What Is A York Ham?


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A York ham is a leg of pork that has been dry cured using a method traditional to the York region. Current producers describe the process as taking ten weeks. The dry curing process is followed by a maturation period to help the ham develop a greater depth of flavour. Dry curing lends the ham a slightly saltier flavour and drier texture than other hams. The true York ham is said to have been made from the meat of the Large White Pig. However some would have it that the original York Ham was a smoked cured meat which was smoked using the waste timber from the building of York Minster. Dry curing involves cutting the meat from the carcass and rubbing in a mix of salt, saltpetre and sugar. Unfortunately for Yorkshire York ham is not one of those products which has protected regional status. Any ham cured anywhere can be called a York ham if it is cured using the York ham method. In this respect York is like the name of a Chelsea bun or a frankfurter – a generic title which no longer related to the place of its production.

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