Cooked ham belongs to meat products and can be classified in the category of pork ham. The salty taste comes mainly from the curing process, where the brine is injected into the ham. Through this, the ham also retains its juiciness.
Cooked ham: word origin and characteristics
The word meaning of ham originally goes back to the leg and means the bone. Likewise, the word thigh contributed to today’s version ham. Thus, a ham in butcher jargon is first the name for the rear part of the pig’s body. It is not known exactly where cooked ham first appeared; however, it is characterized by the injection process of the curing brine. This gives the ham its juiciness and a relatively high water content. An indication that the cooked ham originated only in more recent times is the relatively short shelf life, which is also only given in a refrigerated state.
The cooked ham as a supplier of protein
The muscle tissue in the rear part of the pig has a high protein content, which is also found in the ham. With 22.5 percent, protein ranks first in the nutrients of cooked ham. At 3.7 percent fat, cooked ham is a relatively low-fat meat. Carbohydrates are not contained in meat and are therefore negligible. Due to the high salt content, the ham contains some minerals, such as sodium, potassium and phosphorus. Also, the vitamin B3 is contained in the meat.
The use in the kitchen
Cooked ham has many uses; it is usually eaten as part of a hearty evening meal and therefore serves as a flavorful bread topping. But the ham can also be found in hot cuisine, for example in pasta dishes, or on pizza. Especially in the Italian cuisine, the ham is often found.
The ham as part of a low-fat diet
Cooked ham is important primarily as a relatively low-fat source of protein in the diet. Therefore, it fits mainly with diets that rely on a high protein content and fewer carbohydrates. However, it is important to pay attention to the other foods with which the ham is combined. Since ham contains relatively few vitamins, it is only a small component of a balanced diet.