Learning the slow art of making ham

By Eboni S., camper

Until our visit to Daniele Inc., I never thought about how ham is made. I was surprised by how much salt was used and by the fact that they didn’t cook it in an oven. These raw pork hams came down a conveyor belt and butchers trimmed some of the fat off them. Then the hams went onto trays, where they sat for a few hours until they were salted. Robots moved the trays around the factory. The hams hung from racks and the salt leached water out of them. In the drying rooms, the temperature changes the way it would in nature as the climate changes with the seasons. (The factory does what cavemen would have done in pre-historic times.) The raw red color changed over the course of the year of drying. Some sort of fat was put on in the process to soften the muscle. There was no scent in the cooler rooms, but as the hams dried, you could smell the salty meat. Inspectors look at and feel the hams; if they are soft, they are not ready. Hams that are ready have no bacteria in them and are safe for eating because they have no water in them.

Chez Innovation is an overnight business-school-boot-camp focused on the food industry.

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