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Southern Maryland Stuffed Ham




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Stuffed ham is a culinary treasure that, like so many gustatory delicacies, was borne of necessity. The exact origins of Southern Maryland stuffed hams are unknown, but evidence points to the slaves of the region for credit in creating this culinary masterpiece. In an effort to extend what little meat these pieces of pig provided, slaves devised a way to make the most of what they were given. Taking the greens (field cress, cabbage, kale, mustard greens, etc.) that they were allowed to grow in their personal garden plots, slaves took the small pieces of meat provided by their masters and stuffed them along with a healthy helping of spices (red pepper, mustard seed, salt and black pepper). As was a custom of the day, they boiled everything together to infuse the meat with as much flavor as possible. The dish was traditionally prepared in the late winter / early spring; and it almost always around for Easter Holiday celebrations. Thus were the beginnings of the gastronomic delight we now know as stuffed ham. Today this unique dish from Southern Maryland is enjoyed on special events such as holidays, and family gatherings.


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