In the 18th century in Calne, Wiltshire, a local family developed a method for curing pork to produce ham (and bacon). The immersion of pork in a live brine and refrigeration significantly shortened processing times for curing and reduced the amount of salt required, also producing consistently cured product.
This traditional English wet cure process referred to as Wiltshire curing is used to produce ham with a moist, distinctive flavour and tenderness together with a characteristic aroma and taste profile.
The principles of the traditional technique which include immersion of boned pork legs for at least 3 days in a temperature-controlled live brine remain in use today. The cured pork is then cooked to produce Wiltshire Ham. Functional bacteria within the curated brine are instrumental in generating the coveted Wiltshire ham flavour.
Wiltshire ham is considered a delicacy and is enjoyed both as a centerpiece for special occasions and as a versatile ingredient in various dishes, such as sandwiches, salads, and traditional British recipes.