last hog harvest i had Brandon (aka farmsteadmeatsmith) come up from Vashon Island, USA to teach me some old school butchering techniques...
the couple of days we spent together were pretty cool. two of my favorite pork cuts are very much connected. manus manum lavat. the pork belly is the cut between the pork ribs and the skin (sometimes including skin). its the butcher's discretion as to how much meat 'sticks to the ribs' and how much is left on the belly. like if you come across bacon that is wide and has a meaty-er side opposed to the fatty side, well that meat came at the expense of a less meaty rack of ribs. maybe this pic will explain...
so this is the pork belly i look for...more meaty. the ribs still taste wonderful and cook up quickly. you can see the cut is a very close shave to the rib bone leaving a meaty belly. if the butcher does the opposite it's a win win scenario as you get meaty substantial ribs and a fatty pork belly (maybe more suitable for sausage or...?).
it's a good feeling to know you have a stash of cooked belly in the fridge. this smoked belly got sliced thin, coated with hoisin, and a quick blast under the broiler.