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!!!