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

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


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  1. 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

      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

        (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

          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

            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.

    2. 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. 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

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

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

          3 Replies
          1. re: Hughlipton

            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...

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

            1. re: Servorg

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

              1. re: Hughlipton

                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. 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: ipsedixit

                Nope, never looked at their website.

                1. re: WildSwede

                  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

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

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

              1. 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: ipsedixit

                    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

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

                1. Subway has a black forest ham sandwich. :)

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: Thor123

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

                    1. re: Tripeler

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

                      1. re: Servorg

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

                    2. 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

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


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