My Problem With Ham.

So I was just reading that a friend of mine was enjoying a ham and brie sandwich. Sounds tasty, right? I certainly wouldn’t mind one, but then again, if I was given the choice of any sandwich, it’d be way far down my list. Here’s why.
The problem starts with ham. Ham’s great. It’s from a pig, which makes it pork, and pork’s tasty. Even better, seeing as I’m Jewish and the thought of eating ham and sending a big “fuck you” off to my heritage just heightens the pig-eating experience even more. Bacon, carnitas, pork chops, you name it; if it’s from a pig, it will go in my mouth. But ham? Ham is probably the last kind of pigmeat I would put in my mouth.
I think it stems from a broad history of lunchmeat sandwiches. Throughout elementary school and middle school, my lunch would be either chicken breast or turkey breast sandwiches. Ham was, in fact, seen as a real treat, since I’d only get it in my sandwiches once or twice a month. So ham climbed up the ladder of the Meat Hierarchy and stayed there for a while. Even though it was really just like the poultry breast I was eating, although slightly pinker.
Sometime afterward, though, my tastes started becoming refined. In came steak in all its cuts – ribeye, sirloin, tri-tip – not to mention my growing affinity for all things shellfish (yet another delicious Jewish taboo). Lunchmeat became a thing of the past, and ham was unceremoniously grouped along with it.
Pork is very versatile. When it’s in all the forms I’ve come to love – pork chop being all steak-y, carnitas being all cheesesteak-y, bacon being all… well… itself-y, I’ll eat the hell out of it. But when it’s in its ham form, all it does is remind me of the monotonous days of lunchmeat lunchmeat lunchmeat… and I just can’t bring myself to pick out ham as a “good” type of pork.
Now don’t get me started on Canadian bacon, though. I think that’s some sort of American ploy to get people like me interested in ham again, and it won’t work. Canadians, it’s not your fault! I don’t blame you!!!


  1. My problem with ham is that people assume that if you like the kind that’s cold and thinly sliced and placed in sandwiches then you automatically also like the kind that is warm and thickly sliced and eaten with a fork when the two things are completely different.

  2. That’s understandable. After the war all there was to eat was barley and rhubarb, and my father still can’t even stand the mention of them without grimacing and recounting his experience.

  3. As a Canadian, most of the bacon we consume is the kind you consume… I think I came across the peameal Canadian bacon stuff twice and for all intents and purposes it was in the Greater Toronto Area both time.
    And lunchmeat ham is to real ‘jambon’ ham as pastrami is to Roast beef… I think everybody grows out of the lunchmeat phase… If there’s any justice in the world.

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