Courtesy of The Honey Baked Ham Company

You’re just a few clicks away from printing out your own "swine steward" certification.

Mike Pomranz
Updated April 17, 2019

Becoming a certified sommelier is great way to boost your wine credentials. But at the same time, it’s important to remember that any certification is only as valuable as the reputation of the organization who certified you. Broadly speaking, anyone can “certify” anyone in anything. For instance, want to be a certified ham expert? Honey Baked Ham’s got you covered — and they’ll even give you a certificate to prove it.

In the lead up to Easter, the Honey Baked Ham Company has launched a “hammy” campaign that will certify anyone as a “Hammelier” — “an expert in serving ham, or simply put, a swine steward.” The “program,” if you can call it that, is a four-minute YouTube video featuring Honey Baked Chef Tim Ziga, who the brand has dubbed the “world’s first Hammelier” and is therefore qualified to bestow this title onto others.

Despite essentially serving as a long Honey Baked commercial, Ziga certainly seems to know his stuff, and though he doesn’t really dive all too deeply into the intricacies of ham, hearing someone give a ham the wine snob treatment, even on a very basic level, is pretty interesting — to the point where it would have been fun to see him actually do a hardcore breakdown on the subtleties of different hams.

Courtesy of The Honey Baked Ham Company

Alas, however, earning your “Hammelier: Level One” certification doesn’t require any sort of depth whatsoever. Yes, there’s a quiz you have to take after watching the video to get your certificate, but I took it twice — once with all correct answers and once with all incorrect answers — and was sent to a page to print out my certificate either way. (They don’t even tell you what score you got!) As I said up top, a certification is only as valuable as the organization who certified you — and though Honey Baked might make a decent ham, I probably won’t be flashing my certificate around at the local butcher shop.

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