Chowhound Presents: Table Talk with Nadine Levy Redzepi of Downtime: Deliciousness at Home | Ask Your Questions Now ›

General Discussion

Ham — What I Don't Know Would Fill a Book


General Discussion 9

Ham — What I Don't Know Would Fill a Book

BrookBoy | Apr 8, 2009 03:14 PM

Easter is nigh upon us, and my wife (Maureen) and I decided that we would buy a ham, something we have not done before, So we logged on to Fresh Direct and I was both gratified and intimidated to see that when we searched for "Ham" FD showed us 52 responses, almost all of which do fit at least a loose definition of HAM.

Upon scrolling through and clicking on a picture of a good-looking ham, one of the questions FD would ask is "how thick do you want the slices?", implying that this is a kind of deli ham. Not at all what we wanted to buy...

There were hams that were smoked but not cured, cured but not smoked, cured and smoked, and water seemed to be the main ingredient in the ones we looked at closely. And although many of the pictures depicted a whole ham, many of those choices asked that vexing question about how thick we wanted the slices.

We wanted to buy a ham that we could slice ourselves and that was already cooked (whatever that means). Basically, we wanted a chunk of ham that we could (a) heat in the oven if we wanted; (b) slice cold without heating in the oven if we wanted, and (c) was already "cooked" enough to serve up either way. But FD does not provide that kind of info for the Ham illiterate (i.e., us).

We happened to watch Alton Brown recently talk about hams and he said there are Country Hams and City Hams and different classifications of each, based on preparation and content. But our experience on FD didn't provide any of those guidelines.

So, here I am again, begging the CH community to come to our aid. What kind of ham should we buy (choices ranged from cured Italian hams, like Prosciutto and Speck, to Serrano, to fresh (meaning, I think, raw) ham, to Heritage smoked but uncured hams, to deli hams that are sliced)?

Or maybe there is a good Ham website that we should peruse for our Ham foray...

Thanks in advance...

Want to stay up to date with this post?

Recommended From Chowhound