Below we detail just some of the many food products that are derived from pigs. Little is wasted when a pig is killed and this explains their popularity in historic times when most homes would have had a pig. If this had been killed in November it would have provided fresh meat until Christmas with ham, bacon and lardie cakes for the rest of the year.
The pig provides a wide range of quality food products that find their way into our shops. Nowadays many of these products are in the form of processed products that come prepackaged with other ingredients for convenience. Pigs are bred to produce lean "low fat" meat which is the choice of the consumer.
Black pudding is an early processed food with formal recipes for its use dating back to 1600. Typically made with pigs blood and liver and mixed with cereal filling, black pudding provides a nutritious food.
A large leg of (boned) pork provides an excellent value sunday roast that will often provide other meals in the form of curries and simple fry ups. Choice cuts of pork meat like this are much cheaper kg for kg than comparable lamb and beef joints.
One of the principle products of the pig is ham. Hams are cooked and prepared under a number of traditional recipes and today they are often supplied vacuum packed and eaten within a few days of produce. In times past many of the traditional ham recipes were designed to preserve the meat in a tasty way so that a large piece of meat could be stored in a larder or cellar for consumption some months later.
Smoked bacon, a traditional feature of the cooked English breakfast and now the "all day" breakfast. Eating bacon with beans throughout the day is nothing new however as fourteenth century cookery books provide guides to the preparation of this meal!
Pork sausages traditionally included many local ingredients but with the rise of food processing in the 1960's pork sausages became rather plain and standardised. Recently there has been a revival in sausage making and sausages are now produced under a large number of recipes.
Pig meat in the form of ham is a common constituent of many prepared meals like this tagliatelle. Many Italian dishes use ham in the preparation of pasta and pizza dishes.
This pork pate has been prepared and packed into a convenient portion. Vacuum packing of meat products like this provides longevity of freshness and allows smaller portions to be sold. Below are a number of additional products containing pig meat. Scotch eggs, pork pies, pizzas, hot dogs and spam are just some examples that illustrate the wide diversity of food products that are derived from the pig.