|The Chinese may have been the first to cure hams—or it might have been the ancient Egyptians. Whoever deserves the credit, thousands of years after the fact, we tasted dozens of hams to select a few that deserve the honor of gracing your table. See our favorites in the our review of the best hams in America. The comedian Steven Wright commented, “When you buy a cured ham, do you even wonder what it had?” We found an enormous difference between supermarket hams and artisan hams, which deliver rich meat flavor with much less salt. That said, quite a few of the hams in our tasting that arrived from artisan producers still needed to be “cured” of excessive saltiness, which purchasers tend to counteract by coating and baking them with sweet toppings! Why? We don’t need that excess salt or the sugar.||
Kurobuta ham, Japanese black hog, which originated in Berkshire, England, was purportedly discovered by Oliver Cromwell’s troops, and is now one of the best hams available in America, if not the best. It’s produced in Iowa. What a voyage!
|Many mass-produced hams are cured simply by injecting them with brine. An artisan ham is immersed in brine or dry-rubbed with spices, then lightly smoked and aged. The quality of the pig is far superior, as well. Baked ham is a traditional Easter dish. This Easter, kick up your tradition by serving the most delicious artisan ham you can find. Read more about our favorite pork products—and find some gourmet ham glaze recipes—in the Pork, Ham & Bacon Section of THE NIBBLE online magazine. You can also take our Ham Trivia Quiz.|
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