Safely storing the Christmas ham

21:32, Dec 27 2012

In the Paul Kelly song I Can't Believe We Were Married he writes: "We danced in the kitchen on Boxing Day/I held you swaying in my arms to Marvin Gaye/our Christmas ham turned green by News Year's Eve/we weren't hungry anyway."

Large, smoked and salted, Christmas hams are expected to last for weeks after the big day. They would have in the days before refrigeration.

Back then the preservation of ham involved a lot more salt, much heavier smoke and the use of saltpetre. To many of us those hams would be unpalatable - imagine a salty, smoky, sloppy prosciutto.

Health authorities suggest a ham will keep for several weeks in the fridge.

Tony Rapone from Melbourne's Bertocchi Smallgoods says: "If the ham is wrapped in a tea towel moistened with water, a tablespoon of vinegar and lemon juice, then placed into a clean old pillowcase, and stored in the coolest part of the fridge, it will keep for over a week.

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Sydney Morning Herald