Discover the secrets of bacon curing

If you fancy building your own smokehouse and learning some traditional crafts, a new book by a master meat curer might be just the help you need.

Shropshire-based Maynard Davies has written Manual of a Traditional Bacon Curer to pass on his 60 years' knowledge about the art of smoking and curing to other enthusiasts.

Besides guidelines on siting and constructing the smokehouse itself, the book also explains various traditional skills and offers tips on sausage making, dry and wet cures, as well as making haggis, faggots, black pudding and other speciality products.

In a large, hardback format with a butcher's apron-style cover, the book takes a step-by-step approach, from choosing the best raw ingredients onwards, accompanied by 175 photographs.

Davies, who still works as a consultant and lecturer on curing, has built up interest with previous titles Maynard, Adventures of a Bacon Curer and 'Maynard Secrets of a Bacon Curer'.

"Nowadays, so much meat is prepackaged and the process is clinical," he said. "Years ago, individuals used to put their own magic into it. I wanted to pass on real knowledge and I didn't want the traditional ways to be lost."

The book costs 25 and is available from Merlin Unwin Books, Ludlow.

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