Ham I Am

Ham I am

We talked about roast beast last week and that spurred the debate in the house on Christmas dinner.  “What is the best meat for Christmas dinner and why is it Ham” was part of cooking Vamp 9 and I thought that with this lofty accolade ‘Ham’ deserves a Vamp unto itself.

How about some ham facts? Pigs, it is thought, were domesticated in China nearly 5000 years ago, and 1500 years ago in Europe.  Columbus had eight pigs aboard, but De Soto’s 13 are believed to be the start of North America’s pork industry.

Ham comes in an amazing array of specialty ways.  There is art and science going into its many productions.  From classic prosciutto (Tuscany or Parma) to Jamon de iberico, it’s all about breeds and curing techniques.  Think antipasta tray for this type of ham.

What a ham! Side note:  Calling someone a ham comes from the 1800’s English ‘Hamfatter’ which meant low-grade performer and maybe from the use of ham fat to remove stage actors makeup.

Christmas ham in our house is none of these!  Christmas ham is slow cooked bone in ham that is not pumped full of nitrites.  Think of naturally cured/smoked ham, glazed and cooked to a caramelized perfection.  Throw in fresh veggies, homemade hot mustard, and scalloped potatoes and keep your hands and feet clear.