York ham

Appears in
British Regional Food

By Mark Hix

Published 2006

  • About
The York ham is probably the most famous of all British hams and so much so that it is copied-worldwide, especially by our European ‘cousins’. A couple of years ago I was given a chunk of ‘jamón de York’ for Christmas by one of our Spanish suppliers, and delicious it was too, with a gentle mild smokiness to it. So there is some credit if the best producers of ham in the world have been influenced by our Northern ham-making traditions.
What’s happened over the years, it seems, is that the York name has been used more generally to describe a curing style rather than a local product. Opinions vary, too, as to whether the ham should be smoked or not. The most common story seems to be that in the Middle Ages, the hams were cured and smoked over shavings from the wood left over from the 100-year build of York Minster.