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Ham

The salt cured and/or smoked hind leg of a pig (though now ham may also be made from other meats such as mutton or venison and labelled as such). The flavour of the ham is attributed to many factors—the breed or age of the pig, its diet and method of curing. Curing methods may vary, but the process is always based on salt, using either a dry–cure or brine, sometimes with added herbs, spices and treacle or molasses. The hams are often then either smoked or air– dried and possibly aged for months or even years to give each its unique flavour. Hams are eaten raw or cooked according to how much they have been cured. A short curing process followed by smoking does not cure a ham to the same degree as slow curing (dry salting) and air drying over time. Some hams are only available locally while others are produced on a more commercial scale and exported. Ham is sold either by the whole leg (for boiling or baking) or sliced.