Battle of best seasonal holiday Meats: Christmas ham vs. Thanksgiving turkey

Christmas ham,

A larger number of people celebrate Christmas rather than Thanksgiving, world population wise, but mainly because Thanksgiving isn’t a universal holiday. Knowing that it’s an American holiday, more American people celebrate Thanksgivings than they do Christmas and when thinking of these holidays, food comes into mind. Even though Thanksgiving is celebrated by more Americans, a large number of people enjoy Christmas ham over Thanksgiving turkey.

America loves Christmas. Children eagerly wait for this day to come where they sleep and wake up to snow, Christmas lights, a decorated fireplace, and most importantly, presents. The day doesn’t end there though; there is still the huge dinner made by your parents and relatives who drove from far away to celebrate this special moment, all hands on deck to prepare the perfect Christmas ham.

Ham takes three to four hours, including the parts where you take it out of the oven midway, add pineapples, and pop it back into the oven. Ham is a red meat, meaning it isn’t as dry like a turkey. No one likes dried up meat, let’s be honest. Dried meat is hard to chew, not savory, and difficult to swallow. “I tasted turkey before and it was really dry,” junior Alan Zhang said.

Of course there are people who aren’t allowed to have ham. Some religions and cultures don’t support the idea of eating ham, including Judaism and Islam. “I can’t have ham,” junior Eli Mirny said.

Christmas ham, in comparison to turkey is about the same price, but boneless ham is more expensive than turkey. We can all understand that when it comes to paying for good ham, if it means paying more. Turkey is more known to be both dry and greasy, “Turkey is too greasy,” junior Ryan Kim said.

Holidays are special because we only get to enjoy the holiday for 24 hours out of 8,760 hours in an entire year. Why spend such valuable hours eating food you won’t enjoy, when you can eat food you can enjoy? This is why some people even replace their Thanksgiving turkey with ham.
Thanksgiving is a day to bring people together and meet with family you can’t always see. Food brings people together because who doesn’t like good food. This is why it is so common for people to pick ham over turkey.

~Beatriz Kim
staff writer

Thanksgiving turkey,

Americans love to eat, and when it comes to holidays, they really go all out. With an estimated 45 million turkeys purchased for Thanksgiving, it’s no wonder it’s a staple of Thanksgiving and the fall season. Despite the surge in popularity of ham as the main course on the Thanksgiving dinner table, it’s turkey that reigns supreme among the peasantry of meat.

The taste and texture of turkey is something you can’t replicate with ham. The sheer amount of fat on ham is something that is both disgusting and adds an extra step of fat-removal from your supposed enjoyable meat experience. The disappointment you feel when you bite into ham and have the squishy consistency of lard between your teeth is something few things can top.

The foods that turkey typically accompany don’t hit as hard with ham. Cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie are foods that go with turkey. Ham is more of a food that accompanies mac and cheese, baked beans, and asparagus, which don’t tickle the taste buds the same way turkey does. As founding father Alexander Hamilton once said, “No citizen of the U.S. shall refrain from turkey on Thanksgiving Day.”

Money is a big concern for families around Black Friday and the holiday season, so you should get your family something tasty, but cheap. With an average cost of 99 cents per pound, turkey will allow you to spend more money on post-Thanksgiving shopping.

Traditionally, turkey has always been the main course come Thanksgiving day, and only recently has ham been brought into the equation. If we’re straying away from our roots, why not change the holiday’s story entirely or serve blueberry sauce instead. Thanksgiving is a celebration of the feast the pilgrims and Native Americans had, and we can’t change the storied history of this holiday.

Ever since 1963 when John F. Kennedy pardoned the first turkey, it’s been an annual event. Whether you love it or you hate it, it’s tradition for the president to pardon a turkey bright and early on Thanksgiving, and let the celebration begin. You don’t see the president pardoning a pig, since it wouldn’t be the same.

While Thanksgiving isn’t a time to be thinking about fitness, you have to be thinking about your health before you scarf down all of that food. Ham is chock full of sodium, saturated fat and cholesterol. While you probably don’t want to be watching your weight when the food is in front of you, it’s always good to look out for these things in advance.

When it comes down to what to serve as the main course on Thanksgiving, it’s always good to go with what you like. There’s no sense putting the effort into making something that you don’t enjoy. Whether you have turkey or ham or anything in between, the holiday is about family and bringing people together.

~Luke Jordan
opinion editor