Ham is a staple in many American diets, especially around the holidays.
Perfect entrée for family gatherings, game nights, or just a simple Sunday dinner; is there anything ham can’t do?
But have you ever thought about what does ham taste like on its own?
While many people are fans of its subtle sweetness, others are in love with the texture of ham.
Regardless, ham is one of the juiciest and most versatile meats out there.
If you want to learn more about the taste of ham and how to cook it perfectly every time, read on.
What is Ham?
Ham is a part of pork. But it is a cut that comes from the animal’s hind leg.
It can be cured, smoked, or eaten fresh and is often sold pre-sliced in grocery stores.
It is a commonly-used ingredient in many dishes, such as omelets, sandwiches, pasta dishes, quiches, and more.
Besides, it is also a standard main course, often served with side dishes like mashed potatoes, green beans, and roasted carrots.
You’ll mostly find ham served on special occasions like Easter and Christmas, but you can enjoy it anytime.
Ham is popular worldwide.
However, you may also come across some specialties such as Spanish Jamon, Smithfield Ham (US), and Westphalian Ham.
There’s also the City Ham which is the most widely available type of ham.
It is often sold sliced and packaged as “spiral cut”.
What Does Ham Taste Like?
Being a pork product, most people might assume ham tastes like pork; but it is not so.
And there’s not just one word to describe the taste of ham; three Ss describe it best, and they are: savory, sweet, and smoky.
The meat is moist and has a satisfying, fleshy texture and bold color; it is everything you need to relish after a long day.
No matter how you prepare it, you’ll always find rich accents in all ham.
Since most recipes serve ham with a glaze, they add extra sweetness to the meat, but not the bad kind of sweet.
In the UK, ham is sometimes called Gammons; they are cured meat but need additional coking.
Ham may be a delicacy to eat, but this delicious cut of meat is not just a treat to your palate.
It is an excellent source of many nutrients your body needs, adding more credit to its already flavorful profile.
The one and most significant benefit is ham being a lean source of protein.
It’s rich in minerals and B vitamins and relatively low in carbs and fat.
Ham may be a better source of essential nutrients than most meat.
Still, it is also one you should eat moderately.
the complex curing process often results in concentrated levels of carcinogens.
Also, the meat may not be suitable for those following a low-sodium diet as the meat is quite savory.
So, Uncured Ham may be the answer to your worries regarding all health issues related to it.
How to Cook and Use Ham?
Now that you know what ham is and its delectable flavor, we bet you’re wondering how to cook it.
Ham is relatively easy to cook, but you should keep a few things in mind.
- First and foremost, cook ham until it reaches an internal temperature of 145° F. This will ensure that the meat is tenderly cooked all the way through and safe to eat.
- Another tip is to score the ham before cooking it. That means making shallow cuts in the surface of the ham, which will help the heat to penetrate the meat more evenly.
- Lastly, don’t forget to glaze your ham. A simple glaze made of honey, brown sugar, and mustard is all you need to take your dish to the next level. If you love your ham glazed, then we recommend getting the City Ham.
When it comes to cooking fresh ham, the process is more or less the same as cooking a whole turkey for Thanksgiving.
You want to marinade the ham in a mixture of your choice.
We love a marinade of honey, wine, brown sugar, minced garlic, and pineapple juice.
Soak your ham in the marinade for several hours or overnight.
After that, cook the ham at a low temperature for some hours. And voila.
Say hello to the most succulent and tender ham you’ve ever tasted.
Ham is processed meat, and like most other processed foods, it is best to set some limits regarding how often you need to consume it.
However, you’re still promised various health benefits which are too good to ignore.
So, a little bit of ham now and then won’t hurt (unless you suffer from some chronic disease).
Also, you will find unending recipes to explore and new flavors to discover each time you prepare them; that is the joy of having a ham meal.
There are always risks associated with all the good food in the world.
But maintaining a healthy balance is key to enjoying everything at its best, that includes ham.