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MAGAZINE | BAY BULLETIN

Stuffed Ham: Official Food of St. Mary's County, Md.

Ham and Easter go hand in hand as springtime traditions. But did you know that St. Mary’s County has its very own tradition, with a special dish known as “Southern Maryland Stuffed Ham?”

Maryland Public Television intends to shed light on stuffed ham, and the small church community that carries on the tradition. 

Trinity Church in St. Mary’s City serves up stuffed ham sandwiches and soup, and they sell like hotcakes. 

So where did stuffed ham come from, anyway? According to Visit St. Mary’s, there are a few possibie origins:

“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!”