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About Ham

Ham means different things to a lot of different people.  For example, in Italy it’s Prosciutto.  Prosciutto is salt cured, air-dried, non-smoked ham, and is normally sliced wafer thin.

English ham can be Wiltshire, Bradenham or York, and they all differ in curing methods and flavor.

In Germany, you’ll find Black Forest and Westphalian ham.  France has its Jambon de Bayonne (Bayonne ham), Belgium its Ardennes Ham, and Spain its Jabugo, Pedroches, Guijuelo, Gredos, Béjar, Trevélez, and Teruel, to name a few.  Also, Mexican ham and those found in the Caribbean have their own distinct curing methods and flavors.

Here, in the United States, what most people know as ham is City Ham.  This is a brine cured and smoke flavored product made from the upper hind leg of a hog.  Country Ham, unlike City Ham, also comes from a hog’s upper hind leg, but it is dry cured.

What is now the United States first saw hogs with the arrival of Christopher Columbus.  Although those fine swine found their ways onto various dinner plates, Hernando de Soto later introduced more hogs to the land.

It is thought that Hernando’s imports were the forerunners of our country’s current hog population.


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