Black Forest ham is a good source of protein, but because it is cured with salt, the sodium content of the meat is relatively high. Lower sodium Black Forest ham options are available for purchase, so if you’re watching your salt intake, this may be an option to consider. But did you know where the Black Forest Ham come from?
The “Black Forest Ham” comes from the German Black Forest region, where it was historically coated in beef blood to give it a dark color. That is why it is called Black Forest Ham.
What is the Difference Between Virginia Hams and Black Forest Hams?
Dry curing is a technique both Virginia and Black Forest hams use. Dry-cured hams are made from a pig’s hind leg, and the butcher cures the meat without injecting any water or moisture into it or soaking the ham in water before smoking it. The butcher rubs it with a dry cure mixture of salt and other dry seasonings right before smoking it to add flavor to the pork. The ham ages after smoking, losing 20% of its moisture content and developing a salty taste. (Source: Leaf)
Black Forest Hams with a Twist
A brine procedure is used instead of dry curing for an atypical Black Forest ham. Before smoking, bringing involves soaking the ham in salt, sugar, and water. This gives the ham the characteristic black appearance of a traditional Black Forest ham, but the flavor is distinct and less salty. (Source: Leaf)
Where Did Virginia Hams and Black Forest Hams Come From?
Virginia hams and Black Forest hams come from different parts of the world. Virginia hams, a form of country ham, are made in Virginia, but an authentic Black Forest ham is made in Germany’s Black Forest. (Source: Leaf)
Is Smoking Process for Both Hams the Same?
Virginia hams and Black Forest hams are smoked differently: Virginia hams are smoked over oak, hickory, and applewood, but traditional Black Forest hams are smoked over pine or fir. The Black Forest ham has a somewhat more robust flavor than a Virginia ham since it is smoked over pine and fire. (Source: Leaf)
What is the Exterior Skin Color of both Hams?
Beef blood, which covered the ham after its initial smoking and turned the skin black, was originally used to coat the Black Forest ham. The black exterior is now frequently caused by spices applied before the smoking process and the smoking process itself. The charred surface of the Virginia ham is absent. (Source: Leaf)
How are the Two Hams Prepared?
The flavor of typical Virginia ham is rich but dry and salty. The majority of cooks prefer to bake or boil the ham. Some people prefer soaking before baking to minimize saltiness. Others moisten the finished dish with brown sugar and tropical fruit juice glaze. Traditional Black Forest ham is juicy, salty, and flavorful by nature. It’s typically baked and used to add flavor to pasta recipes. Alternatively, thinly sliced Black Forest ham can be served with bread or cheese. (Source: Leaf)