By Gwyneth Doland
You Got to Know Your Ham
I know my ham. You got to know your ham. Especially if you're gonna order a big, fat deli sandwich stuffed with a dozen different pork products.
Country-style ham (also called old-fashioned or Southern-style) is dry cured by rubbing salt and spices onto the meat's surface and contains no added water. It is a specialty of the Southern states. Country-style ham is extremely salty and usually served in small portions, very thinly sliced.
Prosciutto is an Italian-style, salt-cured ham that is air-dried and is not smoked. It is aged between 10 months and two years before it is thinly sliced and eaten raw. Prosciutto has a sweet, delicate taste and adds flavor to salads, side dishes, entrées and appetizers.
Prosciutto Cotto has been cooked prior to eating.
Prosciutto Crudo can be eaten raw because it has been fully cured.
Capicolla is a slow-cooked Italian ham made from the picnic shoulder and seasoned with cayenne pepper and other spices. This thinly sliced ham adds spice to sandwiches and entrées.
Serrano ham is a Spanish-style ham that is cured with salt only and is air-dried and aged. In addition to enjoying it raw in thin slices, it also is used to flavor other dishes like appetizers, pastas and soups.
Iberico ham is a dry-cured Spanish ham from the black-footed Iberico pig. It is always eaten raw and sliced thin.
Bayonne ham is thinly sliced fresh ham that is mildly smoked and cured in a wine mixture. It has a smoky flavor and makes a great addition to salads or pasta.
Westphalian ham is a dry-cured German ham that is slowly smoked with juniper twigs and berries. It is sliced paper-thin and has a light smoky flavor that enhances appetizers, pastas or salads.
Black Forest ham is a dry-cured German ham that is heavily smoked with fir and pine branches. This moist, smoky, boneless ham is dipped in a caramel solution for a dark coating and wrapped in netting before smoking. Thinly sliced, it adds a new world of flavor to sandwiches, appetizers and side dishes.
For more information, go to www.otherwhitemeat.com. Shockingly, they don't pay me to say this.
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