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. While it is one of the
most common meats eaten by the Chinese and Europeans, it
is considered inedible under Islamic and Orthodox Jewish
Retail Cuts of Fresh
There are four basic
(primal) cuts into which pork is separated: shoulder,
loin, side and leg.
- Shoulder Butt, Roast
- Blade Steak
- Boneless Blade Boston
- Smoked Arm Picnic
- Smoked Hock
- Ground Pork for
- Spare Ribs/Back Ribs
- Boneless Whole Loin
- Loin Roast
- Sirloin Roast
- Country Style Ribs
or Smoked and Cured
Other parts include pigs'
feet. Sausage is often made from miscellaneous meats, and
scrapple is another aggregate meat-food derived from pigs.
Pork intestines are called chitterlings or chitlings. Some
pork products figured prominently in the traditional diets
of southern African-Americans, such as pigs' feet, hog
jowls, and other parts not wanted by whites, because they
were a) available to them and b) affordable for the very
poor. (See soul food).
Pork products are often
cured by salt
(pickling) and smoking. The portion most often given this
treatment is the ham; pork shoulder, or front haunch, is
also sometimes cured in this manner.
Pork must be adequately
cooked to eliminate disease-causing parasites and bacteria
that may be present. Humans may contract trichinosis
(caused by the parasite, Trichinella spiralis) by
eating undercooked pork. Much progress has been made in
reducing trichinosis in grain-fed hogs and human cases
have greatly declined since 1950. Today's pork can be
enjoyed when cooked to a medium internal temperature of
160 °F or a well-done internal temperature of 170 °F.
Some other foodborne
micro-organisms that can be found in pork, as well as
other meats and poultry, are Escherichia coli, Salmonella,
Staphylococcus aureus and Listeria monocytogenes.
They are all destroyed by proper handling and thorough
cooking to an internal temperature of 160 °F.
contains fats, when cooked the fats partially liquefy.
These rendered fats are flammable. Water drops coming in
contact with hot grease or fat may cause splattering and
possible burns. Appropriate fire and personal safety
measures should be taken when cooking pork or any other