In the video today we’re answering a viewer question
Rita H. asks us why do we serve ham on Easter?
And I’m assuming Rita is an American.
Because in the UK we don’t eat ham.We lamb.
but for all of you Americans watching let’s deal with the ham issue.
Under Jewish dietary laws, eating pork in any form is strictly forbidden.
Jesus Christ was Jewish.
So why on the anniversary of his resurrection,
people traditionally serve ham?
You’ll often read it’s because ham is supposedly a “Christian” meat,
able be consumed by Christians but not certain other prominent religious groups.
然而 吃猪肉的真正原因很简单 因为它应季
However, the real reason is simply because it’s in season.
While modern food storage techniques and supermarkets
with efficient and worldwide supply chains
shield us from this fact somewhat, like fruits and vegetables,
different meats also have seasons,
and these depend on a variety of factors
including what the animals were eating
and when and where they were in their growth cycle,
and of course the availability or lack of refrigeration.
With pigs and cows, before refrigeration,
it simply made sense to slaughter them in the fall.
Since it takes a fair amount of time to butcher a beast as large as a hog or steer,
the cold temperatures helped keep the meat from going bad
before it could be properly prepared.
Another consideration was taste.
Shortly before slaughter in the fall,
hogs would be fed things like apples and acorns
that would greatly improve the flavor of the meat they would ultimately provide.
As one specialty pork producer noted,
The tradition of acorn-fed pork goes back millennia.
The oak nut was a diet staple
because the pigs roamed and rooted about for acorns
in the forests of Italy and Spain.
An acorn diet is today best known
as what makes the prized and pricey Jamón Ibérico of Spain so succulent.
Butchered in the fall,
most hams were prepared and allowed to properly cure
over the winter to further develop their flavor.
This was a particularly important food source this time of year in some parts of the world
where the rest of the stored meat would have already been eaten
with little other meat of any real quality available.
This was the case in North America where the other traditional spring meat, lamb,
was and still is less in vogue,
which is also why eating ham on Easter in North America is much
more popular than other regions where Easter is celebrated.
相反 如我所说 欧洲通常在复活节食用羊肉
Conversely, like I said in Europe, lamb is commonly served at Easter,
and the tradition actually traces its origins to Jewish Passover feasts.
This is also certainly fitting for Easter,
with Jesus as the “lamb of God”.
Born shortly before the holiday,
the animals may be slaughtered within 6 to 8 weeks,
and thus offer a fresh, as opposed to cured
option for Easter protein when historically other
such protein sources were scarce at this time of year.
Now for some bonus facts.
Eggs are popular at Easter, at least in part due to the fact that
spring is the peak season for their production.
As a result, eggs have been a part of spring celebrations
since long before Easter was even a thing.
For example, decorated eggs have been a part of the Iranian New Year,
which is observed on the spring equinox for millennia.
And now for another bonus facts.
In addition to the refrigeration factor, like pigs,
cows are also thought to be tastier when slaughtered in the fall.
This is due apparently to the fact
that “the frost has killed flies and sweetened the grass.
So the cows are more comfortable.”
Among other things,
cows slaughtered when fatigued or in distress
also negatively impacts the shelf life of the meat.
And now for another bonus fact.
Turkey is also tastiest in the fall because,
as the weather cools and the days become shorten,
their hormone levels shift and they fatten up.
On the other hand,
before industrialization since most chicken eggs are laid in the spring,
those that are allowed to grow into chickens are traditionally slaughtered in the summer.
So I really hope you found my video interesting,
hopefully we answered that question for you.
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