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Are there any delis that serve true "Black Forest Ham"?

ipsedixit Aug 6, 2012 09:18 PM

You know from Germany and everything where "Black Forest" is more of a geographic designation than a mere marketing tool?


  1. b
    BaronVonHoush Jan 8, 2013 04:18 PM

    Alpine Village Market in Torrance sells Imported Black Forest Ham in the Deli section, along with traditional sausages, etc.

    1. Mr Taster Aug 30, 2012 02:30 PM

      I just saw an episode of Cooks Illustrated/Cooks Country on PBS where they did a real vs. American taste-off of Black Forest ham.

      Black Forest Ham is very much a protected designation product in Germany, but this being 'Murica we have no such standards for food (especially other people's food).

      According to Cooks:
      "The dark exterior comes from smoke as well as a mixture of salt and spices, including garlic, sugar, and juniper berries. (Some producers dip the ham in cow’s blood to darken its exterior.) In Germany, the curing and smoking can take up to three months. In North America, the hams are usually cured quickly by brining. The smoke flavor is often artificial, and the exterior is painted with caramel coloring."

      The top choice was Dietz & Watson Black Forest Smoked Ham with Natural Juices, but only as a choice for an ingredient (i.e. for cooked applications like chicken cordon bleu). For eating in sandwiches or on its own, Abraham's was the top choice, a German import.

      Mr Taster

      1. m
        M2FOODS Aug 30, 2012 12:30 PM

        Bristol Farms is carrying the Abraham German ham line in their deli cases. Most of the Bristol Farms stores have the Westphalia style and some are carrying the Black Forrest Ham. All imported from Germany. Great Price! Check it out

        1. l
          la2tokyo Aug 9, 2012 12:16 AM

          OK, now I'm starting to lose sleep over this. I didn't know I wanted it so bad until I found out I couldn't have it. This is all I could find, but I don't think this will do:


          My friend is coming back from from Germany next month; little does he know what he will have weighing down his suitcase.....

          1 Reply
          1. re: la2tokyo
            ipsedixit Aug 9, 2012 07:53 AM

            My friend is coming back from from Germany next month; little does he know what he will have weighing down his suitcase.....


          2. t
            Thor123 Aug 8, 2012 11:44 AM

            Subway has a black forest ham sandwich. :)

            4 Replies
            1. re: Thor123
              Tripeler Aug 8, 2012 05:52 PM

              ...and which black forest does that ham come from?

              1. re: Tripeler
                Servorg Aug 8, 2012 05:59 PM

                They rub the hams on any recently burned trees after our local fire season comes to a close...

                1. re: Servorg
                  Tripeler Aug 8, 2012 06:02 PM

                  Thanks for the prompt answer. That certainly makes sense to me.

                  1. re: Servorg
                    WildSwede Aug 9, 2012 10:57 AM


              2. boogiebaby Aug 7, 2012 01:32 PM

                Maybe the German Deli in Van Nuys? It's been a while since I've been there (like a year) but I would think they would have it.

                3 Replies
                1. re: boogiebaby
                  ipsedixit Aug 7, 2012 08:46 PM


                  1. re: ipsedixit
                    boogiebaby Aug 8, 2012 01:31 PM

                    I just remembered that there is another German deli in Canoga Park. It's on Topanga, across from the Promenade Mall. I can't recall the name, but I know they carry a lot of European meats that you can't find at most places. Maybe try there -- if they don't carry it, maybe they can tell you of someone who does.

                    1. re: boogiebaby
                      ipsedixit Aug 8, 2012 09:18 PM

                      If you are referring to German Cold Cuts International, then no. They do not carry it, unfortunately.

                2. j
                  Juji Aug 7, 2012 11:24 AM

                  Perhaps Shoop's Deli in Santa Monica? Their menu lists a black forest ham sandwich.

                  1. WildSwede Aug 7, 2012 10:26 AM

                    I wonder if the one at Schreiner's Deli in Montrose is a "true" version. I have never thought to ask. Or maybe in the Alpine Village market?

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: WildSwede
                      ipsedixit Aug 7, 2012 11:18 AM

                      Notice how it says "Black Forest Style Ham..."?


                      1. re: ipsedixit
                        WildSwede Aug 7, 2012 01:23 PM

                        Nope, never looked at their website.

                        1. re: WildSwede
                          condiment Aug 8, 2012 11:20 PM

                          I suspect that the USDA bans direct importation, as it does so many worthwhile cured meats. I can't remember seeing any truly German charcuterie anywhere in the U.S. Black Forest-style ham is a specialty of Schreiner's, though - they cure and smoke their own - and it's probably as good as you are likely to get.

                          1. re: condiment
                            WildSwede Aug 9, 2012 10:56 AM

                            Thanks, that is why I mentioned it since I know they do their own.

                    2. Hughlipton Aug 7, 2012 06:40 AM

                      You mght find it on the internet and I would start with www.germandeli.com

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: Hughlipton
                        Servorg Aug 7, 2012 06:47 AM

                        I gnome Black Forest ham...and you sir are no Black Forest Ham! ;-D> A little piece from the NY Times about tasting the real deal in the heart of the Forest: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9B00E1DF1430F931A35753C1A9679D8B63

                        And for our German speaking friends: http://metzgerei-dirr.de/

                        1. re: Servorg
                          Hughlipton Aug 7, 2012 09:28 PM

                          I'm lost Sevorg. Are you saying Abraham is not the real thing??

                          1. re: Hughlipton
                            Servorg Aug 8, 2012 03:12 AM

                            Just having some fun with a very old Vice Presidential debate moment and linking the story about the difference between what all of us typically find around by the name "Black Forest Ham" vs what you find at a fine purveyor of the species right in the middle of the actual Black Forest. Abraham may be the real deal for all I know. Sorry for the confusion, Hugh. Seems to be my specialty at times...

                      2. Steve Green Aug 7, 2012 06:28 AM

                        Not from Germany or anything, but we've been getting this at Whole Foods, and it's way better than any other we've tried:

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Steve Green
                          ipsedixit Aug 7, 2012 07:56 AM

                          I'm sure that would go really well with "California Champagne" ...

                        2. e
                          emu48 Aug 6, 2012 10:12 PM

                          Is there a "real" Black Forest ham? The few I've sampled weren't even German-made. The only "real" German ham I keep an eye out for is Westphalian ham. It's spectacular.

                          1. liu Aug 6, 2012 09:55 PM

                            I am also interested in the answer to your question, ipsedixit!

                            None of the ham I have eaten in my adult years tastes like that of my childhood. What happened?
                            Also, the texture of most deli meats is too rubbery for me. What happened?

                            4 Replies
                            1. re: liu
                              ipsedixit Aug 6, 2012 10:00 PM

                              I dunno the answers to your other questions, but I'm really curious if real "Black Forest Ham" can be had in a sandwich here in good ol' Los Angeles.

                              1. re: ipsedixit
                                liu Aug 6, 2012 10:08 PM

                                (Whoops...disregard my little rant about the current state of deli meats.)

                                I'd love to try some real Black Forest ham, too!

                                1. re: liu
                                  ipsedixit Aug 6, 2012 10:12 PM

                                  No worries, I feel and share your angst over today's deli meats.

                                  But I fear that if we go down that road we're not only going to open up Pandora's Box, but her war chest, U-Haul truck, and bank vault all at the same time.

                                  1. re: ipsedixit
                                    la2tokyo Aug 6, 2012 11:17 PM

                                    I want some too! My dad used to make me sandwiches with Black Forest Ham that I still remember twenty years later. If someone can report a place just to get real PDO Black Forest Ham I will make the sandwich myself if I have to.

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