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How Do I Choose the Best Gift Ham?

A salt-cured ham is often salty with intense flavor.
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  • Written By: Lainie Petersen
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 28 October 2014
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When choosing a gift ham, you should consider the taste preferences of the recipient, the size of the ham, and whether the ham will require any special type of preparation before it can be consumed. Taste preference may be the most significant factor, as there are several different types of hams on the market that can have remarkably different flavors. In addition, some hams require special preparation before they can be cooked, while others are delivered ready to cook or even ready to eat. Giving some consideration to the culinary abilities and daily responsibilities of the recipient can help you choose the most suitable gift ham for his or her lifestyle.

When thinking about a gift ham for someone, you should consider whether he or she tends to prefer sweet or salty flavors. Some hams are salt cured, resulting in a salty, intensely flavored meat. Other hams are cured in sugar or a sweet glaze, resulting in a mild, sweet flavor. Some are sold unglazed, which may make them more suitable gifts for those who enjoy cooking and prefer to make their own glaze.

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Aged or country hams often require special preparation, as they may be encrusted with mold that must be scraped off before serving. While these meats are often prized by connoisseurs, not everyone wants to take the time to do this. Some hams are also available pre-sliced, making serving very easy, particularly if the gift ham is to be served at a party or event. If you know that the recipient has a busy life, you may wish to select a precooked, sliced ham that can be consumed with minimal fuss. Keep in mind that not everyone has a large family or entertains regularly. You may want to consider purchasing a smaller gift ham, though still of high quality, for those who live alone or who don’t entertain often.

Price can be an important consideration when buying gift hams. Many high-quality hams can be expensive, and if you are buying several hams to give to employees or family members, you will probably want to keep costs down. In addition to the cost of the ham itself, shipping can also be expensive, as these meats can be heavy. When selecting a gift ham company, you may wish to find out if it offers any quantity discounts or reduced shipping fees in exchange for a large order. Another thing to ask about is whether it is possible to purchase the gift ham as part of a food basket that contains other food gifts, such as mustards, dried fruits, or other delicacies.

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