Tuesday, August 18, 2009
China has a ham industry, a bit like Spain's. I've mentioned this before.
Their Jinhua hams are made from a special breed of pig, the 兩頭烏 ("two ends black"), which looks a lot like a Swabian Hall. You can see more traditional Chinese breeds here (well worth the look).
Here you can see photos showing how they produce the hams. It looks a lot like how they produce Iberico and Mangalitsa on the other side of Eurasia.
This photo reminds me of the "bacon coat" I've read about in my book on Mangalitsa, from Hungary. They mention a way of cutting the fatback and belly off the pig, in one piece. It is called a "bacon coat". The book says it gets cured in once piece. That's neat - you get the lardo and bacon on one big slab.
I'm not sure if the woman is holding a "bacon coat" - but I think the part near her hand is the belly, while the stuff at the bottom looks like from the loin area.
One thing I notice about the 兩頭烏 pig is that it has very small hams. So although they are famous for their hams, there's not much ham on one of them. The Mangalitsa is similar - we killed some pigs of different weights recently. The difference between a 160# carcass and a 190# carcass is mostly in the fatback and the belly, not the legs.
Posted by Heath Putnam at 9:21 PM