Country Ham

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Country Ham

Postby NCPaul » Mon Oct 03, 2016 3:40 pm

After much research, I decided to buy a country ham. My thinking was that I could eat it while I made my own next year (at least that’s what I told my wife). I decide to go here to get one:
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It is a welcoming place for lovers of pork. Here are some of their hams and the awards they’ve won.
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They have a window display of some enormous hams (no longer edible).
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The one I wanted was off to the right -
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This is the label. The ham is the entire leg, hoof included. They vacuum pack it for transport or shipping.
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After removing the hoof with a bone saw, I took off the front of the thigh and decided to cut it against the grain instead of with the grain as is the European tradition. Cutting through the skin is no easy task as the ham was more than a year old.
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Sliced paper thin with an electric slicer gave me this:
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After the initial blast of salt I found I could really pick out the sweetness as compared to prosciuttos I have tasted. Not surprising as they wouldn’t have had sugar added to the cure. Country hams here typically are done with 4 parts of salt to 1 part sugar. The ham tasted great alone or with melon. Their website:
http://www.countrycuredhams.com/
Here is a fun story about these hams:
https://www.southernfoodways.org/ham-to ... ithfields/
Here is an article that taught me to slice country ham like the European hams and to enjoy them for what they were. There are a lot of restaurants that are adopting this practice. I shared some slices of ham with people that have lived their whole lives in the South but have never tasted country ham raw and sliced thin. It was a revelation to them.
http://www.cookingissues.com/index.html%3Fp=4837.html
This post is useful for the flavor descriptors and profiles of some of the world’s best hams.
http://blog.edwardsvaham.com/great-arti ... m-tasting/
If you still haven’t read enough about ham, I found this book highly engaging (go figure).
https://www.amazon.com/Country-Ham-Sout ... 05YG8304Z0
Fashionably late will be stylishly hungry.
NCPaul
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Re: Country Ham

Postby wheels » Mon Oct 03, 2016 8:15 pm

How old was your ham Paul.

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Re: Country Ham

Postby NCPaul » Mon Oct 03, 2016 9:09 pm

The receptionist could only tell me that it was between 1 and 2 years old. The curer was out of the building. I may have to go back to visit him another day.
Fashionably late will be stylishly hungry.
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Re: Country Ham

Postby klephtZA » Tue Oct 04, 2016 6:53 am

Is that sawdust covering the floor of the drying "warehouse"? If only we had such places locally!
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Re: Country Ham

Postby NCPaul » Tue Oct 04, 2016 10:43 am

It is sawdust, later they will use it in their smoker. That room is their "Summer" room and the temperature is held at 80 F with controlled humidity (don't know the RH). The higher aging temperature is one of the differences from European hams.
Fashionably late will be stylishly hungry.
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Re: Country Ham

Postby klephtZA » Tue Oct 04, 2016 11:45 am

That's amazing! Thanks for sharing :)
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