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Quiz: How much do you know about ham?


Image: Shutterstock/Elena Shashkina

EVERY YEAR, AT around this time, the spotlight turns to one particular piece of pig: Ham.

You are possibly overwhelmed right now by the sheer volume left over after Christmas dinner.

The fridge is likely so full of ham that every time you open its door, a piece slaps to the floor. You lean down to pick it up and more falls from your pockets. You scream for help, but no words come out, only…

Sorry! Sorry yes, the quiz.

What part of the poor unfortunate pig does ham come from?
Front leg

Hind leg
What makes ham ham and not just meat from the general bum area of a pig?
It's how you cook it - if you do anything other than boil it, it's not ham.
It's cured.

It depends on the length of time between when the pig is slaughtered and when the meat is processed.
When the packet says "ham", that means it's ham and not something else.
When and where was the first ham cured?
Around 79AD in Italy. It is popularly believed that the residents of Pompeii had perfected the technique a few months before the volcanic eruption.
The 1340s. Records of the Black Plague in England note that the disease was initially linked to 'a newly perfected cure meat' known then as hamme.

The 700s in Japan. When the capital was moved from Nara to Nagaoka, residents in the latter noted that dignitaries brought with them a new type of cured meat called 豚のお尻.
Sure how would you know that? It definitely existed in Roman times, we know that much, and it was likely around even before then, perhaps as long as 7,000 years ago in China.
What is Limerick ham?
It's just any ham that comes from a pig who finished their sentences with "kid".
It's any ham that's dry cured along the Shannon estuary.

It's ham smoked over juniper branches and then simmered in cider.
It's any ham served with boxty.
How long is Iberian ham cured for?
PA Images
At least two weeks
At least two months

At least two years
At least two decades
If you buy a ham, or maybe sliced ham, in your local supermarket and it's described as "reformed", what does that mean?
It is essentially hind leg meat from a number of pigs processed, mixed down, shaped, sometimes even with a ring of fat added to make it look like the real deal.
It is sliced meat from a different part of the pig than what is normally considered for ham.

It is ham from a pig which had a criminal record but got its life back on track shortly before slaughter.
It is ham from Calvinist pig.

It is any ham with added water.
What is the oldest (probably edible) ham?
Carbon-dated to 101BC, found in the ruins of a Roman settlement in what is now London.
It is generally considered to be a piece of ham in the Isle of Wight County Museum in the US state of Virgina. It was cured on July 7, 1902.

Three years ago, two pieces of ham cured in 1798 were found in Wexford, in the backroom of a butchers shop. It is believed whoever was making the ham may have died in the Rebellion, explaining why the ham was forgotten.
Any cured ham simply starts to disintegrate after a decade
Why is amateur radio called ham radio?
The first ham radios were powered by ham.
One of the earliest proponents of ham radio lived on a pig farm. Those who tuned into the broadcasts could often hear pigs squealing the background.

It stands for Helping All Mankind.
It's an acronym of Hyman, Almy, and Murray, the surnames of the three men behind Harvard Radio Club in 1908.

It has its origins in describing poorly skilled 'ham-fisted' operators of telegraph machines in the late 19th century.
What is the origin of the word "ham" in hamburger?
Hamburg (as in, the city)
Hamper (as in, to limit or moderate)

Ham (as in, ham)
If you wanted to salt some ham at home, you'd need pink salt. What makes it pink?
It's simply colouring to distinguish it from table or sea salt, as the gains are far more course and so are more noticeable when added to dishes.
Sodium nitrite

Potassium nitrate
It is coloured by impurities in the salt, just like Himalayan rock salt.

It's pink because it's for girls and not boys.
Answer all the questions to see your result!
You scored out of !
You're this big lump of ham
Share your result:
You scored out of !
You're some watery sliced ham
Share your result:
You scored out of !
You're this big lump of fancy ham
Share your result:
You scored out of !
You're a pig who is alive and will remain alive, not being turned into ham
Share your result:

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Nicky Ryan

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