Beef. In selecting beef, choose that of a fine smooth grain, of a rich red color, with cream-colored or pale yellow fat. If the lean portion is of a pale color, then it is probably cut from a diseased or a poorly nourished animal, while if of a very dark color, then the animal was not in good condition when killed, or had not been slaughtered. The best beef has a mottled appearance with fat, little odor, and that not unpleasant. Meat should not be moist and watery, and if properly cooked it should not shrink or waste greatly.

One test of the good quality of meat is the condition of the tongue; if this be clean skinned, plump, with the fat at the root inclining to a pinky white, the flesh will be tender and in condition ; but if, on the contrary, it be rough, dark, and with dead white fat the meat will be tasteless and hard.

Veal is the flesh of the calf. It is at its best when the calf is three to four months old, when the meat should be of a close fine grain, white in color, with the fat inclining to a pinkish tinge. The kidney should be small, free from discoloration, and wrapped in plenty of firm white fat. Like all young meat, veal very rapidly turns sour, so must be cooked speedily. The head should be firm and clean skinned, the eyes clear and full, the liver a dark rich clear color, free from any spots, while the sweetbreads should be plump, of a delicate color, and free from strings. Veal is not considered to be very digestible, and if it is very young it contains little nourishment.

It stands lowest among heat producing meat, and for that reason requires to be eaten with rice, potatoes, bacon, etc.; these also help to redeem its lack of flavor. If veal is cooked slowly and thoroughly, it is a most useful meat, and will furnish quite a variety of tasty dishes.

Mutton. The lean should be finely grained and a clear, dark red, with the bones small. The fat should be clear, white, and very hard. Mutton stands next to beef in nutritive qualities, and for some people it is of more value as food because it is more easily digested, its fibers being shorter and more tender. It has, however, a strong flavor. Age has a great deal to do with the quality of the mutton. From four to five years old is the best age for killing, but the sheep are generally killed between two and three years of age.

Lamb is immature meat, needs thorough cooking, and does not keep well. It is paler in color than mutton, and the fat is pearly white and should have no tinge of yellow. When lamb is fresh, the veins in the neck end of the forequarter have a bluish tinge, and when stale these develop a greenish hue. In the hindquarters the kidneys and the fat round them should be examined; if they are flabby, with an unpleasant smell, the meat is stale.

Pork. To be delicate, pork must be small and not too fat. The fat should be very firm and white, the lean a delicate brownish pink, close grained, firm textured, and free from any kind of spots or kernels, these always denoting the presence of one or other of the parasites with which the flesh of pigs is specially liable to become infested. Pork contains an excess of fat, and is the one meat which is rendered more wholesome with salting. Never buy it in warm weather; an old but wise rule is to permit it on the table only in those months that have an " R " in their spelling. The skin must not be too thick, and it must be elastic and smooth.

Sucking pigs should be small, and are at their best when about four weeks old. A sucking pig should be cooked as soon as possible after it is killed, as it taints quickly ; unless very fresh, no care in the cooking will make the crackling crisp and delicious as it should be.

Bacon must be fresh and free from any unpleasant odor. The grain should be fine, the lean of a bright pink, and the fat firm and white. There should be as little gristle as possible. Bacon varies much in price, according to cut and quality.

Ham. Choose a short thick leg with a moderate amount of fat. The rind should be rather thin and the bone fine. In selecting a ham always run a pointed knife or skewer in close to the bone; when withdrawn it should not be greasy nor have a disagreeable strong smell but, on the contrary, be clean and have a good flavor. Hams vary in price according to the manner of curing and special reputation.

Suet. This must be very fresh and of the best quality. The solid fat which surrounds the kidney, either beef or mutton, is considered the best. Beef suet should be cream colored or pale yellow, not deep yellow, or it will be oily and difficult to chop fine. Mutton suet should be of waxy whiteness, and very firm, hard, and dry. Veal suet is particularly delicate. Any kernels which show themselves when suet is cut through should be removed immediately, as well as any parts discolored with blood, as these, if left, will decompose and taint the rest.

Livers and Kidneys and all inside meats such as tripe, sweetbreads, etc., must be chosen carefully and used at once. Livers and kidneys should be fresh, firm textured, and free from smell, and from all specks or discoloration. All kinds of kidneys must be skinned before cooking, and the white inside tube removed.

Venison is the flesh of the deer. The lean should be finely grained and dark in color; this depends on its being well hung, as it should be. The fat should be plentiful, firm, and of a clear, creamy white color. The age of the animal can be judged by the hoof; in the young animal the flesh is small and smooth, while in the older one it has become deeper and rougher. Deer should be from four to five years old to be in first-class condition. The finest joint for roasting is the haunch. The loin and neck are also good roasting pieces. The shoulder and breast are better stewed or made into a ragout or pasty. Steaks are cut from the leg and chops from the neck or loin.