Prague ham

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Prague Ham on a stall at the Old Town Square in Prague

Prague Ham (Czech: Pražská šunka, German: Prager Schinken) is a type of brine-cured, stewed, and mildly beechwood-smoked boneless ham[1][2] originally from Prague in Bohemia (Czech Republic). When cooked on the bone, it is called šunka od kosti ("Ham off the bone"), considered a delicacy.[2] It was first marketed in the 1860s by Antonín Chmel, a pork butcher from Prague's Zvonařka ("Bell-Maker street") on the Nuselské schody (The Nusle Steps).[1]

It was a popular export during the 1920s and 1930s – to the point that other cultures started copying the recipe and making it domestically. Considered the Czech Republic's "family silver", it is now regionally brand-protected by European law.[1] Because of this, other regions must call it "Prague style" Ham rather than Prague Ham.

Prague Ham as street food[edit]

Prague Ham is traditionally served in restaurants and from street vendors with a side of boiled potatoes[3] and often accompanied by Czech beer.[2]

Most street vendors sell it by weight in grams rather than per serving.[4] Tourists unfamiliar with this fact (or who don't understand the metric system) are unaware of the necessity to state the amount they would like and often get a large slab of ham with a heaping side order of potatoes. The final cost can thus be greater than a three-course meal in a luxury restaurant.[3]

Names in Other Languages[edit]

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