Smoking is a method of cooking that introduces small wood chips to a heat source. The wood is not actually burned, rather it is smoldered to create a thick smoke. The smoke cures the food and adds a distinctive flavor. Foods that are traditionally smoked include fish, cheese and red meat. Several different species of wood are used for smoking. Each wood creates a different flavor enhancement and is traditionally used on only certain types of food. Apple and cherry wood add a sweet, fruity taste to the meat and are used primarily on veal, pork and poultry. Cedar chips or whole planks are used to smoke fish and add a tangy sweetness. Hickory is the most common wood used for smoking. It is used on game meats, pork and beef and adds a strong, hearty flavor. Mesquite is another commonly used wood. It adds a light, sweet flavor to the food and is used on most meats and vegetables.
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