Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Ham means literally the "bend of the leg," but the name is now almost entirely confined to the cured thigh of the hog. The process of curing is as follows: After the meat has been well rubbed with salt, it is placed for some days on a bench or in a covered tub until the brine has disappeared. It is then rubbed a second time, some saltpetre or sugar being now added to the salt, and is afterwards replaced on the bench or in the tub for a week, after which the drying takes place. The smoking is usually carried on in a smoking-house containing two or three storeys. A wood tire is lighted in the lowest storey, and the smoke penetrates through the ceiling to those above in which the hams are hung. This operation lasts for about six wreeks, during which the fire is never allowed to go out. The hams smoked in Westphalia are considered the best. An immense number of hams are packed for exportation at Chicago and in the neighbourhood.