Salty thinly sliced delicious-ness
November 27, 2015 7:50 PM   Subscribe

Where do I buy country ham on the internet? What type of country ham am I looking for? I've been watching Mind of a Chef on Netflix, and they show this dry aged ham that hangs out in the open air, and then the chef slices it ever, so, thinly, yumm, and you don't need to cook it further. You just eat it with breakfast. (Kind of like prosciutto?)

Where can I order this country ham? What type should I order?

I get confused when I search for this, b/c they ask me if I want it pre-cooked or not, or prosciutto style, or pre-sliced? Please be specific.

Help me satiate my country ham cravings. Thank you!
posted by ellerhodes to Food & Drink (15 answers total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
Aaaand, as a follow up, how do I store it? Does it need to go into my tiny Bay Area apartment's fridge space? Or can I store it in a cabinet? (Away from my hungry hungry kitties)
posted by ellerhodes at 7:51 PM on November 27, 2015

Where can I order this country ham?

The winner of Cook's Illustrated's country ham taste test was from Harper's, who do mail order.
posted by bcwinters at 7:59 PM on November 27, 2015

posted by politikitty at 10:14 PM on November 27, 2015 [1 favorite]

If OP is interested more in dry cured hams rather than that version of country ham, Virginia ham might be a better search term. Depending on your budget, Jamon might be an option, but be aware that they can get very expensive depending on the variety. Bellotas are about $800.
posted by rhizome at 10:30 PM on November 27, 2015 [1 favorite]

So my SO who's from Virginia recommends Edwards. Use the "Virginia country hams" tab at the left, or ask them what specific ham you'd likely be wanting, via their contact form at the top.
posted by Namlit at 1:49 AM on November 28, 2015

There is a cult surrounding Benton's Hams, and for good reason. Their bacon and prosciutto are also divine.
posted by workerant at 4:10 AM on November 28, 2015 [4 favorites]

Yeah, came here to also say Benton's.
posted by mkelley at 4:28 AM on November 28, 2015

Benton's all the way.
posted by odinsdream at 4:51 AM on November 28, 2015

I discovered Hamlovers via a Mefi comment a while back, and while I did not spend hundreds on a huge piece of ham, my smaller order was great and the customer service was excellent, too.
posted by phatkitten at 5:15 AM on November 28, 2015

Surprised that CI didn’t review Benton’s, but Edwards (mentioned above) came in second in their tasting. Rhizome’s first link came in last place and was rated “inedible.”

I would be careful about using the search term “Virginia” since many brands of normal deli ham have lines called Virginia (at least here in the northeast US) that bear no resemblance to aged country ham.
posted by bcwinters at 6:37 AM on November 28, 2015 [1 favorite]

Calvin Trillin writes about country ham. I think Alice, Let's Eat has the long country ham story, but you can't go wrong with Trillin's writing.
posted by theora55 at 6:54 AM on November 28, 2015

Edwards' surryano is a nice hybrid of a true country ham and something meant to be eaten like charcuterie. Probably available at better cheese shops near you. Traditional country hams are great but are a step up in smoky salty intensity.
posted by JPD at 8:28 AM on November 28, 2015

A few things:

First, the traditional way to eat country ham is by soaking and boiling it, then cutting off pieces (which are still very salty). Eating it in paper thin slices with no water treatment ("prosciutto style") is a relatively new thing.

Second, "prosciutto style" country ham is quite a bit saltier than prosciutto, and overall the texture is much more stiff and dry.

Third, cutting paper-thin pieces of country ham by hand, as opposed to using a meat slicer, is no joke. The best texture is obtained by cutting across the grain, which is impossible with a bone-in country ham. Getting the bone out of a country ham while leaving the ham intact for slicing is incredibly difficult and frustrating (ask how I know!).

Fourth, it can be really delicious. So much so that I bought a 1950s-era Hobart off Craigslist and rehabilitated it pretty much for the exclusive purpose of cutting "prosciutto style" country ham.
posted by slkinsey at 8:30 AM on November 28, 2015

You want Father's Country Ham.

It's salty. But wow is it ever good.
posted by Kangaroo at 9:26 AM on November 28, 2015

I've tasted most of the hams entered in the KY state fair competition for the past 15 or so years, give or take a year or a ham. I've also eaten a lot of country ham outside of the fair's warm embrace.

I heartily second Father's hams. There is no equal, no competition.
posted by still bill at 11:17 AM on November 28, 2015 [2 favorites]

« Older Swegway buyers guide - what do I need to know?   |   I don't like lunch, but I need to eat a lunch!! Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.