Bradenham Ham originated in Wiltshire, England. The ham is first dry-cured in salt, then placed in a liquid cure of molasses, coriander, juniper berries, and other ingredients. After curing, it is aged for 6 months, then smoked.
The outside skin of the ham becomes black and shiny. The meat inside is sweet and mild.
Several other hams, such as Shropshire Black Ham, now use the same cure, though they aren't always aged for the same length (the Shropshire version is aged for 3 months.)
Bradenham Ham should be considered raw and needing cooking, despite the curing and smoking. Remove and discard the black rind after cooking.
The recipe dates from 1781. It was named for a Lord Bradenham, and made by the Bradenham Ham Company of Wiltshire, in Chippenham. In 1897, the company was bought out by the Wiltshire Bacon Company. Later, the trademark was bought by the Harris Bacon Company of Calne, which is six miles away from Chippenham.
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