If you’re in the mood to grab yourself some juicy ham hock to cook for dinner, you may be wondering where exactly you can find some. While ham and pork in general are extremely popular and easy to find at just about any grocery store, ham hocks are a much more specific part of the pig and may require finding in a location that is equally specific.
What Exactly is a Ham Hock?
Some people may be confused about ham hocks and what they are exactly. This is understandable as the pig has many different sections that are used in a variety of culinary dishes like the ribs, loin and lard.
The ham hock is essentially the bottom section of a pig’s legs. More specifically the ham hocks are the joint section that connects the foot of a pig to its legs. It is essentially the anatomical equivalent of a human ankle. The back legs of a pig connect directly to its rear, also known as the ham. This is where ham hocks get their name from.
Where Can You Find a Ham Hock?
Usually ham hocks should be able to be found in the pork section of any mainstream grocery store. While ham hocks have fallen a bit out of popularity in recent years, they are not as obscure as some might assume. You shouldn’t really have to resort to visiting a specialty butcher shop to find them, although that certainly is an available option to you.
All you have to do is visit your local grocery store, deli market or a major retailer supermarket like a Walmart Superstore. They should have ham hocks available in the same sections that sell ham and other related pork products. When in doubt, simply ask anyone working at the store if they have any ham hocks available. Since ham hocks can still be found at a large variety of grocery stores and supermarkets, the odds are in your favor. They may be stored in a specific and smaller section of the aisle compared to the more popular ham products but they still should be there.
Ham hocks are often sold fresh which is perfect for a variety of culinary styles like slow cooking or different kinds of soups and stews. You should also keep in mind that ham hocks are often sold in a smoked and spiced variety. These kinds of ham hocks often have a flavor that is quite similar to bacon. Any of the countless bacon lovers out there owe it to themselves to try out a ham hock as soon as possible.
Ham hocks can be eaten on their own but they are generally used as an additive to spice up the flavor of different kinds of dishes. Once their fats dissolve into a soup or stew, they provide a very distinct smokey flavor that is irresistible.
Like many different kinds of pork meat, ham hocks are quite versatile and can be used in a variety of recipes and cooking styles. Ham hocks are also often available for very affordable prices compared to ham, bacon or ribs which makes them a great and affordable alternative for people who are big fans of pork in general. Be sure to consider cooking with ham hocks next time for.