A ham is the cut of meat from a hog’s hind leg. When unprocessed, it’s called fresh ham. A whole ham often is cut into two sections, the shank end and the butt end. The butt end is higher up on the hog and has a complicated bone structure that makes carving a challenge. But it is marbled with fat which creates a juicier roast. The shank is smaller, tapers to a smaller point, offers easy carving and a tidy presentation.
Fresh hams usually are roasted whole. As it cooks, its marbled fat slowly melts and infuses the meat with flavor. You can augment that flavor with a simple rub. Either shoulder of pork or picnic shoulder may be treated in the same fashion as a leg of pork. They have different bone structure, of course, and will not carve as well, but the meat is excellent in flavor and texture.