This Week on Food Makers: Handcrafted Country Hams!

Food & Beverage
This Week on Food Makers: Handcrafted Country Hams!
Sam Edwards III. Source: Peter Frank Edwards/Garden&Gun magazine.

This week on Food Makers I’ll be talking about one my favorite subjects–the art and craft of  the country ham. The Google+ hangout on air is tomorrow, Nov. 14 at 2pm PST/5pm PST. Tune in right here.

Chances are you’ve had proscuitto before, Italy’s glorious, dry-cured ham. If you’ve traveled to Spain or visited a well-stocked deli you may have indulged in a taste of jamon serrrano, Spain’s famed dry-cured ham, the finest of which are aged in the cold, dry climate of the Alpujarras Mountains  (“jamon serrano” means mountain ham) where they achieve a sublime, buttery, nutty, and tangy richness. (I spent my honeymoon in Spain and I admit I took more pictures of legs of jamon serrano hanging from tapas bar ceilings than I did of my wife; I digress.) But unless you’re from the American south or know someone who is, you’ve probably never tried America’s version of artisinal pork perfection–the country ham. If so, you’re missing out.

Southern states such as Virginia, Tennessee, Kentucky, and North Carolina have a long tradition of making hams, some of which are smoked over hickory or oak and aged a year or more. Although they can be quite salty, aged country hams are every bit as delicious as their Italian and Spanish counterparts–and sold at a fraction of the price.

While November is turkey month, hams make a big showing this month, too. So instead of talking turkey I’ll be talking pork during this hangout, live and online. My guests will include Sam Edwards III, third-generation owner of Edwards country hams in Surry, VA  and Nancy “the Ham Lady” Newsom Mahaffey, owner of Colonel Bill Newsom’s Aged Kentucky Country Ham in Princeton, KY. See you there.

4 thoughts on “This Week on Food Makers: Handcrafted Country Hams!

  1. This Week on Food Makers: Handcrafted Country Hams! | My Daily Feeds says:

    […] Read the full article on MAKE […]

  2. Sam Edwards III on the art of “Handcrafted Country Hams” | The Official Blog of Edwards Virginia Traditions says:

    […] Make Magazine, a publication dedicated to the world of producers, tinkerers and innovators, held an online live-stream interview with American ham makers, including third generation Cure-Master Sam Edwards III, to learn about the art of “handcrafted country hams.”: Here’s an excerpt from Make Magazine’s Stett Holbrook:  […]

Comments are closed.

Discuss this article with the rest of the community on our Discord server!

Stett Holbrook is editor of the Bohemian, an alternative weekly in Santa Rosa, California. He is a former senior editor at Maker Media.

He is also the co-creator of Food Forward, a documentary TV series for PBS about the innovators and pioneers changing our food system.

View more articles by Stett Holbrook


Maker Faire Bay Area 2023 - Mare Island, CA

Escape to an island of imagination + innovation as Maker Faire Bay Area returns for its 15th iteration!

Buy Tickets today! SAVE 15% and lock-in your preferred date(s).