A country ham should have the use by date stammped on the package. If you keep the ham cold then it should be good until the date.
Black Forest ham
Black Forest ham, or Schwarzwälder Schinken in German, is a variety of dry-cured smoked ham, a pork product, produced in the Black Forest region of Germany. Ham is the thigh and rump from the haunch of a pig or boar.
Black Forest Ham is the best-selling smoked ham in Europe. In 1959 Hans Adler from Bonndorf pioneered manufacturing and selling Original Black Forest ham by retail and mail order. Since 1997 the term "Black Forest ham" is a Protected Designation of Origin in the European Union, which means that anything sold in the EU as "Black Forest ham" must come from the Black Forest region in Germany. However, this appellation is not recognized in non-EU countries, particularly in United States and Canada, where various commercially produced hams of varying degrees of quality are marketed and sold as "Black Forest ham".
The production of Black Forest ham can take up to three months. Raw ham is salted and seasoned with garlic, coriander, pepper, juniper berries and other spices. After curing for two weeks, the salt is removed and the ham cures for another two weeks.][ Then the ham is cold smoked at a temperature of 25°C (77°F) for several weeks, during which time the original Black Forest Ham gets almost black on the outside. The smoke is created by burning fir brush and sawdust, and this smoking process gives the ham much of its rich flavor. After smoking the Ham is dried in the air for two weeks before it is sold.
Black Forest ham has a very pronounced flavor and is common in German cuisine. It may be eaten fresh, for example on bread or with fruit, or used as an ingredient in cooked dishes. Black Forest Ham pieces are best stored hanging without cover in a cool place (up to 18° C is best) in fresh air and can last for many weeks without wasting. If the ham is kept in the refrigerator or is covered, it will soon get greasy and grumpy][.
Country ham is a variety of cured ham, typically very salty. Country ham is first mentioned in print in 1944, referring to a method of curing and smoking done in the rural parts of North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Georgia, Kentucky and other nearby southern states. Virginia ham is a country ham produced in Virginia (including the more-precisely-defined Smithfield ham); whereas "VA Style" refers to a curing style, not a location.
Country hams are salt-cured (and occasionally nitrite- and nitrate-cured) for one to three months. They may be hardwood (usually hickory and Red Oak) smoked, then aged for several months to 2–3 years, depending on the fat content of the meat. Country hams are not fully cooked, but preserved by the cure. Smoking is not a legal requirement: some types of country ham, such as the "salt-and-pepper ham" of North Carolina, are not smoked. Smoking turns the meat a much redder color than unsmoked hams. They are usually sold in stores unrefrigerated as whole, bone-in hams packaged in rough cotton bags, with identifying markings printed on the bags. Country ham is also sold in presoaked, sliced, ready-to-cook form, usually vacuum-packaged.
There are several methods of cooking a country ham including slicing and pan-frying, baking whole, and simmering for several hours (in several changes of water). Whole hams may need to be scrubbed and soaked for several hours before eating to remove the salt cure and mold. Even when soaked, they are still quite salty. For traditionalists, part of the appeal of country ham is this highly salty taste. Some eaters of country ham scrub, scrape, or pare off the outer crust of curatives, slice it, pan fry it, and eat it as is. Or they may fry the ham with the crust on. Some discard the crust; others consume it along with the meat.
Country ham is often served in restaurants as an entree as a whole slice, often with the femur cross-section left in. In addition, it is commonly used in a ham sandwich. It is also commonly served boned, sliced and then cut into pieces to be used in sandwiches in buttermilk (or similar) biscuits, sometimes with butter or red-eye gravy, made by adding water or coffee to country ham pan drippings and cooking down for a short time.
Country ham is in some ways similar to Italian uncooked prosciutto (prosciutto crudo), but prosciutto is not smoked, and is usually moister than a country ham. It is also usually sliced much thinner than the thicker traditional country ham "steaks" or even slices for sandwiches.
Some cookbooks on Chinese cooking produced in the West suggest that country ham can substitute for Chinese ham products such as Jinhua ham, being similar in flavor.][
Broadbent's are makers of award-winning country ham, bacon and sausage from Kentucky, United States. In 2009 the firm celebrated its 100th Anniversary. Broadbent hams can be found nationwide at a wide variety of area gourmet food stores.
Broadbent's claim "the most awarded country hams in the state of Kentucky," including Grand Champion. As of 2006, the company held a record for 12 Grand Champion Hams.
After having prepared country hams for more than 80 years, and selling them retail since the 1960s the Broadbents sold the business to the more recent owner, Rodney Drennan, in 1999.
According to Drennan, the business has quadrupled in the last five years, and Internet sales are up 20 percent. "Kentucky is well known for its good food products," Drennan said. "I’m happy to be part of that tradition."
By the end of 2002 (under the ownership of co-owenrs Rodney Drennan and his wife Beth), the company was selling 6000 hams a year.
Broadbent also sells city hams "for those who want them" says Ms. Drennan who in 2002 warned that "City hams have to be refrigerated from the beginning or they'll ruin on you." Margaret Davis, the secretary-treasurer of Finchville Farms in Kentucky, agreed saying "When we cure a ham, we mix salt, red and black pepper and brown sugar, rub it on the hams and hang them up to let them age for a year. That process of curing would be where you get different flavors."
For a number of years, Broadbent hams have been auctioned off for charity at the Kentucky State Fair. The record thus far was set in 2004, when a Broadbent B&B ham sold for $500,000; in 2008, a ham netted $200,000.
In 1967, Broadbent's B&B Foods won its first Kentucky State Fair Grand Champion Ham, which was sold at a charity auction for $825. Broadbent is the most decorated company in the history of the show, and as of 2001, the only company to win Grand Champion two years in a row.
The ham sandwich is a common type of sandwich. The bread may be buttered or toasted.][
The ham sandwich is one of the earliest recorded closed-face sandwiches; by 1850, at least 70 London street vendors offered it. In 18th-century Britain the sandwich was still closely associated with Spanish cuisine, which (considering the especially wide consumption of ham in Spain) may suggest that sandwiches with ham were preferred at that time as well.
The British Sandwich Association says that the ham sandwich is the most sold sandwich in the UK, and a survey they conducted in 2001 saw ham as the second favourite filling behind cheese. 70% of the 1.8 billion sandwiches eaten in France in 2008 were ham sandwiches, prompting a French economic analysis firm to begin a 'jambon-beurre index', like the Big Mac Index, to compare prices across the country. Most ham sandwiches sold in the UK are processed, using formed ham and bread made using the Chorleywood Bread Process.
The world's longest ham sandwich was created by butcher Nico Jimenez 2009 in Pamplona, Spain.
The World Cancer Research Fund warned in 2009 against parents feeding their children too many ham sandwiches, due to the risk of bowel cancer from the processed meat. A ham sandwich was suspected of causing an outbreak of swine fever in the UK in 2000.
New York State chief judge Sol Wachtler was famously quoted by Tom Wolfe in The Bonfire of the Vanities that "a grand jury would 'indict a ham sandwich,' if that's what you wanted."
A fictional talking ham sandwich appeared in an online noir serial in the late 1990s, and the publishers sued in 1999 when a similar character appeared in a television advertisement for Florida orange juice, though the suit was withdrawn.
In southern parts of the U.S., it is also sometimes referred to as a 'hamwich.'"
Ham Hill, Somerset
Ham is a cut of meat from the thigh of the hind leg of an animal, usually a pig. Nearly all hams sold today are either fully cooked or cured.][
The main flavor compounds of smoked ham are guaiacol, and its 4-, 5-, and 6-methyl derivatives as well as 2,6-dimethylphenol. These compounds are produced by thermal breakdown (i.e., combustion) of lignin, a major constituent of wood used in the smokehouse.
Jambon d'Ardenne is a dry-cured ham from Wallonia (Belgium), rubbed with salt or immersed in a brine, and left to mature in a cool place; if it is smoked, wood or sawdust must be used (softwood and reuse excluded). It has the European label Protected Geographical Indication (PGI).
Elenski but is a dry-cured ham from the town of Elena in northern Bulgaria. The meat has a specific taste and can be preserved over the course of several years, owing much to the process of making and the local climatic conditions.
In the coastal regions of Croatia—Istria, Dalmatia, Croatian Littoral, and Lika—a form of ham known as pršut is made. In Istria ham is protected by origin (only Croatian ham that is protected (PDO)), made only with natural herbs (garlic, sea salt, bay leaf, black pepper), and dried without smoke. It is covered with green mold and without fat and skin. Dalmatian ham is smoked and dried ham which is pressed and is very popular. The most popular pršuts come from town of Drniš and village Posedarje in Dalmatia, and town of Pazin, village Tinjan in Istria. The popularity of pršut has helped it spread to other regions of Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and other surrounding countries. Pršut is similar to Italian hams. In continental Croatia the šunkas are made. Šunka is a Croatian word for ham. It is not pressed but in other ways it is similar to pršut though not as popular.
Chinese dry-cured hams have been recorded in texts since before the Song dynasty and used in myriad dishes. Several types exist in Qing dynasty cuisine and are used in dishes of stewing hams (火腿炖肘子), and vegetables, or for a wide variety of soup and soup stocks. One of the best-known Chinese hams is the Jinhua ham, a dry-cured ham which is used to produce a dish known as "Buddha jumps over the wall". Jinhua ham is used in Chinese cuisines to flavor stewed and braised foods as well as for making the stocks and broths of many Chinese soups. The ham was awarded first prize in the 1915 Panama International Merchandise Exhibition.
Regional varieties of French dry-cured hams include:
Jambon de Bayonne (Bayonne ham) is an air dried salted ham that takes its name from the ancient port city of Bayonne in the far South West of France (Le Pays Basque or French Basque Country). It is mainly produced in the Béarn region.
Jambon de Paris (Paris ham) is a wet-cured, boneless ham, which is served cold in thin slices and is a favorite of French families, especially children, to fix a quick meal.
Jambon d'Aoste, jambon de Savoie, jambon d'Auvergne, and jambon d'Ardèche are other French hams with some form of official appellation.
Regional varieties of German dry-cured, smoked hams include:
In Greece and Cyprus, ham or hiroméri (χοιρομέρι), lit. "pork thigh", was traditionally prepared right before Christmas. The pork thigh is salted, sometimes marinated in red wine, then spiced and eventually smoked. It is typically served as an accompaniment to wine or ouzo.
In Italy, ham is called prosciutto, and can be either cured (prosciutto crudo) or cooked (prosciutto cotto).
Earliest evidence of ham production in Italy comes from the Republican Roman period (400-300 BC). Modern Italian and European Union legislation grants a protected designation of origin to several raw hams, which specify where and how these types of ham can be produced.
There are several such hams from Italy, each one with a particular production process. Parma ham, the so-called prosciutto di Parma, has almost 200 producers concentrated in the eastern part of Parma Province. Its production is regulated by a quality consortium that recognizes qualifying products with a distinctive mark. Only larger fresh hams are used (12-13 kilograms). Curing uses relatively little salt. After salting, the meat is sealed with pig fat over the exposed muscle tissue, which slows drying. Curing occurs over a minimum 12 months. No nitrates or spices are used in the process.
San Daniele ham (prosciutto di San Daniele) is the most similar to Parma ham, especially the low quantity of salt added to the meat, and is the most prized ham. Other raw hams include the so-called nostrani or nazionali or toscani; they are more strongly flavored and are produced using a higher quantity of salt.
Prague ham (prosciutto di Praga), although originating in Prague in the early 1900s, is one of the most well known Italian cooked hams, and the province of Trieste (which was part of Austria-Hungary until 1918, just like Prague) is the center of its production.] [.
Éisleker ham, or jambon d'Oesling (Oesling ham), is a speciality from the Oesling region in the north of Luxembourg. Traditionally, it was prepared by marinating the hams in herbs and vinegar for several days, then hanging them in a chimney for long periods of cold smoking. Today the meat is cured in brine for two weeks and placed in a smoker fed from beech and oak chips for about a week. Jambon d'Oesling is protected under EU regulations as having PGI status.
Njeguška pršuta is an air-dried ham made in Njeguši, a village in Montenegro. Its particular flavor and aroma are the result of the mixture of sea and mountain air and wood burned during the drying process. It is similar to bacon.
In the Philippines, ham, or hamon as it is called (from the Spanish jamón, "ham"), is normally associated with the Yuletide season. There are local variants of jamón serrano, and there is hamon de Bola, which is a ball-shaped wet cured ham, among other varieties. There is also tinned processed ham—the type in cans—available year round in groceries. The main Christmas ham, similar to a Chinese ham and served on some Noche Buenas (Christmas Eve), is similar to a dry cured one, and it has to be cooked in a special sweet broth after being soaked to reduce the salt. Then the ham is scored and glazed, and roasted. Hamon de Bola, produced by the major Philippine food manufacturers, is usually offered as gifts to employees in most companies and government offices during the Yuletide season. This can be either baked or fried. As with the other dishes "localized" from foreign sources, the Philippine palate favors the sweeter variety of ham.
In Portugal, besides several varieties of wet-cured hams called fiambre (not to be confused with the Guatemalan dish, also called fiambre), the most important type of ham is presunto, a dry-cured ham similar to Spanish jamón and Italian prosciutto. There are a wide variety of presuntos in Portugal; among the most famous are presunto from Chaves and presunto from Alentejo made from black Iberian pig (see also pata negra).
In Romania, ham is of two types şuncă (also called şonc or şoancă) and jambon. Sunca is usually dry cured, always with granular salt; in Transylvania and Banat, paprika might be added. Jambon, in the region of Moldova, is cured with granular salt and stored for at least 3 months. Before serving it, jambon will be kept in frequently changed water for about 24 hours to reduce salt, then it will be put on a pan, and covered with a thick layer of dough, and ultimately cooked in an oven for at least 3 hours. The result is a soft, tender meat soaked in light tasty pork fat with only a very thin layer of fat left because of the cooking.
The best-known Serbian ham (pršut in Serbian) is produced in Zlatibor mountain region, especially Mačkat village, where an annual ham festival is held every January. The Zlatibor region feels the influences of mediterranean and continental climates and in this area is "wind rose" which is one of the main reasons for production of quality ham. Delicatessen products include beef, swine and sheep ham. Another delicacy is Užice ham (Užička pršut) produced in western Serbia, near Užice town. Also known for ham is Vojvodina in the north, especially Banat. There are also quality ham products from Stara Planina region in the south-east Serbia, on the border with Bulgaria. Worth mentioning is traditional ham production in the Šumadija region.
One of the more exacting ham regulatory practices can be found in Spain, where ham is called jamón in Spanish (also known regionally as pernil in Aragon, Catalonia, Valencia and other parts of Eastern Spain; xamón in Galicia; and urdaiazpiko in the Basque Country and Navarre). Hams in Spain are not only classified according to preparation, but also the breed, the pre-slaughter diet, and region of preparation are considered important.
The jamón serrano (Serrano ham) comes from the "white pig". The regional appellations of Spanish Serrano ham include the following:
The jamón ibérico (Iberian ham) comes from the black Iberian pig, and is also classified by the amount of acorns they eat, which determines the ham quality. Spanish regulators recognize three qualities:
The regional appellations (Denominación de Origen, D.O.) of Iberian ham include the following:
British ham is closely associated with the older Wiltshire cure process rather than the newer Sweet cure. Gammon steaks are thick cut and circular in shape. The word gammon derives from the Old Northern French word jambe for hind-leg of the pig, and may also be used to refer to bacon. The depth of meat to the bone is greatest at the top of the hind limb; cutting this piece from the side and curing it separately therefore cures the meat thoroughly and easily. This cut is the original and to this extent authentic form of gammon, though the name is often applied to any round ham steak. Gammon is usually smoked.
"York ham" is a mild-flavoured ham, lightly smoked and dry-cured, which is saltier but milder in flavour than other European dry-cured hams. It has delicate pink meat and does not need further cooking before eating. It is traditionally served with Madeira Sauce. Folklore has it that the oak construction for York Minster provided the sawdust for smoking the ham.
The United States largely inherited its traditions relating to ham and pork from 17th-century Britain and 18th-century France, the latter especially in Louisiana. The French often used wet cure processed hams that are the foundation stock of several modern dishes, like certain gumbos and sandwiches. Until the very early 20th century, men living in the southern Appalachians would drive their pigs to market in the flatlands below each Autumn, fattening up their stock on chestnuts and fallen mast. Further, archaeological evidence suggests that the early settlers of Jamestown (men largely from the West Midlands) built swine pens for the pigs they brought with them and, once established, also carried on an ancient British tradition of slaughtering their pigs and producing their pork in mid-November.][ To this day, the result is that in many areas, a large ham, not a turkey, is the centerpiece of a family Christmas dinner.
In the United States, ham is regulated primarily on the basis of its cure and water content. The USDA recognizes the following categories:][ Fresh ham is an uncured hind leg of pork. Country ham is uncooked, cured, dried, smoked or unsmoked, made from a single piece of meat from the hind leg of a hog or from a single piece of meat from a pork shoulder (picnic ham). Country ham typically is saltier and less sweet than city ham. Virginia's Smithfield ham, a country ham, must be grown and produced in or around Smithfield, Virginia, to be sold as a Smithfield ham. Similar hams from Tennessee and the Appalachians have a similar method of preparation, but may include honey in their cures and be hickory smoked. As country ham ages, mold may grow on the outside of the ham, while the rest of the meat continues to age. This process produces a distinctive flavor, but the mold layer is usually scrubbed or cut off the ham before being cooked and served.
For most other purposes, under US law, a "ham" is a cured hind leg of pork that is at least 20.5% protein (not counting fat portions), and contains no added water. However, "ham" can be legally applied to "turkey ham" if the meat is taken from the turkey thigh. If the ham has less than 20.5% but is at least 18.5% protein, it can be called "ham with natural juices". A ham that is at least 17.0% protein and up to 10% added solution can be called "ham—water added". Finally, "ham and water product" refers to a cured hind leg of pork product that contains any amount of added water, although the label must indicate the percent added ingredients. If a ham has been cut into pieces and molded, it must be labelled "sectioned and formed", or "chunked and formed" if coarsely ground.
Sugar is common in many dry hams in the United States; it is used to cover the saltiness. The majority of common wet-cured ham available in U.S. supermarkets is of the "city ham" or "sweet cure" variety, in which brine is injected into the meat for a very rapid curing suitable for mass market. Traditional wet curing requires immersing the ham in a brine for an extended period, often followed by light smoking.
In addition to the main categories, some processing choices can affect legal labeling. A 'smoked' ham must have been smoked by hanging over burning wood chips in a smokehouse or an atomized spray of liquid smoke such that the product appearance is equivalent; a "hickory-smoked" ham must have been smoked using only hickory. However, injecting "smoke flavor" is not legal grounds for claiming the ham was "smoked"; these are labeled "smoke flavor added". Hams can only be labelled "honey-cured" if honey was at least 50% of the sweetener used, is at least 3% of the formula, and has a discernible effect on flavor. So-called "lean" and "extra lean" hams must adhere to maximum levels of fat and cholesterol per 100 grams of product.
Turkey ham, a boneless product made from pressed turkey thigh meat, is a low-fat alternative to traditional ham in the US.
Spiral sliced ham has become popular option for bone-in or boneless hams sold in the US. In the spiral cutting process, the ham is firmly affixed, on the top and bottom, to a rotating base, which is gradually lowered as a blade is applied. This creates one single continuous slice.
Tinned ham (more commonly known in the United States as "canned ham") is a meat product that is sold exclusively in tins (or cans). The ham itself is usually formed from smaller cuts of meat, cooked in the can, and is often covered in an aspic jelly during the canning process. Two versions are available, perishable and shelf-stable. Tinned ham is usually sold in supermarkets and convenience stores.
Ham is uncooked preserved pork. It is cured (a preservation process) usually in large quantities of salt and sugar, then hot smoked (hung over a hot, smokey fire but out of direct heat) to preserve it more. This process keeps the pink hue of the uncooked meat. Standard pork, like chops, are raw and unpreserved. When heat is applied to the meat a chemical reaction happens that turns the hemoglobin white. This also happens when an acid is applied to meats.
The pink color of ham develops in the curing process which involves salt and usually either nitrites or nitrates. The nitrate cure is used for product that will either be kept a long time or at room temperature like dry salami. Most hams are cured with nitrite and salt today.
The cure prevents the growth of unhealthy bacteria (maybe deadly) before enough moisture is withdrawn by the salt. This is particularly important if the product is to be smoked above 40F when these bacteria grow. The "danger zone" for uncured product is between 40F and 140F.
There is confusion in the words curing and brining. Brining is done with salt and usually sugar and only alters the product color a little. Curing is done with salt and nitrates.
Sodium nitrite is used for the curing of meat because it prevents bacterial growth and, in a reaction with the meat's myoglobin, gives the product a desirable dark red color. Because of the toxicity of nitrite (the lethal dose of nitrite for humans is about 22 mg per kg body weight), the maximum allowed nitrite concentration in meat products is 200 ppm. Under certain conditions, especially during cooking, nitrites in meat can react with degradation products of amino acids, forming nitrosamines, which are known carcinogens.
The word "ham" is derived from the Old English ham or hom meaning the hollow or bend of the knee.
Ham Hill is a geological Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), Scheduled Ancient Monument, Iron Age hill fort, Roman site, Local Nature Reserve and country park, to the west of Yeovil in Somerset, England.
The hill has given its name to the distinctive quarried hamstone and also to two nearby villages: Stoke-sub-Hamdon and Norton Sub Hamdon, whose names mean "under-Ham-hill" (where "Ham" is Old English for a small settlement). The Mendip Hills, Blackdown Hills, Quantock Hills and Dorset Downs are all visible from Ham Hill, especially from its war memorial. It is popular for picnicking, walking and mountain biking in the grassy hollows of the old quarry workings.
The geology supports a wide range of fauna including mammals, birds, invertebrates, reptiles and amphibians living on lichens, fungi, ferns and flowering plants.
The hill is part of ridge of sandy limestone rock which is elevated above the lower lying clay vales and nearby Somerset Levels. The sedimentary rocks were laid down in the part of the early Jurassic known as the Toarcian Stage. They are given their colour by the weathering of the iron content of the stone and contain fossils such as the ammonite Dumortieria moorei.
The hamstone is a distinctive honey-coloured building stone which has been used in many local villages and for buildings such as Montacute House and Sherborne Abbey. Extensive old quarry workings have changed the landscape into a warren of stony ridges and grassy hollows. Quarrying has unearthed many important historical artefacts, but also destroyed much of the archaeological context.
The hill is an 11.1 ha geological Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), notified in 1971, due of its particular importance to geologists because of the assemblages of fossils which it contains, the sedimentary features which it displays and the way it relates to other rocks of equivalent age in the close vicinity.
Ham Hill is managed as a Local Nature Reserve, under Section 21 of the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949, because of the rare calcareous grassland which supports a wide variety of plant and animal species and its wild flower meadows and wide open grassland areas such as Witcombe Valley.
Fauna include mammals, birds, invertebrates, reptiles and amphibians while the flora include lichens, fungi, ferns and flowering plants.
The name may come from the Old English ham and hyll giving a meaning of "the settlement hill", however its original name was Hamdon, meaning "the hill among the water meadows". There is evidence of occupation from the mesolithic and neolithic periods. Ham Hill is the site of a very large Bronze Age and Iron Age hill fort of the Durotriges tribe, from the 1st century BC. The 3 miles (5 km) ramparts enclose an area of 210 acres (85 ha). Most of the perimeter is a double bank and ditch ("multivallate"). There is a major entrance to the south-east, on the line of the modern road and another to the north-east, following a track from the Church of St Mary the Virgin at East Stoke in Stoke-sub-Hamdon. Archaeological finds include bronzework, chariot parts, iron currency bars, gold and silver coins, cremations and burials.
The hill was captured around AD 45 by the Roman Second Legion (Augusta), led by the future emperor Vespasian, who had already captured Maiden Castle and other hill forts to the south. Many Roman military artefacts have been found and it is quite likely that the Second Legion made a temporary camp on the hill, as at Hod Hill. After the initial campaigns, a more permanent Roman camp was established at nearby Ilchester and the Fosse Way military road was constructed within 1 mile (2 km) of Ham Hill, on its way to Axminster and the garrison at Exeter. The area was very prosperous in the Roman period and several major villas have been found nearby, including one on the eastern part of the hill in the field known as "Warren", with extensive mosaic. Other villas have been found at Stoke-sub-Hamdon, Odcombe, Lufton and West Coker. Just to the east of the main plateau is the isolated St. Michael's Hill, the "pointed hill" that gives its name to the village of Montacute and which was turned into a motte-and-bailey castle by the Normans.
South of the main hill are strip lynchets, or low terraces created by ancient ploughing and cultivation and the deserted medieval village of Witcombe (or Whitcombe), which was finally abandoned in the 17th century.
In the 1800s there were 24 small quarries operating on the hill employing some 200 men. This continued into the Victorian era with over 200 small family run quarries and masonry businesses. Many of these small quarries had ceased working by 1910. Today hamstone is only quarried in two areas at the top of Ham Hill. The North quarry, near the modern stone circle and war memorial, is the longest running hamstone quarry in existence. The southern, Norton Quarry extracts its stone from some 20–30 metres below the surface and is quarried by Harvey Stone. This quarry was reopened around 15 years ago, having been the last quarry abandoned in the 1930s due to there being, according to the masons working the hill "no good quality stone left". Both quarries are owned by the Duchy of Cornwall.
The northern end of the plateau is crowned by a war memorial to the dead of the nearby village of Stoke-sub-Hamdon killed during the two World Wars. It was designed in 1920 and unveiled in 1923 with four steps which lead to a square plinth and a tapering four-sided obelisk with a flat top. The memorial is clearly visible from the surrounding countryside, including the A303 trunk road which now follows the course of the Fosse Way near the base of the hill. Just below the Monument is a bench dedicated to the memory of local student Alan Kneebone, who was murdered in 2001 while at Wakefield College.
The hill and the country park around it provide a venue for a variety of leisure and recreational uses, including walking, horse riding, mountain biking and orienteering. It is also very popular with dog walkers. It is the end of the Leland trail, a 28 miles (45.1 km) footpath which runs from King Alfred's Tower to Ham Hill Country Park.
There is a limited amount of climbing available at Ham Hill with roughly 20 routes. These are top roped routes due to the nature of the rock, the difficulty of "topping out" and because the rock is or geological interest. There are also several bouldering problems.
There are two compass trails for orienteering: one in the stone circle area and one in Witcombe Valley. They are marked by sets of letters printed on small squares from A - J, which are attached to fence posts, signposts, gates and boulders.
Ham Hill is also close to the Monarch's Way a 615-mile (990 km) long-distance footpath which approximates the escape route taken by King Charles II in 1651, after being defeated at the Battle of Worcester. and the start of the Liberty Trail which covers 28 miles (45 km) to Lyme Regis in Dorset.
Ham Hill is operated as a 390 acres (160 ha) country park by South Somerset District Council and is visited by over 250,000 people each year.
Prior to the designation of Ham Hill as a country park, three local farms used ancient free range grazing rights on the main grass area of the hill. Country Park status brought more visitors and most importantly, more dogs. The dogs made the grazing of sheep impossible. This has resulted in a noticeable change in vegetation in the last forty years. In many areas, what were areas of short-cropped grassland interspersed with short stemmed plants such as wild thyme and clovers have been replaced by rank bracken, gorse, bramble and wild parsley. The absence of the sheep has also enabled woodland to overrun and obscure the previously grassed Iron Age earthworks, most noticeably on the northern flank of the hill. A disastrous fire on the south-west flank of the hill (overlooking Little Norton) in the drought summer of 1976 was believed to have been caused by a discarded cigarette. The vegetation on the entire side of the hill was destroyed. When regrowth appeared, bracken was the dominant vegetation. In some places this has now given way to woodland, but the fine grassland of before the fire has not returned.
Other changes are due to farming habits. In previous years the plateau fields were almost exclusively used for grazing or growing spring wheat and left fallow during the winter. In some years the fields were lightly ploughed and mangolds grown for winter fodder. Following a change in ownership during the 1980s, this changed to winter-sown grain with deep ploughing with sludge injection. The change caused an immediate change to the wildlife. The winter flocks of finches were lost, the yellowhammers disappeared, the skylarks nearly so. The deep ploughing proved counter productive as millions of poppy seeds were brought to the surface making the grain difficult to harvest - something that had been warned of years earlier by a previous farmer, but disregarded. It was around this time that deep ploughing probably damaged the remains of the Roman mosaic at Batemore; the site was ploughed over (it had never been marked on the ground) and small pieces of tile were brought to the surface. The plateau fields are now under the control of the park authorities, who are attempting to restore them by allowing natural grassland regrowth, with controlled sheep grazing.
Randall, C. E., 2010. Livestock and landscape: exploring animal exploitation in later prehistory in the South West of Britain. PhD Thesis (PhD). Bournemouth University. Appendix 5 Ham Hill
Cold cuts are precooked or cured meat, often sausages or meat loaves, that are sliced and usually served cold on sandwiches or on party trays. They can be bought pre-sliced in vacuum packs at a supermarket or grocery store, or they can be purchased at a delicatessen or deli counter, where they might be sliced to order. Most pre-sliced cold cuts are higher in fat, nitrates, and sodium than those that are sliced to order, as a larger exposed surface requires stronger preservatives. In any case, the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) advises that those over 50 reheat cold cuts to "steaming hot" 165 °F (73.9 °C) and use them within four days.
Cold cuts also may be known as lunch meats, luncheon meats, sandwich meats, cooked meats, sliced meats, cold meats and deli meats. In Commonwealth countries and the U.K., luncheon meat refers specifically to products that can include mechanically reclaimed meat, and offal. In British English, the terms cold meats, cooked meats, or sliced meats are used instead.
Food and drink
A garde manger (French for "keeper of the food") is a cool, well-ventilated area where cold dishes (such as salads, hors d'œuvres, appetizers, canapés, pâtés and terrines) are prepared and other foods are stored under refrigeration. The person in charge of this area is known as the chef garde manger. Larger hotels and restaurants may have garde manger staff perform additional duties, such as creating decorative elements of buffet presentation like ice carving and edible centerpieces made from materials such as cheese, Thai fruit and vegetable carvings, butter, salt dough or tallow.
The term "garde manger" originated in pre-Revolutionary France. At that time, maintaining a large supply of food and beverage was an outward symbol of power, wealth and status. It is because of this duty of supervising the preserving of food and managing its utilization that many interpret the term "garde manger".
Ham it up
Food is any substance consumed to provide nutritional support for the body. It is usually of plant or animal origin, and contains essential nutrients, such as carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, or minerals. The substance is ingested by an organism and assimilated by the organism's cells in an effort to produce energy, maintain life, or stimulate growth.
Historically, people secured food through two methods: hunting and gathering, and agriculture. Today, most of the food energy consumed by the world population is supplied by the food industry.