Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Great Canned Ham Experiment Of 2011

A couple months ago I saw some Spam on sale and, having not eaten any since I was a child, decided I'd try some to see if it was as bad as I remembered.  I decided to prepare it by slicing it up and pan frying it.  Over the course of 3 days I ate it for breakfast with eggs and toast.  I found it to be too salty for my taste and a little mushier than I would have liked.  After the first day, I attempted to rectify this by frying it longer, but this seemed to only crisp up the outside while it was still mushy in the center.  Thinner slices failed to rectify the situation.  Overall it was edible, but I wouldn't call it good.  Not good enough for me to buy again in the following decade.

Having successfully survived phase one of the experiment, I moved on to Dak canned ham.  Thinking this was just straight ham with no seasonings or potential mystery ingredients, I assumed this would be a step up in flavor and quality.  This assumption was incorrect.  I prepared it the same as I had the Spam.  I don't really know how to describe the flavor other than surprisingly un-hamlike.  An hour or so after my first helping, I grew ill and threw up all of the ham I'd eaten.  As you may have inferred from the use of the phrase 'first helping' in the preceding sentence, this intrepid experimenter was undeterred by the possible contraction of trichinosis.  Allowing myself a day to recover, I indeed proceeded to round two.  This was more successful in the fact that it didn't make me vomit, however it was still not good by any conventional use of the term.  I still had half a can of ham left after two breakfasts but couldn't bring myself to eat any more and tossed the remainder. 

Following a few week hiatus, the experiment resumed with Deviled Ham.  To the best of my knowledge, I've never had deviled ham before and didn't really know what to expect.  I've had deviled eggs, which are more or less eggs with mustard, so I didn't know if this was just ham with mustard. 

Cat food?
 The first thing I noticed was that it, had I not seen the label on the can, I would have assumed it was cat food.  Based on the consistency, I clearly couldn't prepare it the same as the previous experiments so I decided to spread it on some toast.  While this was hands down the best flavor and the least likely to be regurgitated, it turns out the devil likes his ham really salty.  Saltier than I typically prefer.  I think that perhaps made into a sandwich with some lettuce and maybe relish to cut the saltiness it might be quite good, but at this time I'm no longer interested in continuing the experiment.  I think I might just be better off sticking to some sliced deli ham to fulfill my ham needs.  I don't know if there are other variations on canned ham that I'm unfamiliar with, but if there are I may or may not give them a try when I find them. 
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