What's Up With Joulukinkku?

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Thedukeofno
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Dec 29, 2013 10:41 pm

What's Up With Joulukinkku?

Post by Thedukeofno » Mon Nov 27, 2017 2:58 pm

Folks:

Quick background... I'm an American who lived in Finland (Pori) for about two years, and was fortunate enough to meet the woman of my dreams. That was 13 years ago, and we've been happy ever since, living in the US, Korea and now the UK.

Since having kids about seven years ago, we don't spend Christmas in Finland anymore, but do travel back on boxing day or the day after. Each year it's a challenge to find a good ham that meets the high standard that joulukinkku sets with regard to taste.

My wife and I have had lengthy, passionate discussions about Finnish Christmas ham. I'm of the position the "typical" Finnish ham is wet-cured (brined), but obviously not cured with the nitrites that normally turn the ham pink, and not overly-salted (as is the case with some UK hams that require soaking prior to cooking). In the UK, this would be called "gammon", a word that I actually had to look up some years ago as a native "American English" speaker.

I would appreciate to understand the positions of the Finland Forum members on this critical, yet delicious issue. :D

What's Up With Joulukinkku?

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DMC
Posts: 1230
Joined: Thu Nov 16, 2006 9:17 am

Re: What's Up With Joulukinkku?

Post by DMC » Mon Nov 27, 2017 4:21 pm

Thedukeofno wrote:Each year it's a challenge to find a good ham that meets the high standard that joulukinkku sets with regard to taste.
At this point I thought your post might be a joke. I hate Finnish Christmas ham - it really turns my stomach.
I'm of the position the "typical" Finnish ham is wet-cured (brined)
You could be right. It is that horrible wet texture that I cannot abide.
In the UK, this would be called "gammon", a word that I actually had to look up some years ago as a native "American English" speaker.
I'm not 100% sure what you are saying here. Are you suggesting that in the UK gammon would be similar to Finnish Christmas ham? If so, as a native speaker of "English English". I would have to disagree. Gammon in the UK is not something I am overly fond of but I do eat it occasionally. I would not touch it with a barge pole if it were similar to Finnish Christmas ham.


Thedukeofno
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Dec 29, 2013 10:41 pm

Re: What's Up With Joulukinkku?

Post by Thedukeofno » Mon Nov 27, 2017 4:41 pm

I'm of the position the "typical" Finnish ham is wet-cured (brined)
You could be right. It is that horrible wet texture that I cannot abide.
That's called "juicy". That and "tender" are two words I wouldn't associate with meat in the UK.
In the UK, this would be called "gammon", a word that I actually had to look up some years ago as a native "American English" speaker.
I'm not 100% sure what you are saying here. Are you suggesting that in the UK gammon would be similar to Finnish Christmas ham? If so, as a native speaker of "English English". I would have to disagree. Gammon in the UK is not something I am overly fond of but I do eat it occasionally. I would not touch it with a barge pole if it were similar to Finnish Christmas ham.
Sounds as if we've had different experiences, both with Finnish Christmas ham & English gammon.


DMC
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Joined: Thu Nov 16, 2006 9:17 am

Re: What's Up With Joulukinkku?

Post by DMC » Mon Nov 27, 2017 9:34 pm

Thedukeofno wrote:That's called "juicy". That and "tender" are two words I wouldn't associate with meat in the UK.
Tastes & experiences obviously differ but I would describe Finnish Christmas ham as more slimy than juicy. It just isn't something I care for at all.
As far as meat in the UK goes, I think there is quite a range. I have had good and bad, so would not generalise.
Sounds as if we've had different experiences, both with Finnish Christmas ham & English gammon.
Whilst that is obviously true I would perhaps attribute our different views to taste more than experience. Certainly I have been at Christmas meals in Finland where everyone else at the table praises the ham and I am trying to smuggle mine under the table to the dog, so perhaps my taste is peculiar. (Of course I would say my taste is superior but others may not agree :wink: )
The point I was trying to make though is that I would not consider Finnish Christmas ham to be the same thing as gammon in the UK. I don't think I have ever had anything like Christmas ham in the UK, nor have I had anything like gammon in Finland.


Rosamunda
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Joined: Fri Jan 02, 2004 12:07 am

Re: What's Up With Joulukinkku?

Post by Rosamunda » Mon Nov 27, 2017 10:36 pm

Technically Finnish Christmas ham and British gammon are both cured pork from the hind leg of the beast. In the UK, Gammon is rarely sold as a whole ham, rather it is sold in smaller pieces - thick 'slices', off the bone. In my experience, UK gammon is very pink and as salty as bacon, not particulary nice.

Nowadays it is not uncommon for the Finnish Christmas ham to come from the front leg because it is smaller. A traditional Finnish joulukinkku on the bone would weigh in (pre-curing) at over 10 kg. When I picked up mine from a farm a couple of weeks ago it was 13 kg. We are wet curing ours which is not my choice, I wanted to dry cure. So I have delegated the task to my other half and if it turns out bad, it will be his fault. The main reason we are curing our own is to save money. An organic ham, ready to cook, costs a fortune. But we all like it, so as long as we don't mess up the curing process, it will all get eaten.

As for cooking, it roast super slowly in the oven and then the skin is removed and we coat the fat in mustard/honey and breadcrumbs before putting the whole thing back in the oven for a final blast.

What do you mean when you say it is slimy? Which bit is slimy? Supermarket hams are cured by injecting brine into the meat (which also adds weight, as is a faster process) - maybe that makes it 'slimy' - not sure since it's years since I bought a joulukinkku from the supermarket.


DMC
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Re: What's Up With Joulukinkku?

Post by DMC » Tue Nov 28, 2017 10:30 am

Rosamunda wrote:Technically Finnish Christmas ham and British gammon are both cured pork from the hind leg of the beast. In the UK, Gammon is rarely sold as a whole ham, rather it is sold in smaller pieces - thick 'slices', off the bone. In my experience, UK gammon is very pink and as salty as bacon, not particulary nice.
Yes, I can agree with that. Not particularly nice, although edible occasionally. I'm not sure whether it is the rose-coloured spectacles of nostalgia but I seem to remember gammon in my youth was thicker slices and more tasty than is common currently, but I have never eaten it often enough to be anything like an expert.
What do you mean when you say it is slimy? Which bit is slimy? Supermarket hams are cured by injecting brine into the meat (which also adds weight, as is a faster process) - maybe that makes it 'slimy' - not sure since it's years since I bought a joulukinkku from the supermarket.
I mean the meat rather than the skin or fat layer, but I can't be more specific than that. I don't actually know but I would assume that the joulukinkku I have tried all came from supermarkets. I have never tried cooking it myself.


FinnGuyHelsinki
Posts: 722
Joined: Sun Nov 08, 2009 8:52 pm

Re: What's Up With Joulukinkku?

Post by FinnGuyHelsinki » Tue Nov 28, 2017 11:15 am

DMC wrote:I mean the meat rather than the skin or fat layer, but I can't be more specific than that. I don't actually know but I would assume that the joulukinkku I have tried all came from supermarkets. I have never tried cooking it myself.
I don't know what you've been having, but joulukinkku as it's usually prepared (cooked on the bone in an oven at a low temperature until 75-80C inside), definitely isn't under-cooked or "slimy", if anything it can be slightly overcooked. It's quite different from various packaged and often pre-sliced meat products sold as "kinkku".

Image


DMC
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Joined: Thu Nov 16, 2006 9:17 am

Re: What's Up With Joulukinkku?

Post by DMC » Thu Nov 30, 2017 6:55 pm

The meat in your photo does look appetising, and no, that does not look like the joulukinkku I have had. I don't know how the meat I have been served has been cooked, so can't comment on that.


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