It is not used as a “meat” in itself. It is used instead small chunks to provide flavour and mouth feel to recipes.
Salt Pork may come from the back, the belly or either side of the back of the pig. Occasionally it may have a streak or two of lean meat in it, particularly if it is cut from the belly of the pig.
Sometimes it may have rind with hairs on it.
Some people in North America say it’s the same cut as American bacon (aka streaky bacon), but unsmoked. It certainly is that way in some places these days, but traditionally it wasn’t at all. Traditionally, if there was a streak or two of any meat in it at all, you were lucky. It really was just all fat, and way cheaper than any kind of bacon. Now, though, with the increasing presence of meat in it, it is sometimes as expensive as bacon.
It is used a great deal in cooking in the American South, particularly in soups, bean dishes, and with cooked greens. In the American south, it was sometimes referred to as “white meat.”
Not the same as “fatback.”
Some advise to soak Salt Pork first before use to leach some of the salt out, but the saltiness really depends on who processed it.
Ham (though it is much leaner so the taste will be thinner and it will have a smoked taste that the recipe probably didn’t anticipate); unsmoked streaky bacon (available in the UK), or smoked streaky bacon (aka “regular bacon” in North America) blanched to remove some of the smoky taste, or fatback, with additional salt added to the recipe to compensate for the lack of salt in the fatback.
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