The most delicious thing the Ardennes have to offer is Jambon d'Ardenne, or Ardennes ham. The master butchers of Marcassou, the company that produces the Ardennes ham, select the fresh hams with knowledge. This knowledge has been passed on from father to son for years. For centuries, these hams have been produced in the Ardennes but it was only in the 1970s that the ham gained the reputation it deserved outside the Ardennes.
In 1974, the concept of producing the Ardennes ham was laid down by law. Each ham receives its own yellow numbered lead, the hallmark of the "appellation d'origine", the guarantee of quality and origin. Marcassou is constantly monitored by the independent national services to guarantee quality.
Ardennes ham is a Protected Geographical Indication (PGI). It is awarded if a product is typical of a given geographical label at least one of the three stages (production, processing or preparation). This is the case for the Ardennes ham. For example, the pigs may be reared in Flanders, but the production of the hams must take place in the Ardennes region. The success of the hams can be found in the manual dry salting, authentic herbs and rest. Sea salt and spices are given ample time to penetrate to the core. Then the hams are hung in house-high smoking chimneys. Smoldering sawdust from beech and oak, the spicy aroma of juniper berries, gorse, thyme and coriander permeate the hams with their mild aroma and flavor. And then. patiently matured for months until they acquire that typical full flavor and mouth-watering softness. Delicious!