This image was taken by Norman stove builder Jean Luc-Rosolenet in his home overlooking Sword Beach.

In Normandy ham is traditionally smoked as the air is generally too humid for it to be salted and dried.

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In this experiment’ two 9.5 kg hams were salted for 4 days and then suspended from the ceiling, one each side of the masonry heater, for 4 months. The result was two perfectly preserved hams without the negative health issues of smoking. The hams can now be placed in hessian sacks and hung in a cool dark place.

Note that the heater is being fired with wood from disassembled pallets. Retrieving pallets to be disassembled and then burnt on a masonry heater is quite common in the temperate areas of France, where a large fire of hard wood may produce an excesss of heat.

Disregarding the energy spent preparing the pallets, and the initial installation costs of the stove, many people heat their entire homes for free.

Marcus Flynn


Articles by Marcus Flynn
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