Dry-cured ham is a traditional meat product highly appreciated by consumers. Production of dry-cured ham is a time-consuming process which varies between different ham types. There are many factors affecting the final characteristics of dry-cured ham. The quality of the raw material and the process conditions mainly influence the rate and the extent of biochemical reactions which are in turn responsible for the formation of specific flavor and texture. This review paper highlights the characteristics of the raw material, the enzymatic and chemical processes taking place during dry-cured ham manufacture and the compounds formed by these reactions. The rates of the enzymatic changes from fresh meat to the stage of final product are also described.