Pork Key facts Pork is the term used to describe fresh or cured meat, so encompasses ham, bacon and prosciutto. Evidence of pork rearing dates back to 5000 BC. Pork accounts for 38% of the world's meat production but is taboo in both Islam and Judaism.

Pork – leg: Leg of pork is the most popular roasting joint, but because of its size it mostly has to be sold in two, or else boned and rolled without the knuckle. This cut promises the most lean meat and lots of crunchy crackling but not, I think, such a sweet flavour as other cuts of pork.

Pork loin and chops: Loin of pork is a prime roasting joint (and the best one for lots of crackling), equivalent in the anatomy of the animal to the sirloin and ribs of beef. This is best bought on the bone, but the butcher must chine it for you – that is, loosen the bone yet leave it attached so it can easily be cut away before carving. The best pork chops come from the hind loin.

Pork – ribs: Spare rib is sometimes sold as individual chops. It is actually the collar of the animal and, when roasted, is full of flavour. It is a great bargain price cut for barbequing or roasting in a piquant, spicy sauce.

Pork fillet or tenderloin: This delightfully quick-cooking lean cut comes from the animal's lower back. It is perfect for making a very fast luxury meal.

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