Bring Home the Bacon
November 27, 2005 9:02 AM   Subscribe

Ham it up: Need recommendations for an especially delicious and good-quality mail-order ham, as a holiday gift for ham-lovers. Something that costs less than Harry & David's $100 ham would be appreciated.
posted by Miko to Food & Drink (14 answers total)
This company has the best hams. The company started near where I grew up. I have happily eaten these hams for 30 years. An 8lb ham costs $69 including shipping.
posted by peeps! at 9:52 AM on November 27, 2005

Corky's is muy fabuloso if you like your ham Memphis-style.
posted by naomi at 9:57 AM on November 27, 2005

Peeps!'s suggestion is right on the money. HoneyBaked Hams are good eatin' and are probably your best bet for mainstream mail-order hams.

If your ham lover is willing to explore interesting regional variations, or if he or she is from the South originally, allow me to suggest an alternative - the country ham. Salt-cured, basically thick-sliced redneck prosciutto, country hams are wonderful delicacies appreciated by ham cognoscenti. The National Country Ham Association lists a bunch of mail-order suppliers; my personal go-to source is Johnston County (NC) Hams.
posted by enrevanche at 10:10 AM on November 27, 2005

I have always enjoyed HoneyBaked Hams
posted by keep it tight at 10:10 AM on November 27, 2005

sorry about the double post...guess I should have read peeps! post first!
posted by keep it tight at 10:12 AM on November 27, 2005

Smithfield ham. enrevanche's link looks good, too.
posted by theora55 at 10:31 AM on November 27, 2005

If you want American ham, the magic word you're looking for is "country ham". Also look for something that specially indicates it's not "water cured" or somehow has had water added to it. Descriptions of the attic it hangs in fora year are nice, too. Good country ham is a totally different thing than what we're used to in the US. Very intensely flavourful; you won't be eating giant ham steaks.

But the best ham in the world is Spanish. Import laws make it tricky to bring in the US, but there's nothing like a fantastic Iberian ham. A whole prosciutto is pretty impressive too, but you'll never finish it.
posted by Nelson at 11:00 AM on November 27, 2005

Given the choice, I'd like a Smithfield ham or one of the country hams listed above. I've also had good luck ordering from Figi's of Marshfield, Wisconsin. Look for the items that are supplied by Nueske's--they make fairly good hams and bacon and such in this part of the country.
posted by gimonca at 11:15 AM on November 27, 2005

(Figi's is also good for stuff that's either comfortably homey or amusingly ironic, depending on your mood. Their paper catalogs would typically have things like a big wheel of swiss cheese with a PACKERS logo on the side. Did I mention they're in Wisconsin? Oh, yah.)
posted by gimonca at 11:21 AM on November 27, 2005

A third vote for HoneyBaked. They're groovy, baby.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 11:22 AM on November 27, 2005

niman ranch makes damned tasty uncured hams (no nitrates/nitrites, no water) but they are somewhat pricey.

the other recommendations in this thread have me positively drooling. damn you!
posted by dorian at 2:00 PM on November 27, 2005

I used to work at Rocke's Meating Haus in Morton, Illinois. They make an incredible honey glazed ham.
posted by vagabond at 2:17 PM on November 27, 2005

All kinds of yummy Virginia ham (Smithfield, honey, country cured) can be had from Padows.
posted by Wet Spot at 7:58 PM on November 27, 2005

Zingerman's stocks Niman Ranch Ham and it's on sale now. They've also got great customer service. If they're not able to get something special for you, they'll send you to someone who can. For the foodies out there, if you haven't been to this Ann Arbor institution, I can tell you it's well worth a visit to their web site or in person. Mail order, call: 888.636.8162
Open Monday through Saturday, 8 am to 8 pm (Eastern Time)
You can order on the web, but then you'd miss out on talking to one of their knowledgable staff.
posted by teddyb109 at 6:06 AM on November 28, 2005

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