Easter means a time for religious reflection and traditions, some chocolate goodies for the wee ones, and a big ham dinner with all the family gathered around the table.

When I was growing up in the 1950s and 1960s, my parents owned a small grocery store in a little Upstate village.  So, often times my Mom would pick out the best ham we had at the store, cook it in the oven down there and then bring it home still sizzling hot to her eight children.  And it was always delicious.  The sight of the brown ham with the cross-stitch markings across the top, and with the juice still bubbling around the bottom of the pan, the aroma that filled the house, and the smiles on all the kids, is a memory that I have had for more than 65 years.

New York State Easter Hams

There are many places to get your Easter ham.  Grocery stores, big box stores, and delicatessen counters are ready to serve you.  There are even some great stand-alone ham franchise stores around the malls too.  And these are all good places to visit.  But, we like the small ethnic meat markets and the rural smokehouses of Upstate New York as a source for a wonderful Easter ham.

The German and Polish markets on this list have been around forever.  The smokehouses, some in very rural areas, are turning out some epic, award-winning hams this time of the year.

We encourage you to patronize these smaller shops whenever possible.

Easter Hams: Where to Get the Best in Upstate New York

The butcher shops and smokehouses of Upstate New York are particularly busy right now. Easter is traditionally a "ham day" and these places, from the Hudson Valley to the Adirondacks to the Buffalo area, are ready with a ham just for you. These are 10 of the most wonderful meat markets, Polish and German butcher shops, and smokehouses, in our Upstate region producing some of the best, award-winning smoked hams (and other Easter products) you will ever taste.

10 Of The Most Unique And Unusual Places to Stay Overnight in New York

Ready for an adventure? Here is a unique list of some unusual places to spend the night. Included are an Erie Canal boat, a former shirt factory, a hotel with TV-themed rooms, a treehouse in the woods, and the most haunted hotel in New York. Check it out.

More From WZOZ