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Ham Salad Sandwiches

After tiring of cucumber sandwiches from street vendors in London (I was 14 and on a trip with my Girl Scout Troop), I decided to risk it and try a ham salad sandwich. I braced myself for what might be a horrible sandwich. Afterall, I had been unpleasantly surprised in my own country with what was sometimes passed as ham salad. I couldn’t imagine what an English food service might include in their ham salad. It turned out to be something I never imagined….sliced ham, lettuce, tomato, cucumbers between two slices of bread. I was literally ham and a salad in a sandwich 🙂

Although I love English-style ham salad sandwich, I also love the American ground ham-based spread.

I must admit that I am not a fan of all ham salad. I do not like “ham salad” made with bologna, potted ham, etc. I also prefer ham salad made with ground or otherwise pulverized meat…not diced or chopped. Finally, I like a rather simplistic ham salad…no corn, hard-boiled eggs, cucumbers, etc.

ham salad on bun

Although a plain ham salad sandwich is fine, it is greatly enhanced with just one addition…potato chips.

ham salad with chips

Potato chips atop a layer of ham salad adds both flavor and crunch to a sandwich. Of course, you could always just skip the bread and use ham salad as an excellent chip dip.

My parents’ ham salad was almost identical to their pimento cheese spread; they just used ground ham instead of cheese. Like pimento cheese, ham salad was not just something we had when there was leftover ham. The would buy a “picnic ham” (a smoked pork shoulder) to make “ham” salad because it was less expensive than a traditional ham.

No matter what type of “ham” you use, it needs to be fully cooked before making it into ham salad. Also, hams vary in amount salt, sweetness, etc. so the recipe should be adjusted to taste. You can always add more, but taking away isn’t so easy.

It may not be much of a recipe, but ham salad was a frequent food in my parent’s house in my childhood and well beyond.

In fact, ham salad became a regular in my Mom’s social circle.  Ham salad and pimento cheese sandwiches seemed to be at every  entertaining event.  I think it had something to do with the fact that they could buy decent salad/spreads at a local country grocery store.

Sandwiches served them best, but if you want to make a more formal presentation of  this simple ham salad serve pate choux pastries or small tomatoes.

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  1. […] course, you can stuff tomatoes with any of the salads: tuna, ham, chicken, pimento cheese, cucumber, roast beef, […]

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