Matthew's Foray into Blogging

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Country Ham

I have never eaten country ham before, much less cooked one. Country hams are supposed to be quite exquisite, with a more intense flavor than brined city hams. A product of the American South, country hams are dry-cured in salt, rinsed of the salt, smoked over hardwood fires, and then aged for 6 to 12 months. After aging, there may be some mold on the ham, which can be brushed off. Because of the high salt content, country hams require a one- to two-day soak before cooking. Simmering is the preferred cooking method, but they can also be baked, as in this recipe by Alton Brown.

I purchased one of the Smithfield hams in the burlap bag yesterday. We will eat it on New Year’s Eve. As it weighs over twelve pounds, we will also eat it on New Year’s Day, with our black-eyed peas, and for the first few weeks of the New Year.

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