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Default Ham Before Science

Or something like that. Question: How were hams made (and preserved) before
the arrival of miracles like sodium nitrite? Tons of salt?


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Doug Kanter wrote:

> Or something like that. Question: How were hams made (and preserved) before
> the arrival of miracles like sodium nitrite? Tons of salt?
>
>



Yes. Tons of salt. You had to boil or soak them to make 'em edible.
Some country hams are still made with just salt and a little molasses.

Bob
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Default Ham Before Science

"Doug Kanter" > wrote in message
...
> Or something like that. Question: How were hams made (and preserved)
> before the arrival of miracles like sodium nitrite? Tons of salt?
>


Yes. I recall reading that some salt deposits contain traces of nitrates and
nitrites and that over time this salt was prized as being a better
preservative.


--
Peter Aitken
Visit my recipe and kitchen myths page at www.pgacon.com/cooking.htm


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Default Ham Before Science

Doug Kanter wrote:
> Or something like that. Question: How were hams made (and preserved) before
> the arrival of miracles like sodium nitrite? Tons of salt?
>
>


and smoke, yes. Salt is an excellent preservative. Ever heard of
sauerkraut or kosher dills?

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Default Ham Before Science

"sarah bennett" > wrote in message
t...
> Doug Kanter wrote:
>> Or something like that. Question: How were hams made (and preserved)
>> before the arrival of miracles like sodium nitrite? Tons of salt?

>
> and smoke, yes. Salt is an excellent preservative. Ever heard of
> sauerkraut or kosher dills?


Pickles? Those things in jars? Nope. Never heard of 'em. :-) I *am* very
familiar with bacalao, though.




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Default Ham Before Science

On Wed 01 Feb 2006 08:54:40a, Thus Spake Zarathustra, or was it L, not -L?

>
> On 1-Feb-2006, "Doug Kanter" > wrote:
>
>> Or something like that. Question: How were hams made (and preserved)
>> before
>> the arrival of miracles like sodium nitrite? Tons of salt?

>
> On my grandfather's farm, when I was growing up in the '50s, ham was
> preserved with salt and smoke. I remember the butchering all took place
> around the same time, then the meat was smoked and left hanging in the
> smokehouse until needed.


At my grandfather's, too. I really loved those hams and bacon. We soaked
hams in milk overnight before rinsing and simmering in a big pot until
tender. Then baked them with a glaze.

--
Wayne Boatwright տլ
________________________________________

Okay, okay, I take it back! UnScrew you!

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Default Ham Before Science


Doug Kanter wrote:
> Question: How were hams made (and preserved) before
> the arrival of miracles like sodium nitrite? Tons of salt?


Of course salt. Only thing curing powders do differently is impart a
more attractive appearance/color.

Salt occurs naturally (has since before life began), many, many foods
are still preserved with only plain NACL.... and brine.

Even before salting foods were preserved by dehydration and/or
freezing, the oldest forms of food preservation... still, obviously.

Many foods are preserved by a combination of methods, drying,
salting/curing, smoking... think pepperoni.

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Default Ham Before Science


zxcvbob wrote:

> Yes. Tons of salt. You had to boil or soak them to make 'em edible.
> Some country hams are still made with just salt and a little molasses.
>


Picked up a Smithfield ham a few years ago, and couldn't wait to try
it; it was so salty, I ended up throwing it out! Perhaps I should have
soaked it first. I suspect salt, salt and more salt was the recipe
back then...

--
Karen MacInerney
Kitchen experimenter, family chauffeur, and culinary mystery author
www.karenmacinerney.com

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Default Ham Before Science



Doug Kanter wrote:
>
> Or something like that. Question: How were hams made (and preserved) before
> the arrival of miracles like sodium nitrite? Tons of salt?


Salting and/or drying and/or smoking.
'Curing salts' have been known for a long time, without the specifics of
nitrates/nitrites being identified.
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Default Ham Before Science

Doug Kanter wrote:
> Or something like that. Question: How were hams made (and preserved) before
> the arrival of miracles like sodium nitrite? Tons of salt?
>
>


Salt will work, but some of the 'curing salts', like saltpeter, have
been in use a looooong time.

Bubba

--
You wanna measure or you wanna cook?


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Steve Wertz wrote:
> On 1 Feb 2006 08:18:17 -0800, "Sheldon" > wrote:
>
>
>>Doug Kanter wrote:
>>
>>>Question: How were hams made (and preserved) before
>>>the arrival of miracles like sodium nitrite? Tons of salt?

>>
>>Of course salt. Only thing curing powders do differently is impart a
>>more attractive appearance/color.

>
>
> Curing also adds a flavor component. If you cure a ham with just
> salt, it will taste very different then one cured with salt +
> nitrites.
>
>
>>Salt occurs naturally (has since before life began), many, many foods
>>are still preserved with only plain NACL.... and brine.

>
>
> So, you're finally accepting the fact that a brine can used to
> cure meat?
>
> -sw


Curing in brine? Why would anyone question that? The writings of
yesteryear are filled with references to barrels of brined meat.
Recently, in a collection of 'receipts' from the mid 1800's, I read a
technique for restoring a 'tainted' barrel of brined meat.

Bubba

--
You wanna measure or you wanna cook?
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Default Ham Before Science


On Wed, 1 Feb 2006, Doug Kanter wrote:

> Or something like that. Question: How were hams made (and preserved) before
> the arrival of miracles like sodium nitrite? Tons of salt?
>
>
>


Salt is naturally occurring in the earth and the sea. It has always been
here.


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