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pork

pork, flesh of swine prepared as food, one of the principal commodities of the meatpacking industry. Pork has long been a staple food in most of the world, although religious taboos have limited its use, especially among Jews and Muslims. It is sold either as fresh meat or as ham, bacon, sausage, lard, or a variety of other products. The fresh pork and the choicest cured products are taken from smooth carcasses weighing from 240 to 400 lb (110–180 kg). Fresh pork is sold either chilled or frozen. Pork may be cured either by injecting it with a brine or by rubbing it with a mixture of salt, sugar, and other chemicals (the dry method). The skin and fat of fresh pork should be white, and the flesh should be clear, pink, and fine-grained. The principal fresh cuts are hams, loins, spareribs, shoulders, butts, and feet. The brains, snout, ears, jowls, tail, and tongue are ground up and often used in combination with other meat products.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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