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A ham that is first treated with a salt mixture and then exposed to a natural air-curing process that dries and flavors the meat. During the air-drying process the salt draws out the moisture in the meat and the flesh absorbs the salt, preserving the meat and stopping the growth of disease causing bacterium. This air-dried curing process produces a ham that does not require cooking. Raw ham is generally sliced into paper thin pieces before serving and allowed to sit at room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes before serving. This allows it to develop its full flavor before it is eaten. Examples of raw ham varieties are prosciutto, Jamon Serrano, Ardennes, Black Forest, and Westphalian.
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