Pork comes from pigs and is sold in grocery stores, butcher shops and farmers markets. Many different cuts of pork come from the pig. They have varying flavors and uses.
Shoulder or Picnic
The shoulder, or picnic, is the meat that surrounds the shoulder arm bone and shank bone. The meat is used for ground pork, sausage and hocks. It is sold fresh or smoked.
The Boston butt (also known as shoulder butt) is the meat that surrounds that shoulder blade bone. The cuts of meat that come from the Boston butt are butt steaks, shoulder roasts, smoked daisy, and small cuts used for ground pork and sausage.
The loin is the meat that surrounds the rib bones, backbone, and hip bone. The cuts of meat that come from the loin are loin roast, pork chops, loin rib chops, boneless loin, country-style ribs, and Canadian-style bacon.
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The ham is the meat that surrounds the leg bone and hind shank bone. The cuts of meat that come from the ham are fresh ham, smoked ham, and ham steaks.
The belly is the meat that comes directly from the underside of the pig. The cuts of meat that come from the belly are bacon and pork belly (Jowl bacon may be made from cuts available near the neck area).
The spareribs are the meat surrounding the rib bones and breastbone.
- "Professional Cooking Fifth Edition;" Wayne Gisslen; 2003
- Pork Cuts Chart
Edward Rotchford has been freelance writing for over five years. Edward earned his degree in English-Writing at the University of Illinois-Chicago in 2003. His articles have appeared in "The Huffington Post" and have been referenced in such publications at "The New York Observer".