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A moist German ham that is air-dried, salt cured, and smoked over pine and/or fir to give it an intense flavor. To be a true Black Forest ham it must be produced in the Black Forest of Germany. It was traditionally coated with beef blood which gave it a black exterior surface however, today the blackened exterior is most often the result of the spices applied to the outer surface and the smoking process during curing.
A variety of commercially produced hams are also available that are labeled as Black Forest hams but not produced in Germany and not cured in the same manner as the traditional Black Forest ham, so they should not be mistaken for a true Black Forest ham. This ham is often a specialty ham that has been brine cured and smoked, providing a robust flavored ham that may have the black exterior surface, which closely resembles the dry salt cured Black Forest ham.
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