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Ham History

Canned hams date back to 1926.

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Baked Ham

© 2006 Peggy Trowbridge Filippone, licensed to About.com, Inc.
Ham is considered by many in America to be the ultimate holiday entree, but you need not reserve ham strictly for special occasions.

Ham History

Domestication of pigs for food dates back to 4900 B.C. in China and by 1500 B.C., Europe had followed suit. Although Christopher Columbus had eight pigs on board when he left Spain for the new world, it is explorer Hernando de Soto whose 13 pigs became the breeding stock for America's pork industry. By the 17th century, most American farmers raised pigs. The shelf-life of salt pork and bacon made both staple in most kitchens.

The word ham comes from the Old English hamm. George A. Hormel & Company pioneered canned hams in America in 1926. Country ham is first mentioned in print in 1944, referring to a method of curing and smoking done in the rural sections of Virginia, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Vermont and other nearby states. The term now refers to a style, rather than location.

More About Ham and Ham Recipes

Ham History
What is trichinosis?
What is the rainbow sheen on ham?
Is moldy country ham safe to eat?
Ham Selection and Storage
Ham Varieties and Terminology
Top 10 Leftover Ham Recipes
Ham Recipes
Ham Photo © 2006 Peggy Trowbridge Filippone, licensed to About.com, Inc.

Cookbooks

The Country Ham Cookbook
Ham: An Obsession with the Hindquarter
Cold Smoking and Salt Curing Meat, Fish and Game
Pig: King of the Southern Table
More Cookbooks
Related Video
Baking the Perfect Holiday Ham
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