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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Ham with cloves

Ham is the thigh and rump of pork, cut from the haunch of a pig or boar. Although it may be cooked and served fresh, most ham is cured in some fashion. Cuts referred to as ham in the U.S. are also called gammon in the U.K., South Africa, Isle of Man, and Ireland.


Regional use


Chinese dry-cured hams have been recorded in texts since prior to Song dynasty and used in myriad dishes. Several types are existent in Qing dynasty and used in dishes of stewing hams (火腿炖肘子), and vegetables, or for a wide variety of soup and important soup stocks. One of the most famous Chinese hams is the Jinhua ham, which is used to produce a dish known as "Buddha jumps over the wall".


Bayonne Ham or Bayonne is an air dried salted ham that takes its name from the ancient port city of Bayonne in the far South West of France (Le Pays Basque or the Basque country).

Jambon de Paris is a wet-cured, boneless ham and baked in shape.


Regional varieties of dry-cured, smoked hams include:


In Italy, ham is called prosciutto, and can be either raw (prosciutto crudo) or cooked (prosciutto cotto).

Earliest evidence of ham production in Italy comes from the Republican Roman period (400-300 BC). Modern Italian and European Union legislation grants a protected designation of origin to several raw hams, which specify where and how these types of ham can be produced. There are several such hams from Italy, each one with a peculiar production process. Parma ham, the so called Prosciutto di Parma, has almost 200 producers concentrated in the eastern part of Parma Province. Its production is regulated by a quality consortium that recognizes qualifying products with distinctive mark. Only larger fresh hams are used (12-13 kilograms). Curing uses relatively little salt, but can include garlic salt and sugar, producing a sweeter meat. After salting, the meat is sealed with pig fat over the exposed muscle tissue, which slows drying. Curing occurs over a minimum 12 months. This curing method uses only salt, without nitrates and without spices. No conserving substances are added. San Daniele ham (Prosciutto di San Daniele) is the most similar to Parma ham, especially the low quantity of salt added to the meat, and is the most prized ham. Other raw hams include the so called "nostrani" or "nazionali" or "toscani"; they are more strongly flavoured and are produced using a higher quantity of salt.


In the Philippines, ham, or hamon as it is called (from the Spanish jamón) is normally associated with the Yuletide season. There are local variants of Jamón Serrano, and there is Hamon de Bola, which is a ball-shaped wet cured ham, among other varieties. There is also tinned processed ham--the type in cans--available year round in groceries. The main Christmas ham, similar to a Chinese ham and served in some Noche Buenas, is similar to a dry cured one, and it has to be cooked in a special sweet broth after being soaked to reduce the salt. Then the ham is scored and glazed, and roasted. Hamon de Bola, produced by the major Philippine food manufacturers (CDO-Foodsphere, Purefoods-Hormel, Swift's, among others), is usually offered as gifts to employees in most companies and government offices during the Yuletide season. This can be either baked or fried. As with the other dishes "localized" from foreign sources, the Philippine palate favors the sweeter variety of ham.


Portuguese Presunto from Chaves
Portuguese Presunto from Chaves, ready to be sliced

In Portugal, besides several varieties of wet-cured hams called fiambre (not to be confused with the Guatemalan dish, also called fiambre), the most important type of ham is presunto, a dry-cured ham similar to Spanish jamón and Italian prosciutto. There is a wide variety of presuntos in Portugal; among the most famous are presunto from Chaves and presunto from Alentejo (made from black Iberian pig; see also pata negra).


In Romania, ham is called şuncă/şonc/şoancă/jambon. Usually it is dry cured, always with granular salt; in Transilvania and Banat, paprika might be added.


Spanish jamón serrano of Huelva

One of the more exacting ham regulatory practices can be found in Spain, where ham is called jamón. Hams in Spain are not only classified according to preparation, but also the breed, the pre-slaughter diet and region of preparation are considered important.

The jamón serrano (Serrano Ham) comes from the white pig. The regional appellations of Spanish Serrano ham include the following:

  • Cured ham of Trevélez, cured at least 1,200 meters above sea level. Cured hams from Trevélez are qualified to be among the “sweetest” cured hams due to the low degree of salting necessary for the drying and maturing processes to succeed properly. This is caused by the north winds coming from the high tips of Sierra Nevada.
  • Teruel, is cured at least 800 meters above sea level, with a minimum of a year of curing and aging.[2]

Jamón Ibérico (Iberian ham) comes from the black Iberian Pig, and is also classified depending on the amount of acorns they eat, which determines the ham quality. Spanish regulators[3] recognize three qualities:

  • Jamón Ibérico Cebo hogs are fed only commercial feed.
  • Jamón Ibérico Cebo Campo hogs are fed only commercial feed.
  • Jamón Ibérico Recebo hogs are raised on commercial feed and fed acorns for the last few months of their lives.
  • Jamón Ibérico Bellota hogs are fed a diet almost exclusively of acorns (bellotas), the most famous.

The regional appellations (D.O.) of Iberian ham include the following:

United States

The United States largely inherited its traditions relating to ham and pork from 17th-century Britain and 18th-century France, the latter especially in Louisiana. The French often used wet cure processed hams that are the foundation stock of several modern dishes, like certain gumbos and sandwiches. Until the very early twentieth century, men living in the southern Appalachians would drive their pigs to market in the flatlands below each autumn, fattening up their stock on chestnuts and fallen mast, much like their Scottish forebearers did for centuries. Further, archaeological evidence suggests that the early settlers of Jamestown (men largely from the West Midlands) built swine pens for the pigs they brought with them and, once established, also carried on an ancient British tradition of slaughtering their pigs and producing their pork in mid-November. To this day, the result is that in many areas of the Southeast, a large ham, not a turkey, is the centerpiece of a family Christmas dinner.

Sliced ham

In the United States, ham is regulated primarily on the basis of its cure and water content. The USDA recognizes the following categories:

Fresh ham is an uncured hind leg of pork. Country ham is uncooked, cured, dried, smoked-or-unsmoked, made from a single piece of meat from the hind leg of a hog or from a single piece of meat from a pork shoulder (picnic ham). Virginia's famous Smithfield ham, a country ham, must be grown and produced in or around Smithfield, Virginia, to be sold as such. Similar, lesser known hams from Tennessee and the Appalachians have a similar method of preparation, but are more likely to include honey in their cures and be hickory smoked.

For most other purposes, under US law, a "ham" is a cured hind leg of pork that is at least 20.5% protein (not counting fat portions), and contains no added water. However, "ham" can be legally applied to "turkey ham" if the meat is taken from the turkey thigh. If the ham has less than 20.5% but is at least 18.5% protein, it can be called "ham with natural juices". A ham that is at least 17.0% protein and up to 10% added solution can be called "ham—water added". Finally, "ham and water product" refers to a cured hind leg of pork product that contains any amount of added water, although the label must indicate the percent added ingredients. If a ham has been cut into pieces and molded, it must be labelled "sectioned and formed", or "chunked and formed" if coarsely ground.

Sugar is common in many dry hams in the United States; it is used to cover the saltiness. The majority of common wet-cured ham available in U.S. supermarkets is of the "city ham" variety,[citation needed] in which brine is injected into the meat for a very rapid curing suitable for mass market. Traditional wet curing requires immersing the ham in a brine for an extended period, often followed by light smoking.

In addition to the main categories, some processing choices can affect legal labeling. A 'smoked' ham must have been smoked by hanging over burning wood chips in a smokehouse or an atomized spray of liquid smoke such that the product appearance is equivalent; a "hickory-smoked" ham must have been smoked using only hickory. However, injecting "smoke flavor" is not legal grounds for claiming the ham was "smoked"; these are labeled "smoke flavor added". Hams can only be labelled "honey-cured" if honey was at least 50% of the sweetener used, is at least 3% of the formula, and has a discernible effect on flavor. So-called "lean" and "extra lean" hams must adhere to maximum levels of fat and cholesterol per 100 grams of product.

Preparing a ham

One of the most popular and expensive hams in the United States is Smithfield or Virginia ham. Through a special curing process, Smithfield ham ages. In that time mold may grow on the outside of the ham, while the rest of the meat continues to age. This process produces a distinctive flavor, but the mold layer must be scrubbed off the ham before being cooked or served.[5]

Turkey ham, a boneless product made from pressed turkey thigh meat, is a popular low-fat alternative to traditional ham in the US.[6]

A spiral-slicing process has become popular for bone-in or boneless hams sold by delicatessens in the US.[7]

Tinned ham

Tinned ham (more commonly known in the United States as "canned ham") is a meat product that is sold exclusively in tins (or cans). The ham itself is usually formed from smaller cuts of meat, cooked in the can, and is often covered in an aspic jelly during the canning process. Two versions are available, perishable and shelf stable. The former are marked KEEP REFRIGERATED, and the latter have higher salt contents and are retorted to a much higher temperature to make them stable at room temperature.

Tinned ham is usually sold in supermarkets and convenience stores.

Ham associated with increased cancer risk

In November 2007, the World Cancer Research Fund and the American Institute for Cancer Research published their second expert report, entitled Food, Nutrition, Physical Activity and the Prevention of Cancer: a Global Perspective.[8] This report took five years to prepare and reviewed more than 7,000 studies published worldwide.[9] Among the recommendations of the report is that, except for very rare occasions, people should avoid eating ham or other processed meats -- cured, smoked, salted or chemically preserved meat products such as bacon, hot dogs, sausage,[10] salami,[11] and pastrami. The report states that once an individual reaches the 18-ounce (510 g) weekly limit for red meat, every 1.7 ounces (48 g) of processed meat consumed a day increases cancer risk by 21%.[9]

See also


External links

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
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From LoveToKnow 1911

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Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

See also ham, and нам



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Proper noun




  1. (Biblical) A son of Noah and the brother of Japheth and Shem.




Bible wiki

Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From BibleWiki

Meaning: warm, hot, and hence the south

also an Egyptian word meaning "black"

It is likely that Ham was a man with black skin-colour, as that also ties in with the fact that he was cursed, and dark skin coloured people tend to still stuggle in modern times.

The youngest son of Noah (Gen 5:32; comp. Gen 9:22ff). The curse pronounced by Noah against Ham, properly against Canaan his fourth son, was accomplished when the Jews subsequently exterminated the Canaanites.

One of the most important facts recorded in Gen. 10 is the foundation of the earliest monarchy in Babylonia by Nimrod the grandson of Ham (6, 8, 10). The primitive Babylonian empire was thus Hamitic, and of a cognate race with the primitive inhabitants of Arabia and of Ethiopia. (See Accad.)

Image:Ham (Easton).png

The race of Ham were the most energetic of all the descendants of Noah in the early times of the post-diluvian world. Ham had 4 sons, Cush, Mizraim, Phut and Canaan.

This entry includes text from Easton's Bible Dictionary, 1897.

what mentions this? (please help by turning references to this page into wiki links)

—Biblical Data:

Second son of Noah (Gen 5:32); mentioned second in the table of the nations (Gen 10:6), where his descendants are given. In Gen 9:24 he appears as the youngest of Noah's sons, who treated his father with irreverence when the latter was under the influence of drink.

—In Rabbinical Literature:

Ham is represented by the Talmudists as one of the three who had intercourse with their wives in the Ark, being punished therefor in that his descendants, the Ethiopians, are black (Sanh. 108b; Gen. R. xxxvi. 11). Some explained the obscure passage Gen 9:22-24 as follows: Ham emasculated his father, saying, "My father has three sons already; and now he wishes a fourth son." Therefore Noah cursed Canaan, Ham's fourth son, saying, "Thou hast hindered me from having a fourth son; I will curse thy own fourth son." According to another opinion, Ham defiled his father, and Noah cursed Canaan because Ham, with his father and his two brothers, had been previously blessed by God (Sanh. 70a; Gen. R. xxxvi. 4). Another opinion declares that the mutilation of Noah was committed by Canaan, but was really caused by Ham mentioning his father's nakedness in the presence of Ham's youngest son (Ex. R. xxx. 5). Possibly Ham saw Canaan's deed and did not condemn him for it (Yalḳ., Gen. 61; comp. "Da'at Zeḳenim" ad loc.). Ham was punished by having his descendants led into captivity with their buttocks uncovered (Isa 20:4; Gen. R. xxxvi. 8).

—Critical View:

The modern critics regard the story narrated in Gen 9:24 as having been originally told of Canaan, "Ham father of [Canaan]" being a later insertion. The ethnographic conceptions of the ancient Hebrews first divided the races they knew into those related to them (Shem), those inhabiting the land (Canaan), and those outside (Japheth). Later on this threefold division seems to have been applied to all nations known to the Israelites, and then, it being impossible to regard Canaan as representative of the south, Egypt took that place. "Ham" is, according to this view, equivalent to "Egypt," one of the names of which was "Chemi" (black, referring to the dark color of the soil of the Nile valley). Accordingly, in the table of nations Ham is reported to have four chief branches: Cush = Ethiopia, Mizraim = Egypt, Phut = Libya, and Canaan. These four divisions were then subdivided, among the descendants of Cush being the Babylonians, Accadians, and Assyrians; among those of Mizraim, the Philistines and the Cypriotes (Caphtorim); among the Canaanites, Sidon, Heth, and nine other smaller tribes like the Jebusites, and the Amorites (Gen 10:6-20). The exact basis of this classification is not clear. It is mainly geographical, all the nations south of Palestine being included in the list of the descendants of Ham; but this scarcely accounts for the presence of Canaan among the sons of Ham, which may have been due to the need of reconciling the legend of Noah's disgrace with the modern cosmogony.

This entry includes text from the Jewish Encyclopedia, 1906.
Facts about HamRDF feed
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Parent of Cush  +, Mizraim  +, Phut  +, and Canaan  +


Up to date as of February 01, 2010

From Familypedia

Birth <year not a number> in "Mesopotamia"
Father: Noah
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Offspring of  Ham and Unknown parent
Name Birth Death
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Book of Genesis

Citations and remarks



This article uses material from the "Ham" article on the Genealogy wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

Simple English


Ham is meat that comes from a thigh of a pig. Ham is a kind of pork, which is any meat from a pig.

Ham can be dry-cured or wet-cured. Dry-cured ham is made by rubbing the meat with a mixture with salt. Then, it is dried and aged. Wet-cured ham is made with brine.

Kinds of dry-cured ham:

Ham is used in SPAM.

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