This Sunday is Easter, and that means regardless of your personal beliefs, you are most likely joining with family and friends for what is one of the biggest meal occasions of the year. And what are most going to serve at this momentous gathering? You guessed it—ham. While we are not exactly sure how wet-or-dry-cured pork came to occupy this rarefied place at the Easter table (then again, why question such perfect symmetry?), we do know that we love this salty cut of rear pork leg, in all its many forms. Let’s dig into some of the available varieties.

A true crowd-pleaser, and easily the most visually appealing of the hams. Aside from the texture and flavor it imparts, something about seeing the bone in there really sends a message—and that message is, “this thing was once alive, here is the proof.” And be sure to save said bone, as few things can equal a ham bone as a starter for soups and stocks. BONUS: a bone-in ham also enables a fellow to really show off his carving skills, something that never looks bad on your permanent record.
We get it: everyone is busy these days and sometimes you just need to get something on the table to stave off the ravenous horde you live with. But Easter is a special occasion, with judgmental in-laws most likely in attendance. So, we say go with the bone-in variety, and punt the oval-shaped, pre-sliced specimen to a busy weeknight.

Most commonly handed out at raffles or tossed at rank-and-file employees in lieu of an actual Christmas bonus, the canned ham is a curious beast. Yes, they are economical, easy to carry, and remain shelf stable for up to 2 years. Those are about the best things we can say about them. Inside the can, the ham sits atop a gelatinous bed that we find rather unnerving, even with our deep knowledge of meat preparation techniques. And though ham overall is known to be a fairly salty food, those watching their sodium intake should probably still flee the vicinity when one of these is pried open.

Slow cooking an entire pig over an open flame would certainly make for a memorable Easter, but this sort of spectacle is perhaps best saved for company picnics and the like.

Ham sandwiches! Scrambled eggs with ham! Ham and Bean Soup! Ham and Potato Soup! A fistful of ham snatched from the fridge when everyone else is asleep! Leftover ham is undefeated.

We know that dinner rolls are not made from ham. But they are ham-adjacent, as they are a critical part of any respectable feast (we refer to them as “Your Supper’s Wingman™️”), and so we are including them here as a public service reminder: Don’t forget the dinner rolls, people.