The story of bacon is set in the late 1800s and early 1900s when most of the important developments in bacon took place. The plotline takes place in the 2000s with each character referring to a real person and actual events. The theme is a kind of “steampunk” where modern mannerisms, speech, clothes and practices are superimposed on a historical setting. Modern people interact with old historical figures with all the historical and cultural bias that goes with this.
The work is far from complete, but with so many collaborators around the globe, I put this out for review and comment. So, to the curing industry, please fire away with the contributions and corrections.
My sincere thanks to each and every one of you!
Eben van Tonder
- Chapter 01.00: Bacon, my Teacher!
- Chapter 02.00: The Curing Molecule
- Chapter 03.00: Once upon a time in Africa
- Chapter 04.00: Dry Cured Bacon
- Chapter 05.00: Evaluation of Dry Curing with Saltpeter (with and without sugar)
- Chapter 06.00: Kolbroek
- Chapter 07.00: The Shambles
- Chapter 08.00: Seeds of War
- Chapter 09.00: Drums of Despair
- Chapter 10.00: The Greatest Adventure
- Chapter 11.00: Woody’s Bacon
- Chapter 12.00: The Denmark Letters
- Chapter 12.01.1: William Oakes Mild-Cured Bacon
- Chapter 12.01.2: Mild-Cured Bacon and the Curers of Wiltshire
- Chapter 12.02: The Danish Cooperative and the Beauty of Saltpeter
- Chapter 12.03: Minette’s Nitrogen-Chemistry Revision and other Adventures
- Chapter 12.04: The Saltpeter letter
- Chapter 12.05: The Polenski letter
- Chapter 12.06: From Sea to Deserts – Sal Ammoniac, Urine and Horse Sweat
- Chapter 12.07: Lauren Learns the Nitrogen Cycle
- Chapter 12.08: Von Liebig and the theory of proteins of Gerard Mulder
- Chapter 12.09: David Graaff’s Armour – A Tale of Two Legends.
- Chapter 13.00: The UK Letters
- Chapter 13.01: Lord Lansdowne!
- Chapter 13.02.01: Sweet Cured Harris Bacon!
- Chapter 13.02.02: Robert Henderson and the invention of the smokehouse
- Chapter 13.03: American ice houses for England: Year-round curing
- Chapter 13.04: Ice cold in Africa
- Chapter 13.05: Ice Cold Revolution.
- Chapter 13.06.00: Harris Bacon – From Pale Dried to Tank Curing.
- Chapter 13.06.01: Oake-Woods & Co., Ltd., Rapid, and Auto-Cured Bacon
- Chapter 13.07: John Harris reciprocates!
- Chapter 13.08: Irish Animosity.
- Chapter 13.09: The Wiltshire Cut
- Chapter 13.10: Engaged to be Married.
- Chapter 13.11: The Salt of the earth
- Chapter 13.12: The Salt of the land and the sea
- Chapter 13.13: The Salt of meat
- Chapter 13.14: Dublin and the Injection of Meat.
- Chapter 13.15: The English pig with links to the Kolbroek and Kunekune
- Chapter 14.00: Letters from New Zealand.
- Chapter 14.01: Our Manuka Bay Wedding
- Chapter 14.02: Oake Woods & Co Ltd. in New Zealand and Other Amazing Tales
- Chapter 14.03: The Jewish Master Curer and the Prince of Ireland.
- Chapter 14.04: Wiltshire Cured or Tank Cured Bacon.
- Chapter 15.00: The Union Letters.
- Chapter 15.01: The Fathers of Meat Curing.
- Chapter 15.02: Fresh Meat Colour vs Cooked Cured Colour.
- Chapter 15.03: The Direct Addition of Nitrites to Curing Brines – the Master Butcher from Prague.
- Chapter 15.04: The Direct Addition of Nitrites to Curing Brines – The Spoils of War.
- Chapter 15.05: The Preserving Power of Nitrite.
- Chapter 15.06: Regulations of Nitrate and Nitrite post-1920’s: the problem of residual nitrite.
- Chapter 15.07: The Ascorbate-Letter.
- Chapter 15.08: The Erythorbate Letter.
- Chapter 15.09: The Curing Reaction
- Chapter 15.10: Meat Curing – A Review.
- Chapter 15.11: The Quilliam Family and the Early Days of Pig Breeding in South Africa.
- Chapter 16.00: The Best Bacon on Earth.
- Chapter 16.01.1: The Castlemaine Bacon Company.
- Chapter 16.01.2: The Life and Times of Jan Kok.
- Chapter 16.01.3: The Art of Living: Sketches to Understand Ourselves and Others.
- Chapter 16.02: Eskort Ltd.
- Chapter 16.03: On Innovation and Creativity.
- Chapter 16.04: Finally – From Mummies to Nitrosamines
- Chapter 16.05: Finally – Nitrosamines
- Chapter 16.06: Finally – Nitrite is Physiologically Vital
- Chapter 16.07: Finally – The Human Nitrogen Cycle – Basis for Nitrite’s Physiological Value
- Chapter 16.08: Finally – Bacon, the Superfood
- Chapter 17.00: Woody’s Photos.
- Chapter 18.00: Tristan’s Photos.
- Chapter 19.00: Lauren’s Photos.
- Chapter 20.00: Family Photos.
- Chapter 21: Roy Oliver.
- Chapter 22.00: The Boers (Our Lives and Wars)
- Chapter 23: Appendix A – JW Kok War Diary.
- Chapter 24: Appendix B – Johannes Willem Kok War Diary.
- Chapter 25: Appendix C – Short Autobiography: Johannes Willem Kok.
Follow the “Next” button at the bottom of every chapter to advance to the next.
Themes in Bacon & the Art of Living
The greatest themes are dealt with. Below I give title pages listing the different themes from Bacon & the Art of Living.
In the development of bacon curing technology, four iconic curing methods stand between the old dry-cured system and the modern system of the direct addition of nitrites to curing brines and the latest development which is Grid bacon. Here I list the chapters dedicated to these different systems of curing.
In the post above I list all the chapters in Bacon & the Art of Living which deals with the legendary company from Calne, Wiltshire, C & T Harris. I present the chapters for those who desire to restrict their inquiry to the Harris operations.
I fell in love with the story of the Kolbroek from the first time I heard it. It is one of the indigenous South African pig breeds, closely related to the Kune Kune from New Zealand. In trying to trace the origins of these breeds, I had to go back to the development of the English pig. It’s one of the greatest stories of our trade and here I share the complete work from Bacon & the Art of Living on these amazing animals! The list of chapters dealing with these are given in the link above.
In Bacon & the Art of Living, I dedicate three chapters to salt. It remains one of my favourite study subjects. The truth is that I only scratched the surface. It is a subject that I will return to often and I am planning to expand on Chapter 10.12, The Salt of the Land and the Sea. In the link above, I present the three chapters for those who are interested in a more thematic study.
The Afrikaner Nation and Boers feature prominently in my story of bacon. The timeline is such that I returned to South Africa just before the outbreak of the war. So, inserting the Boer War into this work makes perfect sense.
The second role of inserting it is that it is a perfect example of the power of the mental world where we serve images we created and exist only in the mind such as nationalism. It is central to the “art of living” considerations and insights that came to me through the discipline of meat curing.
The Boer War chapters are:
- Chapter 13.01.1: The Castlemaine Bacon Company
- Chapter 13.01.2: The Life and Times of Jan Kok
- Chapter 13.01.3: The Art of Living: Sketches to Understand Ourselves and Others
- Chapter 20: Appendix A – JW Kok War Diary
- Chapter 21: Appendix B – Johannes Willem Kok War Diary
- Chapter 22: Appendix C – Short Autobiography: Johannes Willem Kok
(c) eben van tonder
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