What Makes a Good Ham?

What Makes a Good Ham?

Three qualities of a good ham -

1) Handcrafted

2) All meat, no fillers

3) No nasties

Sounds simple enough right? Except it's not because taking out the nasties complicates the whole process. Nitrites don't just preserve the hams, and make them last longer (way too long imho) but nitrites also give the distinct colour, aroma and flavour we love. In fact, we often get customers asking us - 'Why are your hams not pink?' or 'Your hams do not smell like what I always get.'

So here's one for the record - hams are pink only because of nitrites! Meats are not supposed to be pink! And the smell you always get the the deli store? Well, surprise, surprise! That's not the smell of hams either, that's the smell of hams infused with nitrites.

So yes, sadly, most of us have been conditioned to like the commercial hams. 

Now, back to how taking out nitrites from the process complicates things.

One of the first few things we learnt when we started this nitrites free hams was that nitrites does an amazing job binding the meat. It makes the meat 'bouncy'. When we make the hams without nitrites, we need to beat the hams. Like beat it really, really hard so that we get all the proteins out to create a natural binder (you really gotta check out the muscles on our butcher's arms. They are especially big during Christmas season).

Without the aroma, and flavour from nitrites, it also means that we need to be really particular about the types of spices used.

Right from the beginning, we use only freshly toasted spices and fresh picked herbs for our sausages and hams. We did try using premixed spices once and that's our first and very last time as well. Not gonna lie, it is super easy and convenient, but we are not looking for ease and convenience, we are looking for good, quality taste. So we threw the premixed spices straight out of the window and went back to toasting spices, the long, but right way.

So good news everyone, the hams you have been buying from us, and the Christmas hams we have recently launched have all the qualities of a good ham!

Good job on choosing Only the Good Stuff!

Want to see how these hams are made? Watch the video here.


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