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The History of The Classic Christmas Ham Tradition

For Christmas, does your family usually indulge in a delicious, caramelized Christmas ham?  Well, this dish is actually quite traditional, and has a long, fascinating history.  The Christmas ham is a staple in a successful Christmas dinner.  In this blog, we’re going to talk about why this particular ham dish is such a big deal, and why so many families enjoy eating Christmas ham during the holiday season.  Read on!

What goes into a Christmas ham?

Most often, the Christmas ham is slow-cooked and glazed in brown sugar.  There are many ways to prepare a Christmas ham, but this is common and the most traditional.  Some people add pineapples to add to the sweetness of the meat, and others tend to add ginger beer to the marinade.  It all depends on personal preference and family tradition.  Regardless of what the recipe is, however, families across the world find this dish to be a treat.


Where did it come from?

The Christmas ham is also known as the Yule Ham.  This comes from an English tradition–you are probably familiar with the image of a boar with an apple in its mouth, laid out on the table.  Well, the Yule Ham is similar.  It is said that the tradition started with the Germans, who wanted to appease the god, Freyr.  Freyr was the god of fertility, harvest, and boars.  This was a pagan tradition, and paganism also offered many traditions for Christianity, including Christmas trees.  And so, the tradition of the Christmas ham was born!  This Christmas, keep in mind the history of your ham–there’s far more than meats the eye!


Allow Hearn Kirkwood to provide your delicious Christmas ham!

Hearn Kirkwood is a privately held Food Service Distributor specializing in produce, meat, poultry, dairy, and fresh seafood. We purchase 90% of our fresh produce direct from California, Florida, Texas, etc. with the balance supplied by local markets. We are located within one mile of Route 295 and I95 providing us with easy access to Baltimore, Washington and Virginia.

To contact Hearn Kirkwood call 410.712.6000 (Baltimore), 301.621.2992 (Washington DC), or visit our website!

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