Taking its name from the port city of Bayonne in France’s southwest, Jambon de Bayonne, or Bayonne Ham, is a thin-sliced, cured style of pork. Like French wine, Bayonne Ham is subject to certain quality regulations. The pork is born and raised in the Southwest of France and animals must be fed a diet absent of steroids, fish oils, and antibiotics. The result is a ham that the European Union recognizes with Protected Designation of Origin status.
But this quality ham is more than just a quality French product. Bayonne Ham is a flexible ingredient, as delicious and useful on American soils as it is on French ones. This Labor Day Weekend, dig into this incredible ingredient. Here are the best ways to integrate Bayonne Ham in your end-of-summer festivities.
Make it a Pizza Party
If you’re one of the millions of Americans who have recently invested in a portable, outdoor pizza-maker—or, even if you aren’t—this is the opportunity Bayonne Ham has been waiting for. Adorn your pre-baked pie with towers of Bayonne Ham, bake until crispy, and top it all off with lightly dressed arugula for a pie that stands up to the competition.
Drool-Worthy Charcuterie Board
In the waning days of summer, you may think that grilling is the only way to achieve new culinary heights. But a well-curated charcuterie board, served at twilight, may be the best-ever way to ring out the season. Local cheeses, fresh figs, crusty bread, and honey are all necessary accouterments, of course, but don’t forget Bayonne Ham, which goes just as well with soft cheese and just-picked fruit as your favorite salami.
The Greatest Sandwich
If there is a better sandwich on earth than the jambon-beurre, I don’t need to know about it. This Parisian classic features crispy baguette, a slather of high-quality butter, and pickles. Embrace the seasonality of the moment with homemade refrigerator pickles made from your farm stand’s best cucumbers and you have a recipe for satisfaction.
Test Your Melon
That old, familiar classic of prosciutto and melon? Well, it’s a classic for a reason. While the melons are at their sweetest, serve a family-style dish of Bayonne Ham and cantaloupe. Slice the melon thin, top it with mounds of Bayonne Ham, and finish it off with a good quality olive oil, better quality balsamic vinegar, and fresh basil.
A Better Caprese
With no disrespect to summer’s favorite salad—a mix of the ripest tomatoes, fresh mozzarella cheese, and vibrant basil—a Caprese tastes even better when Bayonne Ham is involved. Layer the ham atop the cheese for a combination that will surprise and amaze your guests. Bayonne Ham’s rich and buttery texture is the perfect complement to good mozz, and to summer’s bumper crop.
The bacon-cheeseburger is an American classic, but have you ever had your burger topped with—wait for it—Bayonne Ham? The addition adds a little bit of umami to a Labor Day classic that you may not have known could be improved upon.
No matter how you serve it, one thing is clear: Bayonne Ham is the perfect addition to your holiday meal.