MAFES Sales Store offers a boneless hamThursday, November 10, 2011
By: Linda Breazeale
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.
Huffman said they typically sell out of most of the cheese products before Christmas, so orders should be made as soon as possible on the website or at the store.
"Web sales have changed the way we do business in recent years. We are able to take orders until we run out of cheese or Dec. 6, whichever comes first. Dec. 12 is the last day to ship for Christmas," Huffman said. "After the holidays, we will ship cheese from January through April."
The store will operate during extended hours as the holidays approach. In addition to weekdays, the store will be open on home football Saturdays (Nov. 12 and 26) from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. It will be open from 7:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. on Sundays following home football games. On the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, the story will be open from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. On Dec. 10, the Saturday after graduation, the store will be open from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m.