Photo by Bob Fila
In the United States, ham has become a traditional Easter dish. In the early days, meat was slaughtered in the fall. There was no refrigeration so the fresh pork that wasn't consumed during the winter was cured for spring. This made ham a natural choice for the celebratory Easter dinner.
"The Easter ham holds the same place of honor on the dinner table that milady's hat does in the Easter Parade," According to the Chicago Tribune's Mary Meade in 1939. "Like the hat, the ham is something you can hardly do without."