Cato the Censor, 3rd Century BC, hands down an interesting preservation of pig legs that is obtained with salting and subsequent drying; then greased with a little oil, they withstand maturing without spoiling. From the description, we can see the similarity between the processing of ham and its ancestor. The first historical recipe of how a good ham is made dates back to his “De re rustica”.
Marcus Terentius Varro (1st century BC) in “De re rustica” also presents the Gauls as the main pork processing experts, and states that pig quarters and hams produced in Po Valley Gaul were imported to Rome.
This rumour is confirmed by historians Polybius and Strabo.