Ham

We’ve been on a roll with barbecue and charcuterie lately, so we thought we’d press on while these delicious meats are on our mind. Our most recent, and possibly best, ham experience was at Fiorella’s Jack Stack Barbecue in Kansas City Missouri. While we’re all bacon fans in the FamilyTrivium Household, there is small faction of dissent who doesn’t eat ham. That ties ham with brisket for likability under our roof. Mr. FamilyTrivium has even been known to make ham bone broth from ham shanks.

One of those pieces of knowledge which seems to be regularly taken for granted, everyone seems to know what ham is, but not necessarily how to define it. At Dictionary.com, it is described as “a cut of meat from the heavy-muscled part of a hog’s rear quarter, between hip and hock, usually cured.” Originating before 1000, the word originates from Middle English hamme, or Old English hamm,  or “bend of the knee.”

The Nibble provides a multiple part ham buying article, with one piece focusing on ham history, that indicates that it is uncertain who cured the first ham, with different groups giving credit to the Chinese, the Gauls, and the Egyptians. In an article at Heritage Foods USA, Alexes McLaughlin informs us that the process of making ham was well documented in the Roman period by Cato the Elder’s 160 BCE work De Agri Cultura.

According to McLaughlin, for Americans, ham is the most popular cold cut for sandwiches. In our household, we’re not huge fans of ham sandwiches, though we do like ham by itself on the dinner (or lunch) plate and, in the form of prosciutto, it is an ingredient on Mr. Family Trivium’s favorite Jimmy John’s sandwich, the Vito. There have been rare occassions where Mr. FamilyTrivium was in the mood to use some leftover Easter ham and rolls to make ham and cheese sliders.

If you are a fan of ham, please share in the comments how you like it. Perhaps you prefer it right out of the oven and onto the Easter dinner table? Do you like it as an ingredient in soup? Is it best straight from the smoker? Do you prefer it as a grocery store cold cut between two slices of bread with cheese?

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