June 4, 2009

TRUTH IN TAXONOMY (via Glenn Dryfoos):

Bringing Flavor Back to the Ham (HAROLD McGEE, 6/03/09, NY Times)

Spain and Italy are renowned for the quality of their dry-cured hams, their jamons and prosciuttos, which can sell for $30 to $100 a pound. America is not so renowned, even though dry-cured hams have been made in the South since Colonial times. These country hams evolved into an inexpensive regional product whose usual fate is to be soaked in water, then poached and baked with a sweet fruit glaze.

Happily, the home ham picture began to brighten a few years ago. I recently tasted dry-cured hams from Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee and Iowa, and some rival Europe’s best. Their makers are variously determined to revive country ham and to develop American versions of European classics. They have made significant progress by rediscovering the ingredients that made dry-cured ham so good in the first place, when pigs were fattened on the autumn harvest and their meat preserved for scarcer times.

Above all there’s the pig...


If it had been a Golden Sow, God would have understood.

Posted by Orrin Judd at June 4, 2009 3:24 PM
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