Ham comes from the leg of the pig, and is either wet-cured or dry-cured. Most wet-cured ham is either injected with or immersed in a brine. Brines contain water, salt, sugar and other flavorings, and the length of curing/brining affects the taste of the ham. Some wet-cured hams are also smoked and aged. Wet-cured hams are usually mild tasting.
Dry-cured ham, also called country ham, is cured in a dry mixture of salt, sugar and other seasoning, then smoked and aged. Country hams are stronger tasting than wet-cured hams, and may require more preparation before serving.
Always read the label on the ham packaging to know if it is ready-to-eat or if it requires further cooking.