon. The loin can also be divided up into roasts (blade loin roasts, center loin roasts, and sirloin roasts come from the front, center, or rear of the loin), back ribs (also called baby back ribs, or riblets), pork cutlets,etc.

Pork trotters- Both the front and hind trotters can be cooked and eaten, as can the tail.

Pork quarters-The hindquarter includes the rear legs and hip. The forequarter includes the neck, shoulder, front legs, and the ribs up to the shoulder blade.

Pork For Stew- Pork for stew consists of meaty pieces of pork with a small amount of fat, cut into one- to two-inch squares. It is usually prepared by braising or by cooking in liquid.

Pork chops-are cut from the rib, loin, and shoulder areas. The rib chops include a rib bone; the loin chops include only a chine bone
Ground Pork- Ground pork contains lean meat and trimmings from the leg, loin, rib, shoulder, flank, neck, breast, or shank. It is mechanically ground and sold in bulk or in patty form. Ground lamb is usually prepared by braising, broiling, grilling, panbroiling, panfrying, roasting, or baking.

How to select

When buying pork, look for cuts with a relatively small amount of fat over the outside and with meat that is firm and a grayish pink color. For best flavor and tenderness, meat should have a small amount of marbling. Be sure to always check the expiration date on the package to be sure you are getting the freshest product.

Culinary uses

" Pork curry, pork roast and pork fry are a few common recipes using pork.
" Add cooked or raw pork to soup or broth and simmer. If the pork is raw, simmer until the beef is cooked and tender.
" Stir-fry pork chops in hot oil until crispy. Add to tacos, burritos or other Mexican dishes. If the lamb is already cooked, it can be stir-fried to crisp and warm before adding to the dish.
" Lay pork on a sheet that has been prepared with a non-stick spray. Bake in an oven for about 350 degrees until it is cooked. Turn the lamb midway during cooking, when golden brown on top. Add the meat to casseroles or other dishes
" Pork can be roasted whole or as steaks. Wrap the raw pork chops or cubes in foil and lay on a hot barbecue grill or place in a heated smoker. First spray the inside of the foil with non-stick spray, or brush with olive oil. Turn the foil packet several times during cooking. Open the packet to test the meat for doneness.
" Pork cutlets and pork stew with vegetables may also be prepared with any choice of seasonings.
" Pork can also be prepared with regional flavours as pork Vindaloo, spicy pork masala, pork goan curry,etc.

How to store

Fresh pork must be stored properly to preserve its quality. Store fresh pork in the coldest part of the refrigerator or in the compartment designed for storing meat. Leave the meat in its original package. Fresh meat usually keeps best if loosely wrapped. If stored properly, most fresh pork can be kept in the refrigerator for three to five days.

Health benefits

" Pork is a good source of minerals such as zinc, selenium, phosphorus, iron, and B vitamins.
" It is recommended that consumers eat red meat sparingly as it has high levels of undesirable saturated fat.

Pork head
Pork hind loin
Pork trotters

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