SJMarketOct2017
Martins Apple Chips
Kitchener Market 2017

Pork

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Preview of Pork

Available

January 1 - December 31

Harvest Period

January 1 - December 31

In 1539, Hernando de Soto, the Spanish explorer, landed near Tampa Bay, Florida with 13 pigs. It was common practice on exploratory expeditions to transport domesti­cated pigs in the ships’ stores and liberate them in new lands so that they could reproduce and provide food for future travellers. As pigs were not native to the Americas, the wild razorbacks we know today are the ancestors of those first European releases.

Storage

Since pork is highly perishable, it should always be kept at cold temperatures, either refrigerated or frozen. Store the meat in the original packaging, if it is still intact and secure, as this will reduce the amount of handling involved. Pork can be stored for up to 3 days in the refrigerator (check best before date if fresh pork is bought) or 6 months in the freezer.

Preparation

Years ago, consumers were concerned about trichinosis in pork and would therefore overcook it. Today, as a result of changes in the pig’s diets, trichinosis has become obsolete in Canadian pork, allowing it to be safely cooked to a medium 160°F (70°C) for a juicy and tender product. Indeed, if it is overcooked, the new leaner meat tends to dry out and be tough. The exception is ground pork and sausage, which like all ground meats, should be cooked thoroughly.

Nutritional Information

Although traditional pork dishes were awash in fat, today’s pork is leaner than ever due to improvements in feeding and breeding. It is an excellent source of phosphorous, magnesium, zinc, thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3) and vitamin B6, The leanest cuts of pork are the tenderloin, boneless loin roast and loin chops, and boneless ham.

3 ounces (85g) of roasted centre loin pork provides 169 calories, 7.7g fat, 0g carbohydrate, 0g fibre and 23.4g protein.

How to Use

Pork can be roasted, grilled, pan fried, stir fried, braised and stewed depending on the cut.  See Ontario pork’s website (www.putporkonyourfork.com) for more information on how to prepare different cuts of pork.  This meat is very versatile, pairing well with other Ontario products like apples, pears, thyme, honey and maple syrup.

Breeds

In Canada, four main breeds dominate the pork industry. The Canadian Yorkshire, the most popular breed is all white with erect ears. These pigs are known to grow quickly, have many piglets, and produce very lean, high quality pork. Landrace pigs, originating in Scandinavia, are also white and muscular but with droopy ears and are commonly crossed with other breeds. Hampshires are black and white pigs, known for fast growth, exceptional muscling, and really lean pork. Finally, Duroc pigs originating in the US are solid red with drooping ears.

Heritage breeds like Duroc and Black Berkshire are currently being promoted as gourmet pork.