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Nov 11, 2002 12:18 AM

Best ham in town

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What is the best place in town to buy a ham? I bought one some years ago at some place in the Reading Terminal that was quite good, but don't remember which vendor.

Or would I be better off mail ordering one for our post Thanksgiving bash? What's your favorite souce?

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  1. I've always been fond of those spiral sliced hams that are available at various delis and vendors. I like to sauce it Bavarian style - applesauce with fresh horseradish finely grated into it. This is also good on the side of pork chops, pot roast or cold roast beef. YUM! I'm having a craving a right now...

    8 Replies
    1. re: Katie

      Thanks Katie, I like the idea of the pungent applesauce.

      But for the ham itself, I'm not looking for a precut ham.

      We'll have lots of it leftover, and I prefer an intact piece of meat that will be less likely to dry out over time. Ham is something that I buy with planned leftovers in mind. I find that cutting it into meal sized chunks and freezing them works very well.

      1. re: saucyknave

        The best ham I've ever had in my life, came from Godshall's stand in the Reading Terminal Market. Utterly spectacular, moist meat that I can vividly recall, sweet smokiness, an already somewhat sweet crust, and greta value for the money (not cheap, but not as ridiculous as a Smithfield ham either).

        1. re: Rich Pawlak

          Thanks Rich, that may be where I found my last ham a couple years ago. At least the description is apt. I served it at a buffet, and peobbple raved about it.

          1. re: Rich Pawlak

            Rich, I thought Godshall's was strictly poultry products? Turkey ham, yes, piggy ham, no. Unless they bring it in for the holidzays?

            As for Blooming Glen, that's operated by the Moyers family who used to retail under the family name at the Reading Terminal Market. I miss them and their hams dearly: absolutely was the best ham I've ever had. Alas, while the subsequent pork retailers in their spot at the RTM offer decent fresh pork and some good Germany style sausages and cold cuts, the ham just can't compare. I believe Blooming Glen/Moyers do not inject their hams with water; they just brine them and hang them to cure. I once served one of their big hams for an office holiday party and just about everyone said they never knew how good ham could be before tasting it. Of course, it didn't hurt that I slow baked it over indirect heat with wood chips on a Weber kettle.

            1. re: Bob Libkind

              So this is what living outisde of Philly for five years has done to my memory: it was indeed MOYER'S not Godshall's whose fabulous hams I've purchased over the years at holiday time. Glad to know they rae still around and doing great things, albeit in the burbs.

              1. re: Rich Pawlak

                I guess I should have put the name Moyer in my post, I thought I did, but I obviously forgot. We tend to just call it Moyer's, or "The Pork Palace" rather than the official name. They have a "vintage" Reading Terminal Market shopping bag hanging in their store, I had forgotten about that and didn't make the connection that they may have been a place people remembered from the market.

                I am glad to hear their ham is so good, we will have to try one soon. Like I said, everything else has been just wonderful and they are very nice people. They have the closest we have thing we have found in the area to real midwestern style bratwurst, which was a cause for celebration. They do a lot of pig roasting business, too. We've been there when people were picking up their whole roasted pigs and they smell absurdly good.

                I wouldn't even call Perkasie the 'burbs, it's the country, and definitely worth the drive to the country for Moyer's and Bolton's excellent products. I also think it's fun to go right to the source. There is another Moyer's farm that advertises raw milk, I would like to give that a try sometime too.

              2. re: Bob Libkind

                Are Moyers the people who make those great german sausages that Stoltzfus's started selling after the Moyers left? Best frankfurters ever, in my book.

            2. re: saucyknave

              Be careful with the horseradish. A little bit goes a long way [sniff]! I use a plane grater to get tiny little bits. Unfortunately, you can't substitute jarred horseradish because the vinegar ruins the taste. You have to find the fresh root, put on your ski goggles and start grating! My attitude is, if it doesn't make you cry, why bother ;o)! It's best with homemade applesauce of course, but good unsweetened commercial applesauce is fine.

          2. Well, it isn't in town, and I haven't had their ham, but Blooming Glen Pork Products in Perkasie, Bucks County always has fabulous pork. They raise the pigs, do their own butchering, smoking the whole bit. We have never been disappointed in anything we have bought there. It is family owned and operated, they have great customer service and are the nicest people.

            Blooming Glen Pork
            1248 Route 113
            Perkasie, PA

            And if you are in the mood for turkey, just down the road from them is a fabulous fresh turkey source - Bolton's Turkey Farm. Picking up our freshly killed bird the day before Thanksgiving has become a tradition for us, and judging by the lines, for a lot of other people, too. I've never had another turkey that comes close to comparing.

            Bolton's Turkey Farm
            1005 Main St. (Rt. 113)
            Silverdale, PA

            1. Well, I'm glad I asked!

              Katie, thanks for the details on the applesauce/horseradish. The next time I see some fresh horseradish...

              Persephone and others on Pa Dutch hams - My last baked ham was years ago and probably a Moyers (clearly a no-water-added-ham). Thanks for the address. I cook so little meat that when I do I want it to be great meat, so I'll probably take the trip out to Perkasie. The nice thing about ham is that it can be used in so many ways and incorporated in so many different dishes.

              This Thanksgiving, we're doing ham, but Christmas we may revert to turkey. So, it's also good to have the info on fresh turkey, too. (Though I'd probably get mine from Weavers Way where fresh organic turkeys can be ordered at both holiday times from Eberley Farms, which is another very good source.

              1. An update on the best ham: I went to Moyers and bought bone in ham, passing by the very crowded Bolton Turkey farm for the quick service at Blooming Glenn.

                First, it is about 1 - 1/4 hours from my house (near CC). It was worth the trip.

                Second, everything is done on the premises. A trip to the Ladies took me past the processing, smoking, spiraling.

                Last and most important: the ham was great Everyone raved and went back for seconds and took some of the impressive amount of leftovers home. My only complaint is that I like a little more fat left on the ham so that when you score it, it presents more dramatically. I'm sure if I had mentioned that when I ordered it, they would have accommodated me.

                I followed the baking directions that came with the ham and glazed it with the G.Kunz marinade for pork tenderloin half way through, studded it with pineapple, adding some of the juice to the marinade, and sprinkled some brown sugar on top for good measure. Sweet and salty with a touch of acid always does it for me. (That's why I'm such a pissaladiere freak and make it even without excuse.)

                I served it with a cheeseless potato gratin which I also did not salt as it was accompanying ham and I wanted it on the bland side (russet potatoes, garlic slivers, and some cream added to the milk, and baked almost as long as the ham (in an LC pan at 350f).

                I know Turkey is traditional, but ham is OH, SO much easier. I can get away with it as my kids and their families also get holiday dinners with their father, and many half-siblings, neices, & nephews, where turkey is always served. With a much smaller family, I'm free to do less traditional menus. Although Christmas is probably going to be a standing rib, yorkshire, and miscellaneous sides.

                2 Replies
                1. re: saucyknave

                  Since Moyers left the Reading Terminal Market more than a few years ago I've searched for a suitable replacement. Until about a week ago, I consigned myself to the "water added" products.

                  However, last week I bought a hamsteak cut from Leidy's ham and it was superb. No water added! It had that old time taste and very similar to the Moyers product. It sure beats the hour-plus ride to Moyers.

                  It can be purchased at L. Halteman's Country Store at the Reading Termiinal Market (which is a different store from A.A. Halteman's across the aisle). L. Halteman's has the apples and other produce sitting in front of the refrigerator cases.

                  1. re: Bob Libkind

                    You're right about the ride! But the ham was terrific. I certainly wouldn't do it for a slice.