Food & Drink Why Do We Eat Ham on Easter?

06:52  31 march  2018
06:52  31 march  2018 Source:   thedailymeal.com

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This was the case in North America where the other traditional spring meat, lamb, was (and still is) less in vogue, which is also why eating ham on Easter in North America is much more popular than other regions where Easter is celebrated.

Certain holidays go hand-in-hand with certain foods — like turkey on Thanksgiving, for example. Ham on Easter is another one. But is there any real reason why we tend to eat ham on Easter , aside from tradition?

Why Do We Eat Ham on Easter?© Provided by The Daily Meal Why Do We Eat Ham on Easter?

Certain holidays go hand-in-hand with certain foods — like turkey on Thanksgiving, for example. Ham on Easter is another one. But is there any real reason why we tend to eat ham on Easter, aside from tradition?

The reason ham is traditionally eaten at Easter is actually because it’s in season! Historically, pigs were usually slaughtered in the fall, when it’s chilly outside and the cold could keep the meat fresh during the several days it would take to break down and prepare the hog. (It’s also widely believed that pigs slaughtered after the first frost taste better, because they’ve been grazing on acorns and insect-free grass.) The hams would be cured over the winter and be ready to eat by the time spring rolled around.

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This may just be a coincidence, but one reason why so much ham is eaten publicly in Spain, perhaps especially in connection with holy days like Easter , is that pork was forbidden to Jews and Muslims, which the Inquisition tried to get rid of.

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Another reason for ham’s inclusion in the Easter feast is size. A single ham is usually enough to feed a large group of people, so it’s ideal for a big family dinner such as Easter.

A couple other fun facts: Lamb is also a popular Easter protein for a similar reason — sheep tend to be born in the early days of spring, making them ideal for slaughter and consumption right around Eastertime. And we also eat turkeys on Thanksgiving due to seasonal factors — their hormone levels change as their bodies prepare for the winter, so they’re fatter.

Related: Great Takes on the Classic Easter Ham (by Good Housekeeping)

Ham With Bee-Sting Glaze: <p>What gives this dish its

Get the recipe for Ham With Bee-Sting Glaze »

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My Go-To Recipe for Leftover Easter Ham .
Like a turkey after Thanksgiving, a leftover Easter ham is the gift that keeps on giving. And giving, and giving, and giving. Until you can’t even look at another ham and cheese sandwich. Which is exactly the right time to get out your slow cooker and whip up a pot of Ham-and-Bean Soup, the very best thing to make with a leftover Easter ham. In fact, I think this soup is reason enough to make a ham other times of the year besides Easter. (Or just pick up a ham bone at the grocery store.) This simple soup is a test kitchen favorite. It’s hearty, comforting, and just the right thing to eat in early spring, when the weather still hasn’t quite warmed up yet. Made with a leftover ham bone, dried white beans, chopped carrots, celery, onions, and garlic, chicken stock, and fresh thyme, the recipe comes together in 15 minutes, then simmers all day in a slow cooker. It’s about as hands-off as homemade dinner can be, and you probably have most of the ingredients already in your kitchen. WATCH: Honey Bourbon Glazed Ham A large, meaty bone works best in this savory soup—and allows you to use up every single scrap of ham. When the soup is done cooking, remove the bone from the slow cooker with kitchen tongs and set the bone aside until it is cool enough to handle. Then remove the meat from the bone and set the meat aside, discarding the bone along with any fat and gristle. Shred the reserved meat if necessary and add it back to the soup. Round out the meal with a simple salad of mixed greens and some skillet cornbread and you’ve got a homey supper that also makes a great lunch.

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