Cured Meats Category
Including ham, cold cuts, sausages, and bacon.
Bacon is a very fatty slab taken from the underside of a pig. The bacon sold in markets is usually cured and smoked, but it's also possible to buy uncured fresh bacon = pork belly = side pork. Smoked bacon is often fried and served with eggs or in sandwiches, or it's sometimes wrapped around lean meats to keep them moist while they're cooking.Learn more
These eggplant-colored sausages are made of pig's blood mixed with fat, a filler like bread crumbs, and other flavorings that vary from region to region. They're usually sold precooked, but most people heat them before serving. Regional varieties include Germany's blutwurst, Louisiana's boudin rouge, and Spanish morcilla.Learn more
These are boneless hams that are sealed in a can and then cooked. They're not as flavorful as other kinds of ham, and they have a higher moisture content, which makes them more perishable. Store the unopened can in the refrigerator until you're ready to use it, and use leftovers within a week.Learn more
This is America's most popular ham, the kind that's pink, moist, and sweet. Fresh hams are soaked in brine (or injected with it) and then boiled or lightly smoked. Boneless hams = boned hams are easier to carve, but they're not as flavorful or attractive as bone-in hams. A good compromise is to buy a bone-in spiral-sliced ham, which combines good flavor and convenience, or a ham steak (pictured at right). City hams usually come fully cooked (check the label), but most people reheat them before serving.Learn more