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Updated: May 8

Easter inspired our in-depth ham research. And then we found one more treasure, just in time for MOTHER'S DAY!

Not this one.

In MUSINGS ON EASTER DINNER we explored the wonderful world of ham, providing links to other essays and more info. Right after Easter I ordered another type of ham from an intriguing new supplier (more on that below) and so now I have TWO favorite hams.

HAM # 1 -- BONE-IN MANGALITSA HAM (This year's Easter Ham)

This gem came from HOLY GRAIL STEAK COMPANY and was, according to my siblings around our family Easter table, the best we'd ever had... sweetly smoky, moist & tender. MANGALITSA is a Hungarian breed (see THE YEAR OF THE PIG) that has recently become available in the USA. It is very expensive, but well worth it (and cheaper than Prime Rib) if you love to dine deliciously in the comfort of your own home.

HAM # 2 -- PORCELET HAM (Ham Made From Milk-Fed Pork)

I'd never quite realized that "milk-fed pork" was a thing until I started getting unsolicited pop-ups from DUFOUR GOURMET, a NYC-based one-man gourmet operation. Like the aforementioned Bone-In Mangalitsa masterpiece, the Boneless Porcelet was sweetly smoky, moist, & tender. It was also downright veal-like, delicate in flavor and texture... so much so as to inspire the proposition of a new Mother's Day Dinner staple-- Ham Oscar!

Veal Oscar is one of the most quintessential of retro culinary classics: Sautéed veal cutlets with boiled asparagus, crabmeat, and Sauce Béarnaise-- simultaneously an epic midday feast for Granny and a high-end hangover brunch for her hip, twenty-something grandkids.

By updating Veal Oscar via swapping Porcelet Ham for the veal and toning the Béarnaise down to Hollandaise, we arrive at a Mother's Day early afternoon entrée sure to please one and all. (Buying quality canned crabmeat has become an international crap-shoot; swapping out for lobster meat or decent shrimp is an idea whose time is nigh.)

Oh, and I lied in the first paragraph-- I actually have not two but THREE favorite hams. Prosciutto is utterly fabulous-- as a pre-dinner nibble, a posh addition to a pasta dish, or anything in between. SO-- suppose you're having, say, turkey or prime rib for a non-ham Mother's Day dinner. You cannot go wrong with a pass-around appetizer like this--

Asparagus & Prosciutto. Slather this with a squirt of your favorite

honey-mustard concoction, and you have a guaranteed winner.

May God bless all of the hard-working and dedicated mothers out there... and may the rest of us pause this Sunday to fondly, admiringly, and respectfully recall the woman who so agonizingly delivered us into human existence. This day-- enhanced, perhaps, with a special ham dish-- hereby honors and acknowledges her exertions and sacrifices.

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