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Old July 20, 2011, 06:40 AM   #10
Staff In Memoriam
Join Date: October 31, 2007
Location: Western Florida panhandle
Posts: 11,069
bswiv is the guy to brain pick.

And as he said, rot and less quality handling are not one in the same.
I was shocked to find out that the "nice" ol' fashioned ham we bought was handled in ways I would never conceive to be acceptable handling practice.

I researched for a nice recipe for this ham as I never bought a "dry cured" ham before. These are the ones in a cloth sack hanging in the meat section.

So I first learn that these hams are "required" to be cured for a minimum number of days (like 40 or more days or something longer) at some un-godly high temps (like 80*+) with more humidity than I would have thought (40% might be close) just to "qualify" for the title of "Genuine Smithfield", "Country" and a couple others I cannot immediately remember.

Sure, I know we had certain practices before refrigeration or the in depth knowledge of the germs, but I wouldn't have thought these were still in place.

This particular style of ham is the extremely salty and tough stuff needing boiled first to dissipate some of the salt and to soften the meat.

Lucky for me we also had a turkey for Christmas supper. All of that ham got portioned out for use in various bean dishes etc...

And to be quite frank and honest... This ham from a known meat producer using domestic swine from known sources tasted far more "GAMEY" than any pork from ANY FERAL swine I ever handled or cooked...

It makes an excellent meat for the beans and the stronger flavor really shines in this use. Some "wet cure" ham is basically just a texture and color difference since they lack in flavor.

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