Limewashed Hams

Air dried cured Meat Techniques

Limewashed Hams

Postby Swing Swang » Mon Aug 31, 2015 7:13 pm

I’ve been re-reading, “Pickled, Potted & Canned - How the Preservation of Food Changed Civilisation” by Sue Shephard. A very interesting read if you haven’t come across it.

Note – this is very much NOT a ‘how to’ guide, which means that now I’ve started drying and salting and smoking the re-read is frustrating in a way that the first reading wasn’t.

I therefore throw out the following for your consideration and comments:

p56 mentions brined pork that was kept submerged for a year until it was, ‘melting in the mouth like marrow’.

P59 ‘Before hanging, most hams are smeared with oil, pepper or honey to keep out air and insects during storage, sewn into tight coats of muslin or given several layers of whitewash.

Now I’m going to assume that this whitewash is watered down lime putty (calcium hydroxide) which is still available as a food grade product if the builder’s stuff sounds a little off putting. I feel an experiment coming on...

Any thoughts on what effects the limewash would have on the flavour/texture/drying of the hams? Is this technique still used anywhere in the UK/world? Is an alkaline limewash on a slightly acidic meat going to cause any interesting reactions. Would you limewash after or before smoking, or not smoke a limewashed ham?

Too many questions and no idea where to go for answers.

Any comments?
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Re: Limewashed Hams

Postby RodinBangkok » Mon Aug 31, 2015 11:39 pm

I don't have any answers as far as using it for cured meats, but here is the approved list of food products for calcium hydroxide: ... tml?id=257
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