Wednesday, October 7, 2009

What's a Daisy Ham? A Boneless Picnic.

Now, is that a strange post title or what?

Well, a bit of research finds "the etymology of daisy ham" in the Dictionary of American Regional English, findable via Google books.

It seems Daisy wasn't a brand name, although it was coined by an Armour employee after watching the boneless picnic ham rolls being made in Boston's Faneuil Hall. He thought a cross section of the roll looked like a daisy. I imagine this was because the ham was not ground but instead was simply boned and shaped into a roll.

In the 1970s, daisy hams were commonly in Southern New England grocery stores. They weighed about two to five pounds and were three to four inches in diameter. They were wrapped in a plastic tube. All you had to do to fix one was open up the plastic, dump the ham into a pot, cover it with water, and boil.

It was the perfect meat for my earliest entertaining. It was cheap. It was boiled, a culinary talent I had mastered at that point. It was boneless so you didn't need a good knife or carving skills to serve it.

Click here for how to cook a picnic ham AKA smoked Boston butt AKA shoulder ham.

43 comments:

  1. hi ~ I was brought up on the daisy roll.. we called it a New England boiled dinner.... we also boiled potatoes, cabbage, carrots, turnips & onions. I have moved to Atlanta, GA & have been searching for a daisy roll for 20 yrs. If someone knows where I can find ham like this.. pleaseeeeeeee let me know.... WarEagle at charter dot bet.. thanks ahead of time :) Andrea (ps .. I grew up 25 miles northeast of Boston.... so it was a staple up there too)

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    1. You can mail order Smoked Pork Shoulder Butt (aka Daisy Hams) from Karl Ehmer @ karlehmer.com, a German butcher which originated in Queens, NY. They are sold on the following page: http://www.karlehmer.com/smoked-pork-shoulder-butt-p-431.html

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  2. From searching around on the web, I think boneless picnic hams are hard to come by. The bone in picnic ham did have the flavor and texture I remember of the Daisy hams so at least we can get that flavor again.

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  3. I was looking at the Irish Abroad site's offerings of Irish foods for the holidays and saw what looked like the Daisy Roll ham that my mom made and which I loved. They call it "boiling bacon" and you can see it here: http://www.foodireland.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=spi205&Category_Code=deli&Product_Count=5

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  4. ok kiddies..i'm from CT...remember daisy ham well.
    live in las vegas now..found a specialty store that caries a product called "Rose's" mfg in ILL.
    not the texture i was looking for...and that wonderful smoky, salty flavor was vague.
    but the product was quite edible
    cut a few slices to grill with the morning eggs
    jc

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  5. I grew up in Connecticut in the 1950s. My mother would boil a Daisy ham with carrots, potatoes and cabbage. I'd dice up the cooked ham, potatoes and carrots, mash it up with my fork and slather it with ketchup. Eat it with slices of buttered rye bread from the bakery down the street. It was my favorite meal.

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  6. I have found where they sell the Daisy Roll Hams. I used to enjoy them when I lived in Boston and in Providence. I contacted Shaw's Supermarket and they gave me the name of the packing company that they get them from. They are Rose Ham rolls. and the website is www.rosepacking.com. I hope this helps all of those people that enjoyed these hams as much as I did.

    James from Houston

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  7. Oh my gosh!! Thank you for all of the info. I've lived in Las Vegas for eight years and have been searching for daisy hams for all of this time. Brought up in MA and it was one of my favorite meals! Thanks!!

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  8. I can't tell you how much I love these hams. I also grew up on them while living outside of Boston. I was fairly young though, and can't remember how my mother cooked them. I do remember the traditional meal we would eat it with though-daisy ham, macaroni and cheese, and a vegetable. I put mustard on my ham and ketchup on my macaroni/cheese. This brings back so many memories. My wife, who grew up in the south, did not know what it was but found one once under the Rose ham name. It was delicious. It isn't a regular item around though, so I haven't had it again since. I will be looking for it again though. After reading this thread, my mouth is watering...

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  9. gamma6@verizon.netMarch 17, 2010 at 10:12 PM

    Someone told me they had Daisy Hams at Publix in Florida.. Not so.. They had no idea what a Daisy ham was. I'm so sad.. They were a staple in my childhool in Connecticut and outside of Boston.. I remember them with Armour wrapping.. Are they still available. Now living in Florida.

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  10. You're right. I have yet to see a really credible source of the boneless Daisy hams of our childhood. What the Publixes here in South Carolina have is "smoked shoulder hams" which is a bone-in version that at leasts tastes like my memory of the real thing. More waste but the bone makes great pea soup!



    Hope this helps.



    Heidi

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  11. i live outside Boston. they can be found at the stop& shop stores. also grew up in conn. and ate them alot

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  12. my wife's unkle introduced me to daisy hams
    he put the ham into apot and brought it to aboil
    cooked it about 30 mins.then added new potatos[1"size.]cooked about 10 mins. the added new fresh string beans. that was sure good eats.
    i live in northern maine and hve benn loking for a daisy ham.
    they sell a rolled pork but its not the same

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  13. Here we are a group of old Maine friends in our eighties remembering food we once loved but no longer can find. How I would love to gift everyone of these dear friends with a Daisy Ham, their voted favorite. Anyone know where I can find "Daisies"???
    Gigi

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    1. I just bought a Daisy ham today from Bisson's market in Topsham, Maine. YOU MUST GO THERE! No nitrates or nitrites in any of their smoked products. Their bacon is lean and out of this world! All grass fed beef, too. The very best part? Their prices are no higher than the supermarket. I buy all of my meats and eggs at Bisson's.

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  14. They have tons of the Hummel Bros. Daisy hams at Price Rite here in CT. I get one every week. If someone can pay shipping...I can send the ham!

    h.walsh1984ATyahooDOTcom

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  15. Hummel Bros. web site is not up and running yet. How much do they cost you there in CT Heather? WHat does the label say on the hams? Just checking to make sure they are the same ones.


    James in Houston

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  16. I have a Hummel Bros smoked Daisy Roll in my hands right now. I got it at Stop and Shop for 3.49/lb, so the roll cost around $6.50 because they are all basically the same size in the wrapper. I live in Ct. I was looking up ways to cook it and came upon this site.

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  17. Thank you Beach Girl. I'll see if I can get it from stop and shop. Hummel Bros. don't have their website up yet. By the way, you can cook it a number of ways. You can boil it or you can bake it in the oven. I like both. When I bake it I make my own glaze. I use some maple syrup,honey, some gulden's mustard and grape jelly. I mix the ingredients all together and pour it over the ham during the last 20 minutes of cooking.

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  18. I just bought a Hummel Bros. daisy han at stop and shop in Lynn mass I paid a little over $ 6.00 for it.

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  19. How do you ship this to california.
    My wife grew up with this ham.
    What is total price?
    Thanks George
    gpcarey44@aol.com

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  20. Hummel Bros. (New Haven Ct.) Daisy Ham is the best. Real good eats.

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  21. If anyone is looking for a good daisy ham in Massachusetts, go to Pekarski's Sausage in South Deerfield. Just a few miles from Yankee Candle's flagship store. The best you will ever have and three times the size of the little ones I remember from childhood. They also have other great products like kielbasa, thick cut bacon, sausages (from mild to super hot), brats, smoked pork chops, etc. etc, etc. It is well worth a ride, but call ahead to check their hours before you go. They are not open on Sunday either.

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  22. Dave from StratfordApril 2, 2011 at 10:41 AM

    My mother used to make a boiled New England dinner out of Daisy Ham. Growing up in Connecticut, we had it quite often. For some reason she would add a very little bit of sugar to the water. She is not with us now so I can't find out why.

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  23. You can buy Daisy Ham at MarketBasket stores in Southern NH.

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  24. anyone looking for a fantastic Daisy Ham in the Buffalo,New York area....go to Redlinski's Meats in the Cheektowaga/Buffalo area. Absolutely delicious.

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  25. In Massachusetts you can find them at the Stop and Shop

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  26. Wow! For some reason the other day, daisy ham came up in a conversation and no one from other than New England, New york area knew what I was talking about. My mother used to cook one of these almost every other week, coating it with a brown sugar glaze near end of the cooking time. How we used to fight over that glazed piece!! Sorry to hear these hams are not available in the south where I am now living. Another bring back item to add on my trips to NY!!

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    1. For some reason I was thinking about this, remembering my childhood in N.E. have never found it here in cali. Someone needs to import it to the west coast.

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  27. The official name of the product that you are looking for is Hummel Brothers Smoked Daisy Roll Pork Shoulder Butt. My husband and I purchased ours at Shaw's Market in Wareham, MA (a place that definitely qualifies as 'Southern New England'). We have cooked the Daisy as New England dinner and as Ham and Mac 'n Cheese. Reading the recipes above, tonight we will try it with green beans and boiled potatoes. The meat will infuse the green beans and potatoes with that wonderful smoky flavor. Yum!

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  28. do u boil it with inner wrapper?

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    1. Well, you don't have to boil it in water and if you put it in a stew like my Mom did then the wrapper comes off before you cook it.

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  29. Yes u do boil with INNER wrapper.

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  30. I found this web site while trying to find out what a Daisy ham was. LOL. I live in Upstate NY, and found Daisy hams available at two Polish meat markets in Utica and a German meat market in Syracuse. At the latter, I asked if Daisy was a brand name or method of preparation, and I got the foggy answer that it was pork that was smoked. Glad I found the answer here. My suggestion for anyone looking for a Daisy ham but can't find one: go to a Polish or German meat market where they make (smoke, etc) their own meat and ask if they have Daisy hams.

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  31. Hi. I grew up in Central N.J. and it was a staple in our house. My mom boiled it with cabbage and potatoes. If you had any left over, you could fry it up.

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  32. Does any one know where to buy a Kelley Ham in the Orlando area which is similar to the Daisey ham but a bit larger and also smoked. It must come from a different part of the leg.They were plentiful at the markets in the Buffalo area back in the 50's-70's.

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  33. I also purchased a "Hummel Bros daisy roll pork shoulder" at my local "Stop&Shop" here in CT, I'm 27 and have never even heard of it, but I Love Pork! and my poor Muslim fiance has no idea what he is missing. I am going to marinate it with Sazon, adobo, pepper, and throw it in the oven for a few hours on a low temp... Is it possible to make pulled pork out of this? Anyone whom is interested in paying via paypal $20 for the cost of the item, and shipping I can gladly send you one overnight, as I live close to the supermarket, AND post office. My email is Krystal20@cox.net thanks for all the great tips, and recipes. -Krystal

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  34. I just purchased a Daisy ham from a local farm/meat market here in Brunswick, Maine. One of the customers raved about Daisy hams so I bought one to try. She recommended cooking it in ginger ale, so I went online to look for recipes and some background on Daisy hams. Ironically, my search brought me to your website. Heidi, imagine my surprise when I saw your picture about your blog. I was in the 2nd Maine cohort and took a grad school library class that you taught. What a happy coincidence!

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  35. Where oh where can I buy in Atlanta

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    1. The closest we can get is what the butcher calls a "smoked picnic" here in Columbia, SC. It's not boneless but it does have that nice picnic-ham flavor.

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    2. Hummel Bros - New Haven, CT

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  36. The finest Daisy Hams in the world are found at Noacks Meat Market, East Main St., Meriden, Connecticut where they are made fresh onsite. Bring your check book because nobody can enter the store and walk out with only one thing!

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  37. You can order a smoked pork butt from Egon Binkert in Baltimore at Binkerts.com

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Imprecise & Inexpensive

Two themes predominate in my approach to cooking. 1. Daily cooking of flavorful food need not be a precise art. 2. You can be an adventurous cook on a budget. Cooking and eating should be fun for both cookers and eaters.