Country Ham

As different from canned ham as espresso is from Sanka, country ham is the aristocrat of pig meat. It is utterly elegant, but also powerhouse-potent, so intense that it always is sliced wafer-thin. Like a rare veined cheese, it tickles taste buds by teetering towards a suggestion of rot. In fact, a whole country ham, packed in burlap, requires removal of lots of mold. As a rule, the more mold it has, the yummier it will be. Country ham is a southern thing, most frequently served at breakfast with biscuits and red-eye gravy, but also star of a deluxe dinner table with spoonbread and garden vegetables. It is created by rubbing a whole ham with salt, sometimes sugar or pepper, then curing it for at least half a year while it sheds moisture and its flavor magnifies. To connoisseurs, the older the ham, the finer its character. Some hams are hickory-smoked, giving them a softer taste, but even they pack the commanding flavor of slowly aged pork.

Restaurants With This Dish

3 folded-over, paper-thin pancakes accompanied by a globe of pink lingonberry butter
Pancake Pantry

NASHVILLE, TN

Close view of a western omelet that adds bacon to the veggies inside
Track Kitchen

AIKEN, SC

Roxie’s Cottage Restaurant

BOWLING GREEN, KY

Ruth’s Family Restaurant

AUGUSTA, GA

Silver Sands

NASHVILLE, TN

View of Caro-Mi across the river ... heaven at the Blue Ridge Mountains
Caro-Mi Dining Room | Heaven at the Blue Ridge Mountains

TRYON, NC

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