1. The leg, or ham; used for smoking. 2. The hind loin. 3. The fore loin. 4. The spare-rib; for roasting; sometimes including all the ribs. 5. The hand, or shoulder; sometimes smoked, and sometimes corned and boiled. 6. The belly, or spring, for coming or salting down. The feet are used for jelly, head-cheese, and souse.
In selecting Pork, if young, the lean can easily be broken when pinched, and the skin can be indented by nipping with the fingers. The fat also will be white and soft. Thin rind is best.
In selecting Hams, run a knife along the bone, and if it comes out clean, the ham is good; but if it comes out smeared, it is spoiled. Good bacon has white fat, and the lean adheres closely to the bone. If the bacon has yellow streaks, it is rusty, and not fit to use.
In selecting Poultry, choose those that are full grown, but not old. When young and fresh-killed, the skin is thin and tender, the joints not very stiff, and the eyes full and bright. The breast-bone shows the age, as it easily yields to pressure if young, and is tough when old. If young, you can with a pin easily tear the skin. A goose, when old, has red and hairy legs; but when young, they are yellow, and have few hairs. The pin-feathers are the roots of feathers, which break off and remain in the skin, and always indicate a young bird. When very neatly dressed, they are pulled out.
In selecting Fish, take those that are firm and thick, having stiff fins and bright scales, the gills bright red, and the eyes full and prominent. When fish are long out of water, they grow soft, the fins bend easily, the scales are dim, the gills grow dark, and the eyes sink and shrink away. Be sure and have them dressed immediately; sprinkle them with salt, and use them, if possible, the same day. In warm weather, put them in ice, or corning, for the next day.
Shell-fish can be decided upon only by the smell. Lobsters are not good unless alive, or else boiled before offered for sale. They are black when alive, and red when boiled. When to be boiled, they are to be put alive into boiling water, which is the quickest and least cruel way to end their life.