The Untold Truth Of Krakus Ham

In and of itself, ham is — cool? It's an enjoyable lunch meat and a passable main course, but aside from a few diehards, it doesn't have the cult-like following that is elicited by other cuts of meat. One might even call it an unsung hero of the meat world. Certain hams, of course, do have a feverish following — Serrano, prosciutto, and the like. Most baked hams, however, do not evoke this level of fandom. Same goes for the other carnivorous mainstays: various cuts of beef, roasted chicken, whole turkey, and so forth. What exactly sets ham apart?

One particular brand of ham is Krakus. The official Krakus website waxes rhapsodic about Krakus ham, deeming it "the true imported Polish Ham," noting that it is "cured only with the finest hand-selected ingredients" and that "for unrivaled quality and unsurpassed flavor, there is only Krakus." This is a ringing endorsement, but if it has been a standby on your holiday dinner table, you may have wondered for years: What exactly is Krakus Ham?

What is Krakus Ham?

A terrific article at Vice speaks enthusiastically about Krakus. The physicality of the ham is beautifully encapsulated by this line: "Rectangular in shape with softly rounded corners, it is a rosy light pink with subtle, well-integrated white streaks." Vice also illustrates the middle-of-the-road nature of Krakus ham: It's porky, but not overwhelming so; it's salty, but not exorbitantly over-seasoned; it's firm, but has some "give." It can be a deli meat, it can be a formal entree when dotted with whole cloves and a smattering of brown sugar, it can be a breakfast meat — the list goes on and on. 

The product itself comes in a can — for some, possibly reminiscent of a very large can of Spam — and oftentimes is packaged with some sort of gelatinous substance. It's also typically sold as "fully cooked," so it only really requires being warmed up, not explicitly cooked — unlike the laborious nature of a holiday turkey. Its label advertises itself as America's #1 imported deli ham.

So this holiday, during this especially challenging year, perhaps Krakus Ham is precisely what we should be prioritizing over the more demanding holiday main courses of yore. If that's a bit much to ask for, at least it'll always be a good lunch meat standby.