Curing, in its many forms, is a process as old as time. Or more specifically, a process as old as when humans started devising ingenious ways to make their food last that little bit longer.
Basic curing removes the moisture from ingredients, usually starting with a mixture of salt and sugar (or one or the other). A variety of flavours can be added to a cure - think dill and citrus or spiced cures that imbue the ingredients with flavour as they are being preserved.
Curing can mean much more than this simple process, though. Smoking is a form of curing, while a cured meat like pastrami is cured, smoked and baked before it reaches its final, heavenly state.
This collection of how to cook guides include some great methods for curing your favourite ingredients. The sky is the limit.