cured meat

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cured meat

meat which has been treated with salt and nitrate or nitrite. The salt dehydrates the meat, the nitrate releases nitrous acid which converts myoglobin to nitrosomyoglobin which has an attractive pink color when cooked. The cooking process converts the nitrosomyoglobin to nitrosohemochrome. Salted meat is produced by simply adding salt.
Bacon, ham and other specialty cured meats are put through additional processes, especially smoking, to achieve special effects. See also bacon curing, pickling.