Encyclopedia > Pork

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Pork is the meat of the pig. It is one of the most common meats among the Chinese, while being considered inedible in Islamic and Orthodox Jewish law. These traditional dietary restrictions may have been created to prevent trichinosis, which can be caught from undercooked pork.

Pork from the haunch of the pig is called ham. Other parts include pork shoulder, pork chops and pigs' feet. Sausage is often made from miscellaneous meats, and scrapple[?] is another aggregate meat-food derived from pigs. Pork intestines are called chitterlings (pronounced CHIT - linz).

Some pork products figured prominently in the traditional diets of southern African-Americans, such as pigs' feet 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, or [rear] haunch of the pig; pork shoulder, or front haunch, is also sometimes cured in this manner.

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