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Spiral Cut Ham

One of our favorite holiday hams: Nueske’s Spiral Cut.

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About the author


MELODY LAN
is a member of THE NIBBLE editorial staff.

 

 

April 2006
Updated March 2009

Product Reviews / Main Nibbles / Meat & Poultry

Best Hams: For The Holiday Or Any Day

Page 6: Favorite Hams ~ Part III

 

This is Page 6 of a six-page review, featuring Schaul’s hickory-smoked ham, Snake River Farms Kurobuta ham and Virginia Traditions Virginia ham. Click on the black links below to visit other pages.

 

Schaul’s

This hickory-smoked meat is a favorite for its juicy-but-not-watery, smoky-but-not-burnt, and flavorful-but-not-oversalted qualities. The excess bones and fat are removed, making the meat extremely easy to cut; our knife practically slid right through on its own. The rind isn’t tough and crusty like some can be, and it encloses a thin layer of fat, yielding an incredibly meaty ham with delicate hickory notes.

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half bone-in-ham
Hickory Smoked Half Bone-in Ham.

The Bone-in Spiral Sliced Ham is great for gourmands who want to save a little time and effort without having to compromise quality or taste. The meat is significantly sweeter than the the Hickory Smoked Bone-in Ham, and the generously sliced cuts are very lean. The ham’s honey and mildly smoky flavors keep both our salty and sweet cravings satisfied.

For more information, visit Schauls.com.

. spiral sliced
Bone-In Spiral Sliced & Glazed Ham.

 

Snake River Farms Kurobuta Ham

If there were a ham beauty pageant, the lightly smoked bone-in ham from Snake River Farms, with its gorgeous marbling of deep-red and flush-pink meat, would take first prize hands down. Once carved, the ham reveals a tender and moist meat enveloped in a generous layer of fat. Unlike other store-bought hams that can be jelly-like in texture, Kurobuta ham is firm yet chewy (without tons of fibrous membranes), filling the mouth with a mildly sweet ham flavor.

kurobuta
Whole Kurobuta Bone-in Ham.


In Japanese, kurobuta translates as “supreme black hog.” The origin of kurobuta dates back to about three centuries ago and has been enjoyed in Japan for more than one hundred years. Snake River Farms’ Kurobuta Ham is produced from pure-bred Berkshire pigs that are fed a diet of corn and soybeans and roam in open pastures. Smoked with hard wood chips, this delicious ham melted in our mouths and disappeared quickly from our plates. This beauty will make ham enthusiasts out of non-ham-eaters.

For more information, visit SnakeRiverFarms.com.


Virginia Traditions

We were a bit taken aback to find that a gourmet ham would come frozen. With all the frozen foods we’ve tried this past year, we’ve come to expect a bland or artificial-tasting product. But Virginia Traditions has challenged our prejudice. Smoked over a hickory fire, this boneless spiral-sliced Virginia ham is lightly coated with a brown-sugar glaze, giving way to a balanced explosion of robust, maple-like flavors, without even a hint of freezer flavor.

boneless ham
Boneless Spiral-Sliced Ham.

Truly a head-turner, this city ham is a pale mahogany color and comes pre-cut in thin, even slices. The meat is extra-lean, and we especially enjoyed it warm, as it brought out the complex layers of ham flavor.

On our first round, we were so satisfied with this flavorful, meaty and tender ham that we passed on the Edwards Ham Glaze Mix that was included. We tasted the honey, brown sugar and orange-oil glaze later, and found that we would gladly eat it again. The trace of zesty citrus finished off the ham like a grand finale.

Virginia Tradition’s Boneless Spiral-Sliced Ham is available in two sizes: 4 to 5 pounds and 9 to 10 pounds. The website says the smaller size serves 10 to 12 people, but we think it would be enough for closer to 20; we can only imagine how many the large size would serve!

For more information, visit VirginiaTraditions.com.

 

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