Yesterday I bought some smoked ham shanks for the soup and noticed that, compared to some supermarket hocks and shanks purchased in the past, these had a more delicate smokey aroma and flavor, and were lighter in color (less caramel-looking) than what I'd purchased in the past.
I was wondering if commercially smoked hocks, shanks, and other meats, may not really be smoked at all, but just infused with smoke flavor. The new butcher assured me - and I've no reason to doubt him - that the shanks he has are "truly" smoked.
BTW, what part of the pig is the hock? In the past I bought hocks and this time I got a shank. Could that account for the differnce in color and smokey intensity?