St. Mary’s County Stuffed Ham is a Southern Maryland institution.
Come on down to St. Mary’s, and taste some of this county treat for yourself. Stuffed ham can be found at several country markets and restaurants, including: Chaptico Market, WJ Dent & Sons, St. Mary’s Landing Restaurant, and area McKay’s grocery stores (301-997-1828). At Lenny’s, a local landmark, Chef Dan serves up stuffed ham dishes and occasionally offers stuffed ham how-to classes.
While it is traditionally served for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter, Stuffed Ham can be enjoyed anytime. The ham, stuffed with greens, onions, and spices, can be found at most county festivals and fairs throughout the year. It is eaten with eggs for breakfast and as a sandwich for lunch and makes an excellent main course for dinner.
There are several local legends about the origins of this St. Mary’s original. One version is that slaves working on plantations in St. Mary’s used greens and onions from their gardens to add some flavor to the parts of the hog they were given. Others believe a cook for the Jesuit Priest at St. Inigoes Manor made the first stuffed ham as a special treat to celebrate Easter and the end of Lenten fasting. Another theory is that an English farmwife was the first to use cabbage, onions, and watercress to dress up her Easter ham. Regardless of its origin, St. Mary’s is proud of its stuffed ham!