Domestic Pig, also referred to as a swine or hog, is a farm animal that is raised and slaughtered for meat. Pig meat is called pork and is often made into bacon. Pigs are often pink, but when small these can be of other colors as well. Pig meat is sold in smaller cuts. Much smaller piglets (Suckling Pigs) are, however, slaughtered between the ages of 2 to 4 weeks and cooked and served whole. Since pork is usually a hard meat, except for a few very tender and fatty cuts, slow-cooking is the most preferred cooking method.
Meat obtained from domestic pigs is consumed almost everywhere in the world. Some cultures, however, have religious dietary laws that restrict pork consumption. The flesh,bines, hide and bristles are also fashioned to make articles for human use and pigs are also reared as pets by some.
History of Domestic Hog
The practice of domesticating pigs for their meat can be traced back to as early as 5000 BC. It is believed that pigs or wild boars are the earliest domesticated livestock. Domestic Pigs were mostly used for food. Pork has been an important meat in almost all cuisines of the world since the ancient times. Various cookbooks from all eras have been dedicated to this meat. Charcuterie is a branch of cooking that is entirely devoted to pork products like ham, bacon, sausages, etc. It is interesting to note that before pork was mass-produced and re-engineered (in the 20th century), it was traditionally an autumn dish.
Culinary Uses of Domestic Swine
Flesh from a Domestic Pig is used in a wide array of preparation everywhere in the world. The meat is grilled, braised, slow-cooked, baked, fried, smoked, etc., and then either consumed on its own or added to more elaborate dishes. Pork is made into soups and stews and used in casseroles, salads, sandwiches, omelets, etc. Meat obtained from pigs is also processed and made into salamis, sausages, bacon, rashers, ham, etc.
Cuts Obtained from Domestic Pigs
Main cuts obtained from a Domestic Pig include spare ribs, trotters loin, shoulder butt, rib joint, head, belly, legs, knuckles and intestines, to name a few. Almost all organs of a pig are used in one way or the other. In Asian cooking, pork meat and cuts are included extensively in dishes. It is an ages old belief to ensure that all parts of a slaughtered or hunted pig must be used.
Domestic Pigs Trivia
Pigs have highly sensitive noses and these often lead them to truffles. A domestic pig, among many other jobs, is also often entrusted with the task of leading humans to the highly valued fungus.