Monday, April 6, 2009

A Ham in Every Pot

For the past week, one of my local grocery chains has been running advertisements claiming that they are THE source for Easter ham because they stock no less than 16 types of the stuff. My main response to their barrage of ads was to think, "Are there really 16 types of ham? And if so, why?" I shopped yesterday at that particular chain and am compelled to report that yes, the entire meat department was filled with ham and, although I didn't count, it certainly felt like 16 varieties filled the aisle. I've never seen so much ham in one place in my life.

I never knew ham had varieties. My mother never made baked ham so I'm new to it. How could I have imagined that ham can be purchased whole, half, bone-in, bone-out, shoulder, shoulder butt, picnic, smoked, honey glazed, spiral sliced, country style, or made out of turkey? How could I have imagined that some ham could be had for $0.49 a pound, while some would set one back $3.49/lb.?

Although the Easter bunny filled our baskets, this was not a holiday that we celebrated. What does one eat for Easter if one doesn't like ham? Or is there simply no other choice? And what is the grocery store going to do with all of its unsold ham? What, if anything, does ham have to do with Easter, anyway? The Last Supper was the Passover meal, a feast that was resolutely ham-free. I'm at a loss. I did buy a ham, though, a nice shoulder butt (whatever that is) for the ridiculously low price of $3.34 for almost six pounds. That's a lot of ham sandwiches.


Sandy said...

Apparently in the old farm communities, the pigs that were slaughtered before the onset of winter took exactly until this time of year to cure into yummy hams (NPR told me so)...hence the ham dinner for Easter (which comes right after lent, when many people are doing without rich foods). Of course, in the usual manner, customs that begin in practicality end in present-day cultural neurosis.

LVCI said...

All those varieties and not one Kosher ham to be found!

Anonymous said...



Anonymous said...

U could not find any other isle 2 collect your empirical data.I would have gone 2 the cookie isle.tunsie.tunsie.tunsie