Pork used to be the most popular meat on the territory of the United States up to the beginning of the twentieth century. This was happening because this meat was easier to breed for the families of farmers that grew grains and lived near the woodlands.1 Pigs gained weight easily and could be fed with the leftovers from the food consumed by humans. Handling pigs was much easier than cattle because if their smaller size, a big pig is three times lighter and smaller than a cow of an average size. Of course, such differences made the process of killing much simpler, the further processing of the meat could be done by one family and did not require any specially trained professionals or specific equipment. Besides, curing of pork went much faster. Salted pork could be stored for over a year without going bad. As urban areas of the United States developed a taste for good quality stakes, round cut beef became much more expensive, while the prices for pork did not change much for half a century. Beef was not preferred by the rural dwellers because cow carcasses are large and had to be properly preserved and refrigerated.
Sausages have been employed as a way of storing and preserving meat of all kinds ever since ancient times.2 This way proved to be convenient first of all because of its practical approach. The pieces of meat that were attached to the bone and hard to cook or eat could be put into sausages instead of being wasted. Besides, the quality that makes sausages different from other meats is the fact that they contain a cocktail of various types of meat together with internal organs and some fat in different proportions mixed with other ingredients such as spices of various kinds. Sausages won the American appreciation for being easy to eat; they fit into the concept of fun fast food perfectly. As a result, today sausages are mainly associated with entertainments and are sold at the stadiums during the sport games. The manufacturers appreciate sausages because they can contain processed parts of the carcasses that normally would be thrown away; this makes sausages a rather profitable product.
Chicken meat during the First World War era in the United States was considered to be very rare and was only served on special occasions.3 Chicken was treated as luxury because of its very high price. Te next several decades changed the consumption habits of the American society drastically. By 1980’s chicken started to approach beef in its popularity. One of the factors that influenced this happening was the public health concerns. Red meat such as beef and the amount of fat in it started to bother the American society and began to prefer a healthier white meat, perfect for a low fat diet. Besides, large fast food corporations such as Kentucky Fried Chicken promoted this kind of meat as a perfect component of a proper and quick lunch. The growing demand for the meat stimulated the farmers to breed more chickens. This meat was appreciated for being easy and quick to cook, besides, it was available all year round. Very soon some of the American cook books became focused on various ways of preparing chicken in order to avoid monotonous taste.
Horowitz, Roger, Putting Meat on the American Table, Baltimore, MA: JHU Press, 2006.
1 Roger Horowitz, Putting Meat on the American Table (Baltimore, MA: JHU Press, 2006), 47.
2 Roger Horowitz, Putting Meat on the American Table (Baltimore, MA: JHU Press, 2006), 76
3 Roger Horowitz, Putting Meat on the American Table (Baltimore, MA: JHU Press, 2006), 103.