Seeing as this is the first year Cure & Simple have done our Christmas hams. I thought it would be a great idea to delve into the history of the deliciously lovely, humble ham.
Much the same as bacon. The first ham can be traced back as far as 4900bc in china where they started curing pork legs (Ham comes from the hind leg of the pig). It’s popularity spread across ancient Europe with the Romans learnt the technique from the Chinese. In fact, they loved ham so much in 160bc, a roman called Cato the Elder wrote numerous articles about it.
Personally, I can think of many other things to write about, but he was particularly obsessed with ham.
Actually, I am writing about ham! I’ll just carry on then…..
Interestingly, I’ve found hams can also be traced geographically, for the simple reason that certain climate conditions aren’t favourable when it comes to curing hams. Too cold and it will freeze, to warm and it will ruin before you even start. You’ve heard of the greenbelt? Well this is the hambelt!
As you can see from the highlighted areas, this is where the climate had/has the optimum conditions for producing some of the best hams we know to this day. Italian prosciutto and Spanish serrano are just 2 of them.
It is hardly surprising then that the humble ham is one of the worlds most consumed pork product. As with bacon, it is an extremely versatile addition to most recipes used today, from a creamy carbonara to a warming ham and pea soup.
Most people tend to have a ham with their Christmas turkey, but there isn’t a great deal out there on the big wide web as to why? I did manage to find out this though, this tradition spans many centuries, back to when Germanic pagans ate ham during their Yuletide celebrations, a festival honouring the mythical Wild Hunt and praying for fertility. Norse cultures also ate boar as a tribute to Freyr, a god of fertility, prosperity and fair weather. Interesting that both cultures believed eating ham would aid in fertility.
So why not add one of our Cure & Simple hams to your Christmas table this year. With so many ways to eat it, it will keep you going for ages, well, unless you’re like me who can’t resist eating it straight from the fridge!
Happy Christmas everyone.
Ps here is the link for more information about our gorgeous Christmas hams https://www.cureandsimple.com/products/detail/Quarter%20Clumber%20Honey%20Glazed%20Ham%20with%20Cloves