Ham for the holidays at the MAFES Sales Store

Long known for its cheeses, Mississippi State University now has a fully cooked, boneless ham available in time to reduce cooking stress and adorn holiday tables.

Made in Mississippi and packaged at a processing facility in Magee, the 5-pound V Ham is sold in the MAFES Sales Store, which is a unit of the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station. The store is housed in the Herzer Food Science Building on the MSU campus and is best known for MSU-produced cheeses and ice cream.

Debbie Huffman, store manager, said football and holiday seasons are the store's busiest times of year.

"This year, we have had a lot of football fans selecting the V Ham, which stands for Victory Ham, to serve at their tailgates. Each ham will serve 20 to 25 people," she said.

Byron Williams, assistant Extension and research professor of food science, nutrition and health promotion, said the ham is "savory," using natural hickory smoke and sweet flavors.

"Traditional curing ingredients in specific proportions create the flavor for this ham," he said. "The meat comes from low-fat, high-quality ham muscles, so each one is very lean, tender and easy to carve."

Williams said the meat must be kept refrigerated, and if unopened, the product has a 60 to 75-day shelf life, so would keep well through the holiday season. Once the packaging is opened, the meat should be eaten or repackaged and frozen within four to seven days.

Unlike other meat products available in the store, the V Ham is produced by Old Waverly Farm of West Point. The store also offers beef, lamb and pork products produced by students, faculty and staff at MSU's Meats Laboratory.

Customers can view a complete list of products available at the MAFES Sales Store online at http://msucheese.com. The store will ship only cheeses; other products must be picked up at the store.

Linda Breazeale | MSU Ag Communications

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