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Thu Mar 28, 2013, 04:18 PM

Ham on Easter? An Interesting Tradition.

So, why do we eat ham on Easter, I wondered. I thought about it for a while. We eat turkey on Christmas and Thanksgiving, but ham is traditional for Easter.

Then it suddenly hit me! Jews don't eat ham. That's why we eat Ham on Easter, during the Passover season. Now, Jesus was Jewish. I don't think he ate ham. But we do. Christians do.

Isn't that interesting?

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Arrow 38 replies Author Time Post
Reply Ham on Easter? An Interesting Tradition. (Original post)
MineralMan Mar 2013 OP
geek tragedy Mar 2013 #1
glowing Mar 2013 #2
HereSince1628 Mar 2013 #3
MineralMan Mar 2013 #5
GoCubsGo Mar 2013 #34
Gormy Cuss Mar 2013 #37
SoCalDem Mar 2013 #4
TlalocW Mar 2013 #6
MineralMan Mar 2013 #9
Silent3 Mar 2013 #7
LiberalLoner Mar 2013 #13
demosincebirth Mar 2013 #29
love_katz Mar 2013 #8
TlalocW Mar 2013 #14
UnrepentantLiberal Mar 2013 #21
Retrograde Mar 2013 #10
politicat Mar 2013 #11
Recursion Mar 2013 #12
demosincebirth Mar 2013 #30
Kip Humphrey Mar 2013 #15
MineralMan Mar 2013 #16
CTyankee Mar 2013 #17
zipplewrath Mar 2013 #18
JHB Mar 2013 #22
Cleita Mar 2013 #19
mainer Mar 2013 #20
Jenoch Mar 2013 #23
demosincebirth Mar 2013 #31
Jenoch Mar 2013 #35
demosincebirth Mar 2013 #36
Jenoch Mar 2013 #38
Zax2me Mar 2013 #24
Freddie Mar 2013 #25
jwirr Mar 2013 #26
Demo_Chris Mar 2013 #27
Shrike47 Mar 2013 #28
Generic Other Mar 2013 #32
smirkymonkey Mar 2013 #33

Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Thu Mar 28, 2013, 04:21 PM

1. It's not an accident that ex post 1492

ham was the national dish in Spain.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Thu Mar 28, 2013, 04:22 PM

2. Actually, many don't celebrate Easter. And I do turkey

for thanksgiving and ham for Christmas and its been like that in my family forever. We did do Easter as a kid, but Since being in the real adult world, I haven't had a Sunday off unless I've taken a vacation day in years (since 17.. 17yrs of no Sundays to my own devise).

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Thu Mar 28, 2013, 04:27 PM

3. As it's one of the times it needn't be special ordered, we eat lamb on Easter.

And afterward have lamb shaped yellow cake with shredded coconut frosting and large, dark, false eyelashes.

Neither of us practice a religious dietary discipline, it just works out that way...

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Response to HereSince1628 (Reply #3)

Thu Mar 28, 2013, 04:32 PM

5. I'm cooking rack of lamb for Easter.

Love it. Even though I'm an atheist, a lot of people around me aren't. They celebrate Easter. I celebrate good food, whatever the occasion.

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Response to HereSince1628 (Reply #3)

Thu Mar 28, 2013, 09:15 PM

34. That's what we had, too.

Although, there was at least one year where my dad got a beef crown roast. And, the lamb cakes my grandma made were pound cake, with raisin eyes and half a red jelly bean for a nose. That was the highlight of the holiday.

I don't recall ever having had ham on Easter. I would remember that, as I really don't like ham.

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Response to HereSince1628 (Reply #3)

Fri Mar 29, 2013, 01:39 AM

37. Korban pesach-- it's what's for dinner.

Eating the Lamb of God for Easter always struck me as right up there with having rabbit as the protein.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Thu Mar 28, 2013, 04:31 PM

4. Since the kids grew up & moved away, we don't "do" holiday meals

Yay !!!!!

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Thu Mar 28, 2013, 04:32 PM

6. During the Inquisition

It was a good idea to have your Easter ham hanging outside your door so Inquisition officials or even your own neighbor didn't turn you in for being suspected of being a Jew.

Also, supposedly, this is where we get the phrases, "A pig in a poke," and "Letting the cat out of the bag."

When the south of Spain was under Muslim rule, ham was of course verboten so there was a black market for it. A poke was a type of sack big enough to hold a small pig. Of course, you never knew who was around, even in secluded places so you bought the pig sight unseen, which is what the phrase refers to now - buying something sight unseen or without proof it is what it is. Unscrupulous sellers would sometimes put a cat in the bag instead of a pig, make the sale, then scram. Once the seller opened the poke, the (unfortunate in this case) secret was revealed, and that's how the term letting the cat out of the bag came to be.

TlalocW

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Response to TlalocW (Reply #6)

Thu Mar 28, 2013, 04:41 PM

9. Interesting. The ham meant you weren't a Jew.

I did not know that.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Thu Mar 28, 2013, 04:32 PM

7. And then there are the bacon-filled chocolate bunnies

Or maybe that's just our family.

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Response to Silent3 (Reply #7)

Thu Mar 28, 2013, 04:45 PM

13. +1 LOL

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Response to Silent3 (Reply #7)

Thu Mar 28, 2013, 07:52 PM

29. I'm thinking about baked rabbit. No. not for Easter, just thinking that I haven't had it since I

was a teenager.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Thu Mar 28, 2013, 04:36 PM

8. Many of the customs practiced on Easter...

were brought to this country by the Germans.

They brought old customs from pre-christian times. Pork was often eaten in Germany, and pork was often eaten as a festival food.

It is no surprise, then, that we have bunnies, egg hunts, sweets and ham as part of the celebration.

Those customs are from the old ways...they have nothing specifically to do with christian beliefs about a resurrection. The church could not get the people to drop their old customs, so they just renamed them, and gave the customs a grudging blessing.

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Response to love_katz (Reply #8)

Thu Mar 28, 2013, 04:51 PM

14. That was the way of the Catholic Church

Move in and co-opt the local/pagan customs to theirs. Substitute saints for the local gods, etc. Christmas traditions all come from the Roman Saturnalia and pagan symbolism. Easter from celebrations of the return of Spring. All Saints Day never really caught on as the various pagan events that became Halloween have never really taken on a Christian/Catholic flavor. Santeria is Catholic-influenced - Cuban slaves worshiped their orishas as Catholic saints. Mexico's Catholicism comes from the church co-opting all the various Aztec and Mayan gods into saints, etc.

TlalocW

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Response to TlalocW (Reply #14)

Thu Mar 28, 2013, 05:13 PM

21. Same with the Kabaa.

 

http://redicecreations.com/article.php

Hajj, the pilgrimage to Mecca, is one of the greatest religious observances in Islam. This year, Hajj is expected to fall between November 4-9.

People often associate Hajj with the familiar image of devout Muslims making the journey to the Kabaa, and seven-times circling the ancient stone building towards which they pray. The gathering in the plain of Arafat symbolises the climax of the hajj pilgrimage, and in 2010 two million Muslims were at the site together on a single day.

What is less commonly known is the presence of a holy relic - literally a cornerstone - that is part of the worship. The origins of the dark stone remains a mystery to not only Muslims but geologists, scientists and historians alike.

Does the black stone reveal pagan goddess-worshiping roots of Islam?

The Black Stone is a Muslim relic, which according to Islamic tradition dates back to the time of Adam and Eve. Historical research claims that the Black Stone marked the Kaaba as a place of worship during pre-Islamic pagan times.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Thu Mar 28, 2013, 04:43 PM

10. Depends on the country

In Greece, lamb is the preferred meat for Easter. My family's traditional foods were sausages, eggs and things made in the shapes of lambs.

A less conspiratorial reason: Easter occurs in early spring. In northern countries, where a lot of US traditions come from, there wasn't much in the way of fresh food available, as the livestock not needed for breeding were often killed in the fall and preserved as best as possible. Pigs were a good food animal in northern Europe, and it's relatively easy to preserve large chunks of them - like the legs, by making them into hams or grinding up bits for sausages - by smoking. So when Easter rolls around and it's time for a feast after the six meatless weeks of Lent the pig parts hanging in the smokehouse (or regular house, for that matter) are ready to eat.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Thu Mar 28, 2013, 04:43 PM

11. It's a seasonal spring food for the northern hemisphere.

A properly dry cured, smoked ham that was slaughtered in the late autumn is only really ready in early spring (and Lent tends to cut into that, for those who practice.) Ham takes several months (bacon takes 30-45 days, salt pork takes a couple weeks. Ham, due to the thickness of the muscle, takes much longer.) In some areas, the suckling pigs are ready to be slaughtered, so that's also a possibility. Once the ham is ready, you want to consume it before the heat of summer sets in.

The second alternative, lamb, is the spring meat because you're culling the excess male lambs. Cows usually haven't dropped by mid-March to Mid-April, so veal isn't yet available.

Migratory large fowl (primarily ducks and geese) are just returning.

Pigs have always been cheaper to keep than sheep, and have rarely been preserved for their milk and wool. Until we developed industrial beef, pork of some sort was the poverty meat -- usually some variation of salt pork or sausage, because a little goes a long way and cured pork is usually pretty flavorful.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Thu Mar 28, 2013, 04:44 PM

12. The "gras" in mardi gras is the fat from the last winter pig

The easter ham is the one you started smoking last autumn and is ready now.

This is way older than Judaism or Christianity.

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Response to Recursion (Reply #12)

Thu Mar 28, 2013, 07:54 PM

30. Bacon grease?

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Thu Mar 28, 2013, 04:52 PM

15. Better than ham for easter? Why, rabbit of course!

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Response to Kip Humphrey (Reply #15)

Thu Mar 28, 2013, 04:53 PM

16. I have tried every year to serve Easter Bunny Stew,

but my wife's family will have none of it. They don't know what they're missing.

Maybe I should change the name...you think?

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #16)

Thu Mar 28, 2013, 04:57 PM

17. We are going to our fave restaurant and tap room for an Easter Brunch!

$20 and only $3 for a Bloody Mary or a Mimosa. Whoever invented the custom of a Bloody Mary brunch was a genius...

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #16)

Thu Mar 28, 2013, 05:00 PM

18. Lapin Ragout

Just call it "Lapin Ragout" and they'll think it's a fancy french dish.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #16)

Thu Mar 28, 2013, 05:22 PM

22. Serve them hasenpfeffer


Hasenpfeffer is a traditional German stew made from marinated rabbit or hare, cut into stewing-meat sized pieces and braised with onions and wine in a marinade thickened with the animal's blood. Hase is German for hare and Pfeffer is German for pepper, although here it refers generically to the spices and seasonings in the dish, as with the German ginger cookies Pfeffernüsse. Seasonings typically include (besides pepper): salt, onions, garlic, lemon, thyme, rosemary, allspice, juniper berries, cloves, and bay leaf. In the North American pioneer era, German immigrants frequently cooked squirrel in the same manner.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hasenpfeffer

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Thu Mar 28, 2013, 05:02 PM

19. Every Christian I know eats lamb on Easter and it's likely that Jesus

also ate lamb at the Last Supper or the Passover meal he ate with followers. I don't know of anyone who eats ham, but maybe they do.

In my husband's family, ham is eaten for Christmas dinner and it's in the Irish tradition of his family. My family ate roast beef at Christmas and sometimes goose if someone wanted to take the trouble to cook it.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Thu Mar 28, 2013, 05:03 PM

20. I love how much I learn on DU

Never stopped to think about why ham is eaten at Easter. Lots of info to chew on here.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Thu Mar 28, 2013, 05:35 PM

23. As others have posted,

there are different traditions from different cultures. In our family Thanksgiving always has both ham and turkey. Christmas dinner is usually either beef or ham and Easter is either ham or lamb. And of course, if turkey happens to be on sale, it can be a meal at anytime, including holidays.

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Response to Jenoch (Reply #23)

Thu Mar 28, 2013, 08:05 PM

31. Mexican dinner on Easter, at our house, was home made pork tamales, chicken and cheese enchiladas,

Mexican rice and re fried beans. Makes me hungry just writing this down. Not a good meal if you're a diabetic.

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Response to demosincebirth (Reply #31)

Fri Mar 29, 2013, 12:22 AM

35. I love Mexican food,

to the point where I don't always prefer the food at Mexican restaurants. It seems themexican food I make at home is just as good or better, especially the refried beans. I have not yet made tamales. I bought some masa flour but have decided to buy fresh masa when I do decide to make them.

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Response to Jenoch (Reply #35)

Fri Mar 29, 2013, 01:29 AM

36. My mother used to make 'em from scratch. She had a Metate and ground her corn to make "la maza"

and whipped it by hand until it was aerated to her liking. Three to four hours to get it right. Now, like you said, you can buy it ready made for the pork and the husk to wrap them in. But oh, how she worked! Just so we could have a good Easter.

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Response to demosincebirth (Reply #36)

Fri Mar 29, 2013, 01:51 AM

38. My mother was a good cook

but she was of Swedish/German descent. Tamales were not in her repertoire. (Although she did make great burritos and egg rolls too, for that matter.)

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Thu Mar 28, 2013, 05:39 PM

24. I just like ham.

 

And will eat it.
Easter Sunday.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Thu Mar 28, 2013, 06:20 PM

25. I make ham on Christmas and Easter

I like it better than turkey and you don't have to make the $&%#%^ gravy and mashed potatoes.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Thu Mar 28, 2013, 06:30 PM

26. I was taught that it symbolizes our freedom from the Old Testament Laws. They were fulfilled by

Jesus. This especially is applied to the ceremonial laws in Leviticus and Deuteronomy.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Thu Mar 28, 2013, 06:35 PM

27. I like Ham better than Turkey

 

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Thu Mar 28, 2013, 06:42 PM

28. We just eat ham because we like it.

Roast beef for Christmas. When I was a kid it was roast lamb but Mr. Shrike doesn't care for lamb much.

We are also making spanakopeta. We're not Greek, we just like it.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Thu Mar 28, 2013, 08:31 PM

32. The worshippers of the mother goddess Demeter

sacrificed pigs as part of the ritual. Pigs were seen as symbols of rebirth and fertility. Pork bones have been excavated in large numbers at Eleusius. Those who sought to destroy the mother goddess cults proclaimed the animals the goddess worshippers used in their rituals were unclean.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Thu Mar 28, 2013, 09:06 PM

33. I am going to my sister's house for Easter and we both hate ham.

Her husband is making a Prime Rib roast and Alaskan King crab legs. Yum! We usually have a pork tenderloin, but I am not complaining.

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