Posts Tagged With: Pork

297/365: National Bologna Day*

If you think today’s holiday is full of baloney, you’re quite literally right. October the 24th is National Bologna Day!

It is also National Good and Plenty Day and National Food Day. Good and Plenty is the oldest candy brand in the U.S., dating to 1893, but it’s licorice-flavored and therefore, in our opinion, unworthy of celebration. It’s also National Food Day, but on this blog, every day is a national food day! Besides, this holiday is devoted to raising awareness of healthy, affordable, sustainably priced food, but isn’t linked to any particular type of cuisine. Bologna was the logical choice for us today, so bologna it is!

Bologna is a type of sausage similar to mortadella that originated in Bologna, Italy in the 1400s. It is made of finely ground meat, typically beef or pork, and lard (though by regulation this must be invisible to the naked eye, giving new meaning to the phrase “out of sight, out of mind”). It may also be made from chicken, turkey, venison, or god knows what. The first bolognas were made from pork, studded with cubes of white fat, and flavored with pepper, coriander, anise, and pistachio nuts. A recipe from Robert May, published in 1660, calls for  “a good leg of pork and a lot of lard, flavoured with cloves, nutmeg, mace, pepper and caraway seeds.” I’m not sure why bologna has such a bad rap and is often said to contain lips, snouts, and other unsavory animal body parts; it’s really no worse than any other type of sausage around and was a childhood favorite of mine.

To celebrate, I made a bologna sandwich for dinner. I’m very specific about my bologna: it must be on white bread, with mustard (NO mayo), American cheese, a slice or two of tomato, and pickles. There can be no deviating from this format! Tara is not a bologna fan – surprise, surprise – so she suffered through a bite. Me? I could’ve gone for another!

National Bologna Day

Categories: Meat | Tags: , , , , , | 3 Comments

105/365: National Glazed Spiral Ham Day

April 15th shouldn’t be an overly taxing day, not when you’ve got the perfect excuse to pig out. It’s National Glazed Spiral Ham Day! Or, another in our list of very specific and odd food holidays.

Ham is a cut of meat that comes from the thigh of the pig. Pork was traditionally cured in the fall and would be ready to eat in the springtime. Ham is closely associated with Easter because it is considered a symbol of luck, and since Easter often lands in April, the middle of the month is an ideal time to celebrate this tasty porcine product. In 1937, a Detroit resident named Harry J. Hoenselaar, working in his basement, invented a special way of cooking, slicing, and glazing ham. He patented his spiral slicing machine and tried to market it to various companies, but nobody went for the idea whole hog. Undaunted, Harry decided to open his own ham store, and formed the HoneyBaked Ham company in 1957. The machine is attached to a ham on the top and bottom and a rotating base is gradually lowered as a blade is applied to the meat, resulting in perfectly uniform spiral slices of ham cut through to the bone. HoneyBaked ham became a sensation, winning over legions of fans who love their signature tender and juicy ham with a crunchy honey glaze.

I too am a big fan of HoneyBaked ham, and immediately thought of them when this holiday rolled around. So Tara and I drove out to Clackamas Town Center on Saturday to stop by the HoneyBaked Ham store in the mall. As delicious as HoneyBaked ham is, it’s also expensive; the smallest “mini” ham still cost $32, and would have been a lot of pig for the two of us to tackle. Fortunately, they sell their glazed spiral ham already sliced by the pound, so we picked up a package of that. HoneyBaked ham is so good, it seemed a waste to just slap it between two slices of bread and call it good, so we made ham and eggs for breakfast instead. Delicious!

HoneyBaked Ham

Categories: Pork | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

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