charcuterie, from chair 'flesh' + cuit 'cooked' is the branch of cooking devoted to prepared meats, through the methods of smoking, brining, air drying and curing.
It takes around 10 litres of milk to make 1 kilogram of hard cheese.
Salt is the only family of rock regularly eaten by humans.
The natural fat to meat ratio of a pig is 30 to 70, coincidentally the same as sausage.
The Romans put a high price on salt. The first great Roman road, the Via Salaria, leads from Rome to the Adriatic Sea, where salt was gathered. The Roman army weren’t paid in salt, however their salarium enabled them to buy the precious commodity. Salad is so named because the Romans used salt to season their green vegetables. And, they called a person in love salax: literally 'salted', the origin of the word salacious.
The Romans may be the first to have regulated the trade of charcuterie, as they wrote laws regulating the proper production of pork joints; however the French have also had some influence.
In 15th century France, local guilds regulated tradesmen in the food production industry in each city. The guilds that produced charcuterie were those of the charcutiers. The members of this guild produced a traditional range of cooked or salted and dried meats, which varied, sometimes distinctively, from region to region.
The only "raw" meat the charcutiers were allowed to sell was unrendered lard. The charcutier prepared numerous items including pâtés, rillettes, sausages, bacon, trotters, and head cheese (brawn). These preservation methods ensured that meats would have a longer shelf-life.