Author Topic: WHY HAM?  (Read 1449 times)

Jeff-MN

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WHY HAM?
« on: April 03, 2010, 08:20:32 AM »
Why did Ham become the meal of choice for Easter (and least for some parts of the country)?

.....to celebrate our Christian freedom to eat pork?

.....because we eat the LAMB (Corpus Christi) at the High Feast?

.....to distinguish ourselves from the heathen Jews who eat Lamb at Passover?

.....because it's yummy?

I have no idea.  Any speculations?
« Last Edit: April 03, 2010, 08:24:59 AM by Jeff-MN »

BrotherBoris

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Re: WHY HAM?
« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2010, 08:32:14 AM »
Good question.

 I can only speculate on an answer.  I think the simplest answer may be because it was local and it was available. Greek Orthodox people, for instance, never eat Ham at Easter. They eat Lamb. But then lambs are raised in Greece and are easy to get. I think that probably has a lot to do with it. Russian Orthodox people, on the other hand, tend to eat Ham or even various kinds of sausages at Easter. Then again, that is what is available in the local area generally.

I don't know that any of the Mediterranean countries eat a lot of ham. So, I'd bet ham isn't on the Easter Table in Spain or Italy either. Come to think of it, I have never seen ham on the menu in any Mexican restaurant I've ever been to. I'll bet Mexicans don't eat it at Easter either.  I know Mexicans have a tradition of eating tamales at Christmas. I don't know what they do for Easter.

Really, I'll bet antisemitism  has nothing to do with our culinary preferences for what we eat at Easter, but I could be wrong.

Boris

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Re: WHY HAM?
« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2010, 11:17:31 AM »
Good question.

 I can only speculate on an answer.  I think the simplest answer may be because it was local and it was available. Greek Orthodox people, for instance, never eat Ham at Easter. They eat Lamb. But then lambs are raised in Greece and are easy to get. I think that probably has a lot to do with it. Russian Orthodox people, on the other hand, tend to eat Ham or even various kinds of sausages at Easter. Then again, that is what is available in the local area generally.

I don't know that any of the Mediterranean countries eat a lot of ham. So, I'd bet ham isn't on the Easter Table in Spain or Italy either. Come to think of it, I have never seen ham on the menu in any Mexican restaurant I've ever been to. I'll bet Mexicans don't eat it at Easter either.  I know Mexicans have a tradition of eating tamales at Christmas. I don't know what they do for Easter.

Really, I'll bet antisemitism  has nothing to do with our culinary preferences for what we eat at Easter, but I could be wrong.

Hypothesizing, I'm thinking of a different scenario -- that ham (or whatever became an Easter feast tradition) was not all that available, but was a meat served for special events. Growing up, ham was not our normal, everyday meat, but beef products (lots of hamburger). Ham was for special occasions.
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dkeener

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Re: WHY HAM?
« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2010, 12:25:00 PM »
Because it goes so well with jelly beans and chocolate  ;D

jrubyaz

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Re: WHY HAM?
« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2010, 12:50:28 PM »
Some believe it originated with pagan festivals.

However, in this country,  one suggestion I had heard was it  had to do with the fact that most animals to be eaten were slaughtered in the falll, then stored during winter in cellars. There being no refrigeration until the middle part of the twentieth century, a lot of the meat that wasn't used by spring had to be cured and was available to eat around the time of Easter, depending upon the movable feast date during the spring.


In other words, I am guessing.    ;D :o  
« Last Edit: April 03, 2010, 12:54:53 PM by jrubyaz »

Richard Johnson

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Re: WHY HAM?
« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2010, 03:36:29 PM »
Because it goes so well with jelly beans and chocolate  ;D

And green jello. Don't forget green jello.
The Rev. Richard O. Johnson, STS

Gary Hatcher

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Re: WHY HAM?
« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2010, 03:55:58 PM »
I think Iowans are required by law to eat ham on Pascha  ;D (and pretty much any other pork product as often as possible, gotta keep the prices up)
Gary Hatcher STS,
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George Erdner

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Re: WHY HAM?
« Reply #7 on: April 03, 2010, 06:55:44 PM »
Why did Ham become the meal of choice for Easter (and least for some parts of the country)?

.....to celebrate our Christian freedom to eat pork?

.....because we eat the LAMB (Corpus Christi) at the High Feast?

.....to distinguish ourselves from the heathen Jews who eat Lamb at Passover?

.....because it's yummy?

I have no idea.  Any speculations?

Ham is not only yummy, it lends itself to slow cooking. You can put a ham in a low oven and leave for church, and it'll be perfect when you get back home, even if you're running a little late. It's also relatively economical. Usually, a good ham will cost much, much less than a comparable leg of lamb.

I would be very, very surprised to discover that there are any reasons other than those for ham becoming an Easter tradition. But then, I've been surprised about stuff like that before.

peter_speckhard

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Re: WHY HAM?
« Reply #8 on: April 03, 2010, 07:37:58 PM »
Easter is also the only time green eggs are plentiful. Sam I am (Samuel/"he hears God"-- I AM/God) has to overcome any number of obstacles to get the guy to try something so obviously un-kosher as green eggs and ham. The least we can do is take him up on it. :D

pr dtp

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Re: WHY HAM?
« Reply #9 on: April 03, 2010, 07:43:20 PM »
Maybe Daffy, Donal and Elmer got tired of hearing Rev. P Pig announce the benediction from the Lutheran Toon's agenda "and that's all folks!"

Weedon

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Re: WHY HAM?
« Reply #10 on: April 03, 2010, 07:54:22 PM »
Don't know the answer to the question, but do know that Ham and Turkey will grace the Weedon table tomorrow (with deviled eggs, mock potato - actually cauliflower - salad, home made rolls, mashed potatoes and gravy, fresh veggies and dip, cheesecakes, apple pie, chocolate pie, and I don't know what all else).  Cindi informed me that we'll be 13 sitting down for dinner after the morning service, and I'm looking forward to it.  MUCHLY.  Almost, but not quite as much as I'm looking forward to singing "Joy to the Heart" and "Jesus Christ Is Risen Today" with the trumpets, timpani, bells, choir, congregation and of course the masterful Carlo at the organ.  I'm downright hungry for BOTH feasts.

racin_jason

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Re: WHY HAM?
« Reply #11 on: April 03, 2010, 08:48:34 PM »
On most all things American, let alone Lutheran, the first step is to see if the practice was carried across the Atlantic from Europe. I have no idea if they commonly eat ham on Easter.

I do know firsthand that after having Turkey for both Thanksgiving AND Christmas, this American is ready for some Honeybaked ham.  
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Charles_Austin

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Re: WHY HAM?
« Reply #12 on: April 04, 2010, 05:05:37 AM »
From ABOUT.COM
In the United States, ham  is a traditional Easter food. In the early days, meat was slaughtered in the fall. There was no refrigeration, and the fresh pork that wasn't consumed during the winter months before Lent was cured for spring. The curing process took a long time, and the first hams were ready around the time Easter rolled around. Thus, ham was a natural choice for the celebratory Easter dinner.

jrubyaz

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Re: WHY HAM?
« Reply #13 on: April 04, 2010, 07:48:09 AM »

I thought I kind of said that already, but no matter!

Forget the ham!

 CHRIST IS RISEN! HE IS RISEN INDEED! 

Tom

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Re: WHY HAM?
« Reply #14 on: April 04, 2010, 08:54:34 AM »
Yes Christ has Risen