Enjoyment. Passion. Tradition.
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Black Forest Ham is a raw ham that gets its unique aroma from being cured and smoked over fir and spruce wood. This EU-protected traditional specialty is produced exclusively in the Black Forest – according to a process that has been established for generations.

The act of simply biting into a tender slice of Black Forest Ham is pure pleasure. You can taste the unspoiled raw nature that gives the Black Forest Ham its distinctive flavour.

Inspection of incoming goods
Weight, temperature, fat content and the pH value of the hind legs are measured before further processing.
Dry brining / Seasoning
The spice mixture gives the Black Forest Ham its strong character. Salt, pepper, coriander, garlic and juniper berries are among the spice mixture. Dry brining removes water from the meat and the mother brine is formed, in which the Ham rests for up to 3 weeks.
Curing process
The hind legs are taken out of the brine and kept for two weeks in special "curing storages" i.e., cold and dry rooms. There, the salt gets evenly distributed in the ham, thus acquiring its typical reddish-brown colour and unmistakable aroma.
The hams are cold smoked in high smoke towers at approx. 25 degrees for several days, during which they are repeatedly turned from the top to bottom. Smoke is produced by burning native needlewood and smoldering sawdust.
The hams are matured in special air-conditioned rooms for several weeks. A ready-to-eat Black Forest Ham tends to have a degree of dryness of at least 25 percent and a water-protein ratio of 2.2:1.
Quality and Sensory testing
The hams are then tested in the sensorial test for their appearance, consistency, smell and taste.
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The Black Forest

The Black Forest is geographically well-defined along with the region where Black Forest Ham is produced exclusively. It stretches from Pforzheim in the north to Lörrach near the Swiss border with deep valleys, densely forested heights and pure nature. A culinary paradise.



Tradition, along with the region, plays the biggest role in the process of manufacturing the Black Forest Ham. Numerous steps are necessary to turn a raw ham into Black Forest Ham.

The essential steps are salting, seasoning, brining, curing, smoking and one of the decisive factors for the formation of the special aromas, maturing. The process is only completed after many weeks.



This is what the Black Forest tastes like. Rough and aromatic. Thinly sliced, Black Forest Ham unfolds its full aroma. Each slice awakens memories of the aroma of the fir trees. Every bite gives a hint of the spice mixture of salt, pepper, coriander, garlic and juniper berries.


Black Forest Ham

A raw ham without bones, cured in a mixture of spices, smoked and then matured. These are the essential characteristics of a Black Forest Ham. Its taste is highly aromatic and spicy. To be enjoyed at any time of day as a savoury accompaniment to bread, as an addition and refinement to almost all foods. Locals in the Black Forest cut it into small strips and enjoy it straight up.



The Association of Black Forest Ham Producers. Since its foundation in 1989, the association has been working with its member companies and the organisations to promote the Black Forest Ham brand. Consistent brand protection also stands for uncompromising quality assurance at all levels as well as active and informative communication to cultivate the valuable brand image.



Since 1997, Black Forest Ham has carried the EU seal “PGI.” (Protected Geographical Indication). This stands for two essential characteristics: Black Forest Ham is produced exclusively in the Black Forest region and must comply with the product specification based on which EU protection is binded. In this specification, the production process, corresponding to the tradition, is bindingly defined. It is also stipulated that the raw pork legs can also be sourced from outside the production area, as there is traditionally no significant pig farming in the Black Forest. The decisive factor is the quality of the meat.

The Simple Show

The traditional production of Black Forest Ham explained simply.

Guido Meurer
Chairman of the Board

Marie-Luise Adler
Board Member Marketing and Communications

Andreas Göhring
Board Member Finance

Rainer Wagner
Managing Director

The members of the Association of Black Forest Ham Producers (Schutzverband der Schwarzwälder Schinkenhersteller) guarantee the high quality of the Black Forest Ham. This is achieved through strict quality management in the companies, regular external inspections arranged by the association and governmental inspections.

The association’s primary goal is to preserve the uniqueness of the traditional Black Forest Ham brand for future generations and to cultivate its positive image. The association sees itself as a global ambassador that inspires trade and consumers with clear and transparent communication for the brand. The members of the Association of Black Forest Ham Producers are strongly of the belief that the Black Forest Ham is a cultural asset. Traditionally anchored in the Black Forest region for centuries and inextricably linked to the people of the region who have remained dedicated to this unique brand to this day.


Would you like to get in touch with us or receive more information about the association, our members or our work for Black Forest Ham? Feel free to send us a message at the link below.



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Genuss auf meine deine schwarzwälder art


At the Feldberg Tower, the Black Forest Ham Museum offers its visitors an interactive experience about the traditional production of Black Forest Ham. Multimedia stations as well as display and tasting boxes encourage the visitors to experience and learn about the Black Forest Ham tradition using all their senses.

The breathtaking location invites visitors to relax after an informative tour of the museum. The Black Forest Ham Museum is located on the highest mountain in the Black Forest – on top of the Feldberg, from where one has an incomparable view of the French Vosges as well as the Swiss Alps on a clear day.

Opening hours
Monday – Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. // July, August, September
Monday – Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. // May, June, October


Entrance fees
Prices for visiting the Black Forest Ham Museum are based on the fares of the Feldbergbahn.

Schwarzwälder Schinkenmuseum
79868 Feldberg (Schwarzwald)