We remember being taught in grammar school that Europeans took to Oriental spices because they, the poor Europeans, wanted to disguise the taste of their (pre-refrigeration) rotted meat.  What rot!  and what rot!  Meat tastes better when it has begun to ferment (controlled desirable ‘rot’); that’s why we hang it after killing.  But there is no doubt that the addition of interesting spices makes for delicious fermentation.  This is actually three bellies we had in the freezer from hogs butchered in November.  We’ve rubbed them down with a salt / sugar / pepper cure; we’ll hold them for a couple of weeks at about forty degrees, then smoke them.  Out of this world.