You might be wondering how canned ham made its way into the repertoire of Caribbean cuisine. When you think about it, the answer really does make sense. It has to do with climate and the remoteness and size of the islands. In a nutshell, there are only a few islands large enough to sustain a livestock industry, so most meats were imported. Before the days of refrigeration, the meat was preserved through several methods before being shipped to the islands: salting, smoking, pickling, and canning.
Canned hams and other meats have several advantages. They're fully cooked, have a shelf life of 3 to 4 years, and they don't need refrigeration until you open them. However, they're usually consumed right away, so you don't have to worry about left overs.
My recipe for canned ham with brown sugar and rum glaze is an interesting and delicious way to serve up a canned ham. It's simple to make, yet elegant. Everyone will think you spent all day in the kitchen cooking.
Keeping up with Latin Caribbean Food: