Saturday, June 1, 2013

Nitrate Free and Colour

I've had a query about the colour of the Nitrate Free Ham and Bacon. The picture above shows a conventional ham on the right and NF ham and bacon on the left. The conventional ham is the colour that you normally expect ham to be. With the NF ham and bacon it can be a pinky/browny colour. This is due to the fact that it is the Nitrate Chemical that makes the ham and bacon pink. It also preserves it and does help to carry the smoke flavour through the meat. If you've had NF ham and thought it tasted a bit "porky" that's because the smoke flavour hasn't carried through. This is not noticeable with the bacon, as the bacon is a lot thinner and the smoke flavour penetrates. When I say smoke flavour, I don't mean that it's a flavouring, because it is proper wood smoked ham and bacon.

My last post was about nitrates etc, and you may have already read the links on that post. Processors that sell Nitrate Free ham often use celery juice. This is a natural nitrate, but a nitrate nevertheless. It will mean that the ham will still be pink, because it's the nitrate (artificial or natural) that causes it to go pink. I hope I have cleared this up, however if you have any questions or concerns about it, please comment below and I will respond. At least doing it this way if people have a question, it usually means that others may have the same question.

Stay tuned, because my next post will be about hairs on our pigs......

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