As Easter rapidly approaches, cooks often wonder: should I do a traditional Easter meal? What are the best Easter side dishes? Why do we eat ham on Easter? What is the best Easter ham?
The right lineup of Easter side dishes working in concert can create a symphony of flavor. Some of our favorite easy Easter side dishes that pair well with our Easter ham include: sautéed sugar snap peas, cheese and onion potato casserole, steamed cauliflower with browned butter, and bacon-wrapped asparagus. To elevate this last dish, it is important to use quality bacon. Stoltzfus Meats bacon is hand-trimmed, never pumped with water (which means it doesn’t shrink nearly as much as other bacon!), and sliced a little thicker. This attention to detail results in a deeper flavor and texture than the bacon you find on your supermarket shelf. It is also a great topper for salad Easter sides, such as Seven-Layer Salad.
Easter side dishes are important. But the anchoring point for the best Easter meals is a quality ham. The best Easter ham is a Stoltzfus Meats ham. Obviously, we are biased! But don’t just take our word for it when we say that we have the best Easter ham. Take the word of the Pennsylvania Convention of Meat Processors: both our Bone-In Hams and Boneless Hams have won multiple Grand Champion Awards for quality and taste from this venerable organization.
We have several sizes of ham to perfectly suit your traditional Easter meal. The sizes of our Boneless Hams currently range from as small as 2-3 lbs to as large as 10-12 lbs, while our Bone-In Hams run from 10-12 lbs to 16 lbs+ in size.
Why do people eat ham on Easter? The reason why we eat ham on Easter is relatively simple. Traditionally, people would slaughter their hogs in the fall after having fattened them up over the summer. They would then cure and smoke the meat during the winter. The curing and smoking process, combined with the colder winter months, helped preserve the meat. It has also been the historic custom for many Christians to refrain from eating meat on certain days during the Lenten season. The eating of an Easter ham was part of the celebration that accompanied the arrival of spring and the end of Lent.
If you're looking for something a little different for your traditional Easter meal, or if you do not eat pork, we suggest our Smoked Turkey. It tastes very similar to our Easter ham and the leftovers make a delicious Turkey soup or stew. Easter meal ideas don't end with Easter Sunday! When combined with Guggisberg Swiss and Betty Lantz's Sweet Hot Mustard, leftover Easter ham also makes great sliders.
Whatever your traditional Easter meal might look like, we hope that you will find inspiration from some of these unique and easy Easter side dish recipes and the quality of our hams. From our table to yours, Happy Easter!