SPONSORED BY BAYONNE HAM
IS IT BRUNCH YET?
Now that San Franciso has ended its mask mandate and the weather is freakishly warm, it’s time to claim your ground, unroll a picnic blanket and invite some long-lost friends to the park for a little weekend brunch. Here are a few tips for putting together a delicious and original menu. We always try and plan our menus around a cornerstone ingredient and this time we’re including one of our favorites from France, Bayonne Ham.
Let’s start with a brunch board, aka the well-curated charcuterie board. Stack it with local cheeses (especially Pt. Reyes Blue), olives (you can’t go wrong with castelvetrano), spicy roasted nuts, pickles, and crusty bread. Stop by the farmers market to snag some fresh spring strawberries of course, and don’t forget the Bayonne Ham, which goes just as well with soft cheese and just-picked fruit as your favorite salami or mortadella.
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.
The Pies the Limit
If you’re bringing a portable, outdoor pizza-maker to your brunch (they’re as popular as Air Fryers, it seems everyone has one or both), take a pass on the pepperoni and pile your pre-baked pie with Bayonne Ham. Cook until crispy and top it all off with lightly dressed arugula (for the health); it’s a pizza that will have everyone fighting for another piece.
Ditch the Deli Sandwich
There’s nothing wrong with having your neighborhood deli on standby when ordering a picnic brunch menu, but sometimes we prefer to make sandwiches for a crowd at home, especially when putting together a jambon-beurre. This Parisian classic features a crispy baguette, a slather of high-quality butter, cornichons, and Bayonne Ham. We like to split half a dozen baguettes and lay them out like an assembly line, quickly spreading the butter, pickles, ham—and bam you’re done! Lunch for a crowd in minutes. As a finishing touch, we slice them in half at an angle and stack them cut side up in rows for a delicious display, and they don’t last long.
Test Your Melon
That old, familiar classic of prosciutto and melon? Well, it’s a classic for a reason. To serve up 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, and fresh basil. Easy peasy.
If you’re breaking out the grill for brunch, (always a good strategy, it doubles as a crowd warmer if the fog blows in) it’s time to make room for the new burger in town. Although the bacon-cheeseburger is an American classic, the Bayonne burger has its own distinctive French flair. With a salty and savory profile, slices of Bayonne ham are right at home nestled under a slab of beef and melting cheddar. You may never go back to bacon!
No matter how you serve it, one thing is clear: Bayonne Ham is the perfect addition to any meal.