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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 22

Ham and Bacon Curing

Ham and Bacon Curing.

To the above industries should be added that of ham and bacon curing. There are two or three extensive bacon curing establishments in Canterbury and the northern districts, where the business has been extended into highly profitable Undertakings, Mr Bowron gives excellent advice and information, in the report from which I have previously quoted, relative to the selection of pigs and the method of feeding. He says: "If the feed is wrong, all the best arrangements and appliances can never make good bacon. York "hams for flavour and quality are held in high repute all over the world, and this is mainly attributed to the mode by which the pigs are fed. The curing process is exceedingly simple, and the hams will keep for years without any deterioration, and retain their fine flavour to the last."

In regard to the cure of bacon in New Zealand Mr Bowron says:—Ice may be said to be out of the question; but the refrigerator is preferable to ice. A chamber of 70degs. Fahr. can be reduced to 30deg. Fahr. zero, in twenty minutes. In hot weather a chamber reduced to about 40deg. Fahr. is all that is required. By this method the trade in bacon would be revolutionized, and a quality second to none would be manufactured for the markets. It is clear that a large remunerative trade may be done in bacon fed and cured well." To show the value of the freezing process he states:—"After pork has been in salt twelve days, four sides may be placed in a box with a little salt, and shipped off to England. In fact, the bacon would cure on the way; all that would be required is a chamber with a temperature of from 40degs. to 50degs. Fahr." He says again, New Zealand is as fine as any climate in the world for breeding and feeding pigs, and bacon will at no distant date form an important. part of colonial merchandise and a source of wealth. The quantity of bacon imported into the United Kingdom for 1880 and 1881, was 8,222,713 cwts., valued at £3 10s per cwt. or 7 ½d per lb."