Country Ham vs. City Ham.
Country hams are produced using traditional dry-curing methods. The cure is applied to the surface of the ham in dry form and is allowed to penetrate into the ham naturally over time. The result of the drying and aging process creates a robust, pronounced flavor and a firm texture. Some people who are salt conscious may find the saltier nature of country ham to be objectionable, but to the enthusiast, there is no substitute. Country hams may be purchased cooked or uncooked.
City hams are produced using modern moist-curing methods. The cure is injected into the ham in a brine form. The process takes much less time compared to that of country ham. The result is a moist and tender ham that is characterized by its sweet flavor. Although milder than country ham, the flavor of the city ham is not bland and may actually be considered bold compared to a water-added grocery store ham. City hams are cooked and smoked using natural hickory sawdust.
Country Ham vs. Attic Aged Country Ham.
Original Country Ham
These hams did originate in the country, in barns in fact, first wrapped in a cure mixture in the Fall, and hung in a barn through “the seasons”, before being eaten in the summer and through the next year. Although we’ve made adjustments through the years, we still use the brown sugar cure and age them for at least 90 days, for a robust flavor that can only be replicated through time and patience. A true original for over 90 years.
Attic Aged - Also known as our "Private Stash".
It is reminiscent of the way country ham was cured on the farm several generations ago. The additional passage of time creates a flavor that is even more fully developed. Each one is hand rubbed with our cure and naturally aged over 210 days, then hickory smoked for a robust flavor. The shortfall of the Private Stash is that quantities are very limited! Plan to order yours early and enjoy. The Attic Aged ham is not for the truly salt-sensitive person, however proper cooking techniques can result in lowering the salt flavor. (See Ham Guide for details).
Why is there mold on my whole, uncooked country ham?
The mold is a natural non-toxic by-product of the curing process. The mold may vary in color. Follow the cooking instructions included with your ham for proper mold removal.
How do I glaze my ham?
Uncooked Country Ham (after baking) - With a sharp knife, trim off the skin and excess fat. Leave the desired layer of fat so the glaze will cling to the surface. Make a thick paste using 1 cup brown sugar and 1/4 cup vinegar. Apply to the fat side of the ham. Place in a 400-degree oven for 20 minutes or until the glaze is browned. Watch the ham closely during the glazing process to avoid burning.
Fully Cooked Hams - Glaze ham after it has been heated or brought to room temperature and ready to serve. Place ham in an oven-proof dish. Set oven on broil for preheating. Heat the glaze in the microwave for 30 seconds (the glaze may be very hot) from the microwave. Apply half of the glaze to the ham and place it under a preheated broiler for approximately 5 minutes. Remove from broiler and apply more glaze. Continue the process until the desired amount of glaze has been added or the desired color is obtained.
How do I slice my ham?
Spiral Sliced Hams - Place ham on the cutting board with fat/glaze side up. Slide a thin-bladed knife around the center bone to release slices. Make a knife cut starting at the center bone and cutting towards the outer surface of the ham allowing slices to fall away.
The Anatomy of Slicing - Unsliced Whole and Half Hams