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Bacon; Ayrshire

   A traditional way of curing bacon in South West Scotland; Great White pigs have been the preferred breed since the 17th century.

It's a wet cure, comprising salt, distilled vinegar, soft brown sugar and a little saltpetre, and unlike most curing methods, the skin and bones are both removed before brining. The legs produce hams, the shoulders boiling joints and the main carcass bacon. When making bacon, the cuts we generally call back and streaky are left intact, producing one long rasher. The joint is rolled and tied before brining. The resultant sliced 'cut' being known as Ayrshire Middle. The joints are either smoked over oak chips or left in their natural state.

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