People tend to think that salt pork is bacon.
In fact, there are some slight differences between these two types of pork: salt pork is fattier, saltier and is cured by using salt instead of smoke like bacon.
In the past, salt pork is an ideal ingredient for sailors and other travelers to deal with winter time while butter and fresh meat are hard to find.
Nowadays, it is an essential part of many traditional English dishes such as clam chowder or pizza.
In this post, we will talk about the nutrition in salt pork, standards of good salt pork and best places for buying salt pork so you have a good reference for your upcoming meals.
How Much Calories Is in Salt Pork?
Salt pork is made from the pork side, pork belly or fatback of the pigs.
According to the NutritionValue, in 100 grams of cooked salt pork, there is a total of 748 calories.
The breakdown of nutrition in 100 grams of salt pork is as below:
- Total Fat amount is about 81g, taking up to 104% of the Daily value
- Cholesterol amount is 86 mg, contributing to 29% of your daily diet
- Sodium takes up to 2684 mg, taking up to 117% in comparison with your daily meals, which is a bit high
- Protein amount is about 5.1g, equaling to 10% of your daily meals
Besides the high cholesterol level, there are a list of protein and vitamins that the salt-cured pork provides:
- Saturated fat: make up to 50% of the cell membranes, and encourage the stiffness and integrity
- Iron: help to increase the oxygen in your blood, create serotonin to regulate your mood
- Vitamin D: support immune health, muscle function and brain cell activity
- Potassium: help to regulate the fluid balance, reduce the blood pressure and prevent stroke
How to Choose the Best Salt Pork?
The fresh salt pork has a firm texture, colors ranging from brownish to redish and have a distinct smell of salted food.
There are also several categories to base on and pick the best quality salt pork:
1. The Cut of Meat
Salt pork is made from different parts of pigs, whether the side meat (strips of fat and meat combination), the pork belly (fattier than side meat) or the fatback meat (fat and meat are separated, the fat part is thick).
Depending on the cooking purposes, you can decide which part is good for you.
2. The Salt They Use for Curing Pork
If you prefer the meat with mild saltiness, then salted-cured meat by using crystal sea salts will be the better option than the meat cured by brining liquid.
If you cure the meat yourself, it’s a good idea to consider using Himalaya pink salt to reduce the porky smell and increase the distinct flavor of your meat.
Where to Buy Salt Pork?
Similar to buying other types of meat, you have a range of options to choose from:
Finding a closed local butcher is important for getting high quality salt pork.
Once you know that their pork is fresh and comes from reliable suppliers, then chances are their salt pork will have good quality.
Buying salt pork from the supermarket is also an option to consider.
The bright side is that: the pork has labeled with the claims “USDA print”, “no preservative” or “No MSG”, which customers can scan through and pick their favorite.
However, they won’t know the exact source where the salt pork comes from.
Salt pork is now available on Walmart, Amazon or Target with different serving sizes and different types.
The product nutrition and the labels are captured and shown on the product page as well, which gives you useful information about the product.
This shopping channel brings huge convenience for busy people.
Instead of purchasing, some people also decide to make salt pork their own as the curing process is not that complicated: rub the piece of pork with salt, cover it and leave it in the fridge for several days until it’s cooked.
There are a lot of mouth-watering dishes that can be made using salt pork.
We will cover it in another article, wait for it!