Top Spots To Get A Christmas Ham In Philadelphia

December 14, 2013 7:00 AM

(credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

For many families sitting down to Christmas dinner, ham will be on the table. The tradition of the Christmas ham actually goes back to pre-Christian days in Scandinavia, when a pig would be sacrificed to the goddess Freyr during the Yule celebration. This custom of eating a ham was later adopted in many other countries, including the United States, where it’s a favorite Christmas dish. While many people probably don’t know about the origins of the tradition, a good-quality ham will make your meal truly special. Smoky, salty, savory and even sweet, these Philadelphia and nearby spots offer the best hams you can find for your Christmas dinner.

L. Halteman Family
Reading Terminal Market
51 N. 12th St.
Philadelphia, PA 19107
(215) 925-3206

The Reading Terminal Market has been a favorite Philadelphia landmark since 1892. With 80 merchants occupying this bustling Center City spot, there is truly something for everyone. The L. Halteman Family brings customers the freshest beef, poultry, smoked bacons, turkey parts, seasonal fruits and vegetables and pork. This Christmas, L. Halteman Family will offer skinless, shankless ham that is free of any added water. There will also be semi-boneless hams and spiral ham that comes with a delicious, sweet honey glaze. Place your orders as soon as possible to guarantee availability.

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M&J Meats
Bristol Amish Market
498 Green Lane
Bristol, PA 19007
(215) 826-9971 ext. 114

With authentic Amish foods as well as quality-made furniture and crafts, the Bristol Amish Market is a unique shopping spot in Bucks County. Among the stands in the market, you’ll find M & J Meats. This local ranch offers meats that are fresh and free from preservatives. In addition to a great selection of beef, sausage, ground veal and lamb (during the Easter season), there are also many pork products to choose from. For your Christmas ham, you can enjoy spiral cut fresh hams, ham halves, whole smoked shankless hams, boneless country hams, mini boneless county hams and smoked ham hocks. The Bristol Amish Market is only open Thursday through Saturday, so be sure to plan ahead.

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The Market at Styer Orchards
1121 Woodbourne Road
Langhorne, PA 19047
(215) 757-7646

A Bucks County tradition going back over 100 years, Styer Orchard offers summer and fall produce with plenty of pick-your-own options, local honey and jams and seasonal festivities. The full-service farm market and bakery is open year-round, with the deli offering a number of delicious options for the holidays. Among the many favorite dishes, a table-ready spiral cut ham with a sweet glaze will be available. Only a limited number of orders will be taken, so please stop in or call to place your order. Styer is also an excellent spot to do your Christmas tree shopping.

S. Clyde Weaver
Lancaster County Farmers Market
389 W. Lancaster Ave.
Wayne, PA 19087
(610) 688-9856

The Lancaster County Farmers Market has a rich history dating back to the 1930s. Originally located on Philadelphia’s Main Line, the majority of the merchants were from the Lancaster area, providing the name for the market. In the 1950s, the market moved to Wayne and has been at its present location on Lancaster Avenue since 1977. While many of the merchants are now from Delaware County, S. Clyde Weaver is one of the originals. This third- and fourth-generation family business focuses on high quality and the best service. The natural hardwood smoked ham is a favorite for special family meals. With three different sizes, there’s an option for gatherings of any size. The boneless ham is available as a two-pound “nugget” that feeds five, a 4.5-pound half ham for 10 to 12 or a 9.5-pound ham that serves 20 to 24 people. For an extra large family party, bring home a 14-pound shankless ham that serves 25 to 30 adults.

Smucker’s Quality Meats
Reading Terminal Market
51 N. 12th St.
Philadelphia, PA 19107
(717) 278-6532

If you’ve been by Smucker’s in the Reading Terminal Market, chances are good that you remember the friendly, bearded Moses Smucker, whose stand is actually divided in two parts. The Grill at Smucker’s offers a wide variety of breakfast sandwiches (available all day), Philadelphia favorites like pork roll and scrapple and a selection of sandwiches, including the signature pot roast beef. The other side of the stand sells quality meats from Pennsylvania butchers. At Christmas, Smucker’s will offer both bone-in and boneless hams from Stoltzfus Meats in Lancaster County. Only a certain number of hams are brought in each year, so advance orders are recommended. And when you stop in to get your ham, be sure to pick up some of the famous beef jerky to enjoy on your own or even give as a stocking stuffer.

Michelle Hein is a copy editor for a women’s fashion company in Bucks County by day and a self-proclaimed food and drink fanatic by night and weekend. She enjoys attending wine classes, trying new recipes in the kitchen and going to old favorites and new restaurants alike in the Bucks County and Philadelphia area. If the writing gig doesn’t pan out, she constantly dreams of owning her own bakery…perhaps connected to the restaurant/bar that her lawyer boyfriend would love to open.
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