Ham – baked and not only

The ham has been honoring the traditional Polish Easter feast, the ham still remains a traditional cold meat on the Polish table, though it is far from its former taste and grandeur, what should you pay attention to when buying ham? Can it be made at home? What is the nutritional value of ham? Healthy?

Ham is meat from meat – mostly pork. Even before the war, it was difficult to imagine holy without a huge bone-in ham, decorated with Easter motifs cut out on the skin.In the production of festive delicacies, small processing plants were aimed at that time.

Ham – how was your ham prepared?

Also the housewives in the houses were outdoing themselves in ingenuity, preparing this table decoration according to numerous recipes. Traditional Polish ham was made of pork, less often a veal or wild boar, and was smoked and smoked whole – with bone, skin and fat.

To be cooked or baked, to keep juiciness, tenderness and aroma, it was inserted into the bread oven with a tightly covered dough made of flour and water, and when it was soft, it had to be cleaned from the dough, sprinkled with cinnamon sugar and a few moments, so that the sugar will be brown.

At the end of the 19th century, in a large processing plant, the ham was ennobled , rejecting the skin and excess fat, and in the twentieth years – removing the bone.

Traditional curing, consisting of soaking the meat in brine-herb brine (even a few weeks) or dry salting, was slowly replaced by injecting brine into the femoral artery after proper cutting of the ham from the half-carcass.

But most of the hams were still made natural by the use of strictly defined recipes, so they were so aromatic and delicious.

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Ham – what is the composition of the ham?

Modern technologies have been introduced to the production of cold meats, and the effect is that some producers with 100 kg of pork can make 200 kg of sausage!

No wonder that this ham is completely tasteless, but saturated with volume additives, chemical compounds and preservatives, which are supposed to speed up production and protect cured meat from deterioration.

The traditional way of pickling hams can only be found in small local factories, and it is widely replaced by direct injection into meat of a cured mix of water, salt, spices and substances that increase the volume of ham, e.g. phosphates or soy protein.

They bind water in meat, which increases the juiciness, but also the weight of this product. The curing mix contains sodium nitrate, thanks to which the ham is pink and no sausage is produced in it.

Once hams were smoked in the smoke coming from the burning of oak, beech and juniper wood, which influenced the taste and color of the sausage, today most of it is smoked with smoke products – it is sprayed or injected into meats or dips hams in them.

Such smoking is cheaper and healthier (during smoking in the smoke, carcinogenic compounds are released), but deprive the ham of its unique character.

Ham – is it healthy?

In a well-composed menu, fish, meat and eggs should occupy a total of 5-10 percent of the daily food ration, which means more or less that 1-2 sandwiches with cold meat for the day will suffice.

Pork is a good source of protein and well-absorbed iron, it is also caloric and hard to digest: 100 g of rural pork ham is 255 kcal, boiled pork – 235 kcal.

There is a lot of saturated fatty acids in pork ham that promote the increase in cholesterol in the blood and are consequently responsible for atherosclerosis, ischemic heart disease and heart attack.

The ham contains a lot of salt (in 100 g of country ham is 1026 mg of sodium, and in cooked – 857 mg), which disturbs the electrolyte balance in the body.

Most of the sold hams are stuffed with polyphosphates, which cause the body to balance the calcium-phosphor balance, which leads to a decrease in the level of calcium in the blood. Therefore, children, adolescents and women in the menopausal period and people with osteoporosis should significantly reduce them in the diet.

The soy protein contained in the hams, also known as soy isolate or vegetable protein or milk protein, as well as taste and smell enhancers can trigger an allergic reaction, headaches and diarrhea.

Used in curing mixtures of potassium and potassium nitrites consumed in large quantities, they are carcinogenic and dangerous to children. The permitted amount of nitrates in the ham is 150 mg / kg.The problem is that the health-safe content of these compounds is determined taking into account a person weighing 60 kg.therefore, cured meats should be given to children very carefully.

Does it mean that we have to give up Easter ham? Nothing like it! You just have to learn to eat wisely. Always, not only for Christmas, you should buy less ham, but the best quality, or cook yourself at home, using a little salt to cure, but for a lot of herbs, and then roast or cook.

After the culinary culinary madness, each of us will need a week of a meat-free diet so that the body returns to balance.

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