Most people don’t know how to cook a country ham. Some of the old cookbooks don’t go into much detail; no doubt those authors assumed that any fool would know to freshen the salty ham before cooking it. In any case, some country hams end up being not only too salty for human consumption but also too hard and too tough to eat. Of course, a cured country ham is supposed to be firmer than a modern embalmed ham, and as a rule it should be carved in thin slices. In fact, some of the world’s more famous cured hams are eaten raw and part of the secret is very thin slices.