Real cooked hams (as opposed to cheap sliced ham, which is re-formed meat from parts of a cured pig that has been shaped and sliced) often take their names from the method of production as well as the locality.
Cheap sliced ham is not usually from the hind leg: it’s re-formed meat from other parts of the cured pig that has been shaped and sliced. Water is added during this process, plus additives such as sugar, gelatine, fat, flavourings, colourings and preservatives. By law, bacon and ham producers can add up to 10% of the meat’s weight in water without declaring it, so claims a ham has “not more than 15% added water” probably means it is 25% water.
A dry-salted ham, sometimes lightly smoked, which is cooked on the bone.
A well-known ham from Chippenham, Wiltshire. After being dry-cured, it is basted for a long time in a mixture of molasses and spices, then left to mature for several months, resulting in a jet-black skin. It has a delicate, sweet flavour.
The name refers to the method of curing. The ham (i.e. hind leg) has been cured on the side of pork, rather than separately. A mild all-rounder.
An American ham from a pure-breed pig fed on a diet of peaches and peanuts. It is cured in a mixture of molasses, brown sugar and pepper.
A ham produced from the fore leg, not the hind leg.
THE MEAT GUIDE: PORK
HOW TO COOK A GAMMON