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The ham added splendor to the Old Polish Easter feasts. It still remains a traditional sausage on the Polish table, although it is far from its former splendor and taste. What should you pay attention to when buying a ham? Why not make it yourself at home? What are the nutritional values ​​of ham? Is ham he althy?

Hamis a sausage made of meat - usually pork. Even before the war, it was difficult to imagine a saint without a huge bone-in ham, decorated with Easter motifs cut on the skin. At that time, small factories excelled in the production of the Christmas special.


  1. Ham - how was ham prepared in the past?
  2. Ham - what is the composition of the ham?
  3. Ham - nutritional values, calories
  4. Ham - is it he althy?
  5. Ham - how to choose a good ham in the store?

Ham - how was ham prepared in the past?

The housewives also competed in creativity, preparing this table decoration according to numerous recipes. Traditional Polish ham was made of pork, rarely veal or wild boar. It was pickled and smoked whole - with bone, skin and fat.

The ham was eaten boiled or baked. To keep it juicy, tender and aroma, it was placed in a bread oven tightly covered with flour and water dough. And when it was soft, you had to clean it of dough, sprinkle it with mashed sugar and cinnamon and bake it for a while for the sugar to brown.

At the end of the 19th century, the ham began to be "refined" in large processing plants, by removing the skin and excess fat, and in the 20th century - by removing the bone.

Traditional curing, consisting in soaking the meat in brine and herbal brine (even several weeks) or dry s alting, slowly replaced by injecting brine into the femoral artery, after the ham was appropriately cut from the half-carcass.

But most hams were made using natural methods until the war, following strictly defined recipes. That's why they were so aromatic and delicious.

Ham - what is the composition of the ham?

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

No wonder that such ham is completely tasteless, but soakedadditives that increase the volume, chemicals and preservatives, which are to speed up production and protect the meat from deterioration.

The traditional way of curing ham can only be found in small local factories. It is commonly replaced by injecting a curing mixture of water, s alt, spices and substances that increase the volume of the ham, such as phosphates or soy protein, directly into the meat.

They bind water in the meat, which increases the juiciness and weight of this product. The curing mixture contains sodium nitrate, which makes the ham pink and does not produce sausage venom.

In the past, hams were smoked in the smoke from the burning of oak, beech and juniper wood, which influenced the taste and color of the sausage. Today, most of them are smoked with smoke preparations - they are sprayed or injected onto cured meats, or hams are dipped in them.

Such smoking is cheaper and he althier (while smoking in the smoke, carcinogenic compounds are released), but it deprives the ham of its unique character.

Worth knowing

Ham - nutritional values, calories

Pork ham (5% fat), baked - nutritional values, calories (100 g) Energy value - 145 kcal Total protein - 20.93 g Fat - 5.53 g Carbohydrates - 1.50 g (including simple sugars - 0) Fiber - 0Vitamins

Thiamine - 0.754 mg Riboflavin - 0.202 mg Niacin - 4.023 mg Vitamin B6 - 0.400 mg Vitamin B12 - 0.65 µg Folic acid - 3 µg Vitamin D (D2 + D3) - 0.8 µg Vitamin E - 0.25 mgMineralsCalcium - 8 mg Iron - 1.48 mg Magnesium - 14 mg Phosphorus - 196 mg Potassium - 287 mg Sodium - 1203 mg Zinc - 2.88 mg

Fatty acids

saturated - 1.810 g monounsaturated - 2.620 g polyunsaturated - 0.540 g cholesterol - 53 g

Data Source: USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference

Ham - is it he althy?

In a well-composed menu, fish, meat and eggs should account for a total of 5-10 percent. daily food ration. This more or less means that 1-2 ham sandwiches per day are enough.

Pork is a good source of protein and well-absorbed iron. It is also high in calories and hard to digest. 100 g of country pork ham is 255 kcal, and of boiled pork - 235 kcal.

  • Pork ham contains a lot of saturated fatty acids, which contribute to the increase of cholesterol in the blood and, consequently, are responsible for the development of atherosclerosis, the occurrence of ischemic heart disease and myocardial infarction. Poultry cold cuts are he althier in this respect.
  • Ham contains a lot of s alt (per 100 gcountry ham contains 1026 mg of sodium, and in boiled - 857 mg), which disturbs the electrolyte balance in the body.
  • Most hams sold are loaded with polyphosphates, which cause an imbalance in the body between calcium and phosphorus, which leads to a decrease in blood calcium levels. Therefore, children, adolescents and women in the menopausal period and people with osteoporosis should significantly limit them in their diet.
  • Soy protein contained in hams, also known as soy isolate or vegetable protein or milk protein, as well as flavor and aroma enhancers can cause an allergic reaction, headaches and diarrhea.
  • When consumed in large amounts of potassium and sodium nitrites, they are carcinogenic and dangerous for children. The permissible amount of nitrate in the ham is 150 mg / kg. The problem is that the safe for he alth content of these compounds is determined taking into account a person weighing 60 kg. for this reason, cured meats should be given to children very carefully.

Does this mean that we should give up Easter ham? Nothing similar! You just need to learn to eat wisely. It is always worth buying less ham, not only for the holidays, but the best quality. Or make it yourself at home, using a little s alt for pickling, but a lot of herbs, and then bake or cook it.

After the Christmas culinary madness, each of us will need a week of a meatless diet to bring the body back into balance.

Check the nutritional values ​​of other Easter dishes:

  • Żurek
  • White borscht
  • Mazurek
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Author: Time S.A

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Ham - how to choose a good ham in the store?

Easter hamis a Polish tradition. When standing in front of the counter, our heads are confused - which ham to choose: grandma, chimney, home?

  • Homemade ham cooked with herbs [cold meat or hot meat dish]

How many times did you think it would be really good but it turned out to taste like paper? The most important advice: do not follow the names invented by the manufacturer, because they are usually misleading and, for example, country ham has nothing to do with ham made traditionalway.

  • Baked ham: how to bake a ham? [recipe + VIDEO]

The best determinant is the price and a proven company. Unfortunately, a good ham cannot cost less than about PLN 30 - say experts. How to know the manufacturer? Recognized manufacturers boast prizes awarded at fairs or quality marks on the label.

You should know that the pink color does not mean that the ham is fresh, but that it has a lot of preservatives.

It is also worth trying hams from small factories. The guarantee that the ham has been produced according to old recipes is the "traditional product" mark granted by the Ministry of Agriculture.

It's better to choose a ham made of a whole leg (weighs about 5 kg) and with bone, not pieces. Then you can be sure that it is not stuffed with volumizing substances. The slices of ham from one piece of meat are large, covered with delicate membranes and do not fall apart when sliced.

Properly cured raw ham has a uniform red color when cut, and when cooked - pink. Gray spots are evidence that the meat has been cured poorly and will spoil quickly. However, you should know that the pink color does not mean that the ham is fresh, but that it has a lot of preservatives.

Only the hams without preservatives are gray-brown. The sliced ​​ham should be moist but not shiny. If it shimmers like a rainbow, it means it has too much pickling mixture. The quality of the ham is also reflected in its tenderness - good must be cut easily.

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