One of the, actually scrap that the, favourite thing of mine about curing meat is the colour effect, the way bacon is pink raw and pink cooked and salt beef is red raw and red cooked. I'm going to give chicken a go soon to see if that holds, although I'm not sure if I want it to in that case.
The part of the cure that is causing this effect is the nitrite, which in the case of my cure #1 is sodium nitrite. Nitrite is nasty, posionous stuff and kills bacteria (and humans in the right amounts, so measure carefully), and so is very useful in curing. It also slows down the oxidisation, this occurs when the nitrite breaks down into nitric oxide inside the meat and this nitric oxide binds to the iron in the meat cell's myoglobin. This effectively reduces the oxidisation process and sets the colour - I think, any scientists feel free to correct me and any students do not use me as a reference in any essays on the subject. As much as I love the man this means that HFW's salt only cure, devoid of any nitrites, and resultant greyish bacon is a no no.
Looking at this piece of belly this morning, entering it's last day in the cure and looking very dark, I cannot imagine it being a bright, rosy rasher of bacon. Hopefully of all the chemicals that have been drawn into the meat this week though, none of them are that nasty black colour and so a slice will reveal the full pink glory with a delicate outline of black. We shall find out Sunday when I cut the first slices.