How to Select a Ham

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York hams are justly considered the choicest among English hams; indeed, I am inclined to say that, excepting peculiarity of taste, no kind of hams is superior to a thorough good York ham: and, in order the better to assist you in the selection of good hams, allow mo to call your attention to the following particulars: viz.,—while it is an established fact that the best breed of pigs is thin skinned and small boned, it does not necessarily follow that those of thicker rind are to be treated with contempt; so far from this being the case, I will venture to assert that the superiority and general qualifications which go to establish the claims of hams for special selection, depend quite as much on their mode of curing as upon any other consideration. The determining points are these: a well-cured ham, to be in good condition1 for dressing, should be from six. months to a year old, and smooth skinned; it should feel springy to the touch, and on being probed down the knuckle, and about the thigh-bone should smell sweet and savoury, and not at all rancid or strong. Depend upon it that whenever you have chosen hams possessing the before-mentioned qualities, you have been fortunate in selecting a delicacy worthy of making its appearance at the table of an epicure.

No. 449