Pork Dictionary

Pork Dictionary

The pig is famous for being able to be used “nose to tail.” Here is a glossary related to all manner of pork products.

AMMERLANDER SCHINKEN

  • A dry-cured, typically smoked ham from Ammerland, North Germany.

ANDOUILLE SAUSAGE

  • Made with pork and/or pork byproducts stuffed into large intestines.  Associated with Cajun cooking. Product can be sold cooked or uncooked.  Andouille is a coined name and must be accompanied by a true product name, e.g., sausage  or “pudding” depending on formulation.  If beef is used, it must be shown in the product name, e.g., Beef Andouille Sausage.

BACON

For Bacon and Pork Sausage, Arkansas or Arkansas-Style Bacon, Canned Bacon, and Beef and Pork Bacon, see Bacon Glossary.

  • The term bacon is used to describe the cured belly of a swine carcass. If meat from other portions of the carcass is used, the product name must be qualified to identify the portions, e.g., Pork Shoulder Bacon. “Certified” refers to products that have been treated for trichinae.

BERLINER

  • A cooked smoked sausage usually made from coarsely cut cured pork in large casings. When beef is used, it shall not exceed 50 per cent of the meat block.  Pork stomachs or beef tripe not permitted.

BERLINER BLOOD SAUSAGE

  • A cooked blood sausage containing diced bacon.  After cooking it is dried and smoked. Ham fat, snouts, and lips are not permitted.

BIER SCHINKEN (German)

  • The literal translation is “Beer Ham.”  If product is made of all pork, it may be labeled Bier Schinken.

BLOOD PUDDING

  • See Blood Sausage

BLOOD  SAUSAGE

  • A cooked sausage formulated with blood and some meat.  Usually contains pork skins and/or pork jowls.   May also contain sweet pickled ham fat, snouts, and lips. If the product does not contain meat, it must be labeled as Blood Pudding.

BOCKWUST

  • German sausage invented by R. Scholtz of Berlin in 1889. Made from veal and pork with a natural casing. Traditionally eaten with bock beer.

BOSTON BUTT

  • Area of meat that comes from the pork shoulder. Also known as “Boston-Style,” and “Picnic Ham.” As stated in the Boston Globe, May 7, 2006, “A Boston butt doesn’t come from the back of the pig, but rather from the shoulder…In Colonial times, the shoulders were packed into “butts” – the word for barrels – for shipping or storage.”

BRATWURST

  • Also called brats. Fresh or cured sausage made form veal, pork, or beef. The names comes from the German verb braten which means “to pan fry or roast.”

BUTIFARRA or BOTIFARRA

  • Sausage from Catalan cuisine.
    • RAW BOTIFARRA – simply grilled or barbecued.
    • BLACK BOTIFARRA – containing boiled pork blood.
    • WHITE BOTIFARRA – contains no blood.

CALABRESE

  • A spicy salami originating in Southern Italy.  Usually made entirely of pork seasoned with hot peppers.

CAPACOLLO, COOKED (Capicola, Capocolla, Capacola, Capicollo, Cappicola, Capacolo)

  • Boneless pork shoulder butts which are cured and then cooked.  The curing process may be dry curing, immersion curing, or pump curing.  The cured product is coated with spices and paprika before cooking.  This product shall always be labeled with “Cooked” as part of the product name.  Water added is permitted.

CASINGS

  • The material that encases sausage. Can be natural or artificial. Natural casings come from the intestines from pig, sheep, goat, and cattle, where the outer fat and inner lining have been removed. Natural casings are distinguishable by their appearance and are preferred to artificial casings due to their ability to breathe and allow the smoking and cooking flavors to infuse the meat. Artificial casings may or may not be edible, and can be made from collagen, cellulose, or other materials. Some sausages are cured with artificial casings when the consumer is intending to peel it from the meat. Newer casings allow flavors to flow to meat during processing.

CAUL FAT

  • The fat surrounding the digestive organs. It most often used in charcuterie and for wrapping lean meats for roasting.

CENTER SLICE: In Reference to Ham

  • When the term center slice is used on labels for slices of ham from smoked and cooked, smoked, or water cooked hams, product must be sliced from an area of the original ham positioned about 1 inch on each side of a center cut.

CERVELAT

  • A cured and cooked sausage, often a semi-dry or dry summer sausage.  Like a frankfurter, but with more texture and a smokier flavor.

CHICHARRONES

  • The Spanish name for fried pork skins. Also see “Cracklings.”

CHITTERLINGS / CHITLINS

  • The small intestines of a pig.

CHOPS, PORK

  • Cut of pork that is cut perpendicularly to the spine and typically containing a rib in the portion; available as bone-in and boneless.
    • CENTER CUT CHOPS – similar to a beef T-Bone steak.
    • RIB CHOPES – similar to a beef Ribeye steak.
    • BLADE CHOPES – comes from the spine area.
    • SIRLOIN CHOPS – comes from the leg end.
    • IOWA CHOPS – thick cut chops, originating from Iowa and created by the Iowa Pork Producers Association.
    • BACON CHOPS – pork chops containing pork belly meat.

CHORIZO

  • Spanish or Portuguese (chourico). Pork sausage with natural casings. Made with chopped pork, pork fat, and smoked paprika, Spanish pimento, or red pepper. Can be sweet or spicy, and smoked or unsmoked. The Portuguese version typically contains wine.

COTECHINO

  • Pork skin sausage similar to salami. From Italy.

CRACKLINGS

  • Pork rinds; the skin or rind of a pig. See also “Chicarrones.”

CUMBERLAND SAUSAGE

  • Traditionally from Cumberland, England, Cumberland sausagaes are long, circular sausages made of pork and flavored with pepper (spices – black pepper and white pepper are used), herbs, and depending on how fine the meat is processed, it will have a smoother or chunkier texture.

CUTLETS

  • Pork cutlets may consist of pork temple meat, inside masseter muscles, and small pieces of lean from the tip of pork jaws. These are flattened and knitted together in cutlet size products by means of cubing or Frenching machines, or by hand pounding with cubing hammers.  The term cutlet relates to thin slices of meat.  They can be identified as sliced pork meat product when the designation clearly states the specific part of the carcass from which the meat in the product is derived, such as “pork loin cutlets”.

FATBACK

  • Cut of pork containing a layer of fat under the skin of the back, with or without the skin (the pork rind). Fatback can be rendered out to make lard. Fatback is used in making salt pork. The second highest grade of lard, it is a ‘hard fat.’

FRIZZES

  • Dry Italian sausage, typically air dried and unsmoked. Made from pork, beef, and flavored with peppercorns.

GENOA SALAMI

  • It is prepared with all pork or with a mixture of pork and a small amount of beef. The meat is given a coarse grind and enclosed in a natural casing.  No smoke is used in its preparation.

GOTEBORG

  • A Swedish dry sausage made of coarsely chopped beef and sometimes pork.  Mildly seasoned with thyme.  It has a somewhat salty flavor and is heavily smoked, usually in long casings and air dried.

GOTHAER CERVELAT

  • Originated in Gotha, Germany. Usually made of very lean pork finely chopped and cured.

HAM

For specific ham products, like Westphalian, Smithfield, Scotch-Style, Shankless, Prusciutto di Parma, Capacollo/Capacolla, and others, see the Ham Glossary

  • HAM, FRESH (or uncured):
    • The uncured leg of pork. Since the meat is not cured or smoked, it has the flavor of a fresh pork loin roast or pork chops. Its raw color is pinkish red and after cooking, grayish white. Ham that does not contain a cure must be labeled either “Fresh” or “Uncured” – prepared without nitrate or nitrite. This also applies to cooked product, and must be labeled cooked product “Cooked Uncured Ham.”
  • COUNTRY HAM, COUNTRY STYLE HAM, or DRY CURED HAM, and COUNTRY PORK SHOULDER, COUNTRY STYLE PORK SHOULDER, or DRY CURED PORK SHOULDER:
    • The uncooked, cured, dried, smoked or unsmoked meat food products made respectively from a single piece of meat conforming to the definition of “ham,” or from a single piece of meat from a pork shoulder. They are prepared by the dry application of salt or by salt and one or more optional ingredients: nutritive sweeteners, spices, seasonings, flavorings, sodium or potassium nitrate, and sodium or potassium nitrite. They may not be injected with curing solutions nor placed in curing solutions. The product must be treated for the destruction of possible live trichinae.

HOCKS

  • The joint between the tibia/fibula and the metatarsals of the pig’s foot. Often found smoked, and is used in stewed and braised dishes. Even though it is often called ‘ham hocks,’ it is actually the extreme shank end of the leg bone.

ITALIAN STYLE SAUSAGE

  • Sausage containing anise or fennel, and at least three of the following: basil, marjoram, oregano, garlic, or olive oil.

ITALIAN STYLE SMOKED SAUSAGE

  • Sausage containing anise or fennel, and at least three of the following: basil, marjoram, oregano, garlic, or olive oil, and smoked.

KIELBASA

  • A Central and Eastern European sausage that is cured, cooked, and usually smoked, and is made from coarsely ground pork or coarsely ground pork with added beef or mutton. Depending on the region it is made, it could be flavored with caraway, garlic, hot peppers, herbs such as marjoram, and others. It is also found unsmoked, or “fresh.”

LARD

  • Pig fat that may or may not be rendered. Because of its very high smoke point (390 degrees F) and distinctive flavor, lard is popular cooking fat for deep fat frying and for baking.

LARDON

  • Small strip or cube of pork fat.

LEAF LARD

  • Highest grade of lard obtained form the ‘flare’ visceral fat deposit surrounding the kidneys and inside the loin. It has very little flavor making it ideal for culinary usage, such as baked goods.

LINGUICA

  • Portuguese sausage seasoned with garlic and paprika, and typically flavored with any of the following: cumin seeds, garlic, paprika, vinegar, nonfat milk powder, and other items.

LOIN, PORK

  • Primal Cut. Top part of the pig. The following cuts are from this part: blade loin roasts, sirloin, center loin, pork cutlets, pork chops, pork loin crown roast, pork tenderloin.

LONGANIZA

  • Spanish sausage similar to chorizo and linguica. It differs from chorizo in that it contains black pepper instead of paprika. Depending on the region, it may contain anise seeds and be mildly sweet, or contain garlic and be almost sour.

LOUKANIKO

  • Greek pork sausage typically flavored with orange peel, fennel, herbs, and seeds. It is sometimes smoked.

METTWURST

  • Strongly flavored German sausage made from raw minced pork. Cured and smoked; the longer the smoking the firmer the sausage.

MORTADELLA

  • Italian sausage made from finely ground pork with at least 15% small cubes of pork fat. Typically contains the following spices: myrtle berries, nutmeg, pistachios, peppers, or olives.

PEPPERONI

  • Dry sausage similar to salami made of pork, or pork and beef. Pepperoni is typically flavored with items such as peppers, garlic, fennel, mustard seeds – all used in different combinations to achieve different spiciness levels.

PETIT SALE

  • In French cuisine, it is salted pork that is brined.

PICNIC or PORK SHOULDER, PICNIC

  • See Boston Butt. A front shoulder cut of pork. The term “picnic” cannot be used unless accompanied with the primal or subprimal cut. Pork shoulder picnic is not always a cured item. A shoulder “picnic” comes from the lower portion of the shoulder.

POLISH SAUSAGE

  • See Kielbasa.

PORK BELLY

PRIMAL CUT

  • The initial cuts made on the pig during butchering. The pork primal cuts are: shoulder (butt or blade), loin, shoulder, spare ribs or belly (sometimes called ‘side’), and ham or leg.

PROSCIUTTO

  • Italian for ham, dry cured. The product name “Prosciutto” is acceptable on labeling to identify a dry-cured ham. An Italian-style dry cured raw ham; not smoked; often coated with pepper. Prosciutto can be eaten raw because the low water content prevents bacterial growth.
    • PARMA HAM is prosciutto from the Parma locale in Italy, in accordance to Italian Law which defines the denomination of origin, territorial limits, product characteristic, and manufacture. These hams tend to be larger than the U.S. produced product, as Italian hogs are larger at slaughter.

PULLED PORK

  • Cooked pork that has been pulled apart.

SALAMI

  • Cured sausage, fermented, and air dried – and containing a mixture of meats, including pork, beef, venison, poultry, and others. It has a characteristic mottled look to the meat.
    • GENOA SALAMI – salami with a moisture protein ratio of no more than 2.3:1.
    • SICILIAN SALAMI – salami with a moisture protein ratio of no more than 2.3:1.
    • COTTO SALAMI – mildly flavored, with visible pieces of peppercorns.
    • HARD SALAMI – salami with a moisture protein ratio of 1.9:1.

SALO

  • Eastern European cuisine, it is cured slabs of fatback, with or without the skin attached. While sometimes translated as ‘bacon,’ It is non necessarily bacon-cured.

SALT PORK

  • Salt-cured pork coming from one of three primal cuts: pork side, pork belly, or fat back.

SHOULDER, PORK

  • Primal cut. See Boston Butt.

SPARERIBS or SPARE RIBS

  • CENTER CUT – Pork spareribs with the loin portion – the brisket, the tail, and two ribs from the shoulder are removed.
  • ST. LOUIS STYLE – Same as above, except that the sternum and the ventral portion of the costal cartilages are removed with the flank portion.

STREAK OF LEAN or STREAK O’ LEAN

  • Fatback with some meat still attached. Typically salt cured and sold in blocks, and resembles bacon.

SUCKLING PIG

  • The whole body of a young pig ranging in age from two to 6 weeks.

TROTTERS

  • Pigs feet.

WESTPHALIAN HAM or WESTPHALIAN-STYLE HAM

WHOLE  HOG SAUSAGE

  • Sausage; must contain all primal parts of a hog. Heart and tongue, in natural proportions, are permitted when declared in the ingredients. Other meat byproducts are not permitted.

Resources:

Some definitions adapted from Food Standards and Labeling Policy Book, USDA.

Renee Shelton’s love for tri tip almost surpasses her love for cake. When she’s not tasting BBQ, she can be found at Pastry Sampler.
Dedicated to the art of grilling, smoking, and barbecuing.