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Pork Barrel Pyrolysis: 1937

Pork Barrel Pyrolysis: 1937

Oct. 27, 1937. College Park, Maryland. "No longer is it necessary to age ham a year or so to obtain that sharp, pungent, cheesy flavor in the lean meat, so characteristic of Southern style ham. Speeding up nature, the Maryland Experiment Station, University of Maryland, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, has developed a process by which it is possible to produce some of these characteristic flavors in hams in relatively short time -- 6 to 10 weeks -- by holding them at temperatures from 107F to 125F in specially constructed incubator. The first step in the process is the thorough curing of the hams, three days being allowed for each pound of ham being cured. Mr. F.D. Carroll, of the Maryland Experiment Station, is shown with a few of the hams after they have been cured." Harris & Ewing Collection glass negative. View full size.

 

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RE: I think I'll pass

3 days per lb of ham x 10 lbs = 30 days (4 weeks). If the hams averaged 15-20 lbs each, that would be 45-60 days, or 6-8 weeks.

Today this kind of information is secret

A few years ago a guard in a golf cart chased me off a sidewalk alongside a public road through the Department of Agriculture property near College Park. This photo suggests why they don't want people getting close enough to look.

I'll think I'll pass

Raw pork stored at 107-125 degrees in a barrel for 6 to 10 weeks might be a little "high" at the end of maturation, don't you think?

Power of the Clean White Coat

That spotless white jacket is meant to draw attention away from the walls, floor and interior of the barrel.

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