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View Poll Results: Country ham - love it or hate it?
I love it 31 55.36%
I hate it 8 14.29%
It's okay 17 30.36%
Voters: 56. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 11-24-2018, 10:22 PM
Location: Coastal New Jersey
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I haven't had it in years, but when I did, I loved it.
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Old Yesterday, 12:07 AM
Location: League City, Texas
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I love it, but I grew up eating it in Tennessee, where it’s a common breakfast item. It wasn’t unusual to give gifts of whole country hams—considered a very generous and welcome gift during the holidays.
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Old Yesterday, 04:36 AM
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I love country ham. Growing up in the south it was a staple. At the time a lot of plants would give employees a whole country ham as a Christmas gift and the employees were excited to get 'em. Our family had a reunion every Christmas and mom would do a whole ham and turkey for the reunion (then another ham or turkey just for us).

Unfortunately very few places these days take the time to prepare them right and I'm now at the age where I have to watch my salt. But it sure was flavorful.
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Old Yesterday, 04:50 AM
Location: SE Florida
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I've had country ham before and thought it was fine. Thinly sliced on a biscuit. Now I truly love prosciutto, even though imported isn't what the Italians prefer. Of the imported prosciutto, what is your preference, di Parma or di San Daniele?
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Old Yesterday, 05:52 AM
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Grew up in VA, home of Smithfield Ham. Love country ham periodically. Part of the prep was soaking it to get some of the salt out. Makes the absolute best ham biscuits! (Not to mention red eye gravy)
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Old Yesterday, 06:02 AM
Location: SE Florida
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I remember the soaking and the baking, but not the boiling. I haven't had country ham in years, but I remember liking it as a kid. There was a restaurant we'd go to that had finished hams hung in the rafters (open ceiling) and we'd get country ham and biscuits as part of breakfast and also as a snack before lunch was served after church. It was also served as you wanted it on the buffet line for the after church crowd. My grandmother always had a couple of country hams in her root cellar.
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Old Yesterday, 08:35 AM
Location: Nantahala National Forest, NC
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Still on breakfast menus here in NC and a popular potluck item is country ham biscuits.
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Old Yesterday, 11:00 AM
Location: Denver CO
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I've had it - I see it more as a flavoring rather than a protein, if that makes sense. A small amount of it used with something else, rather than something you are going to eat as the main entree. It's a stronger flavor than regular ham, and quite salty but then again, so is caviar, for example. Not too salty to enjoy but that's definitely part of the flavor. But it's the kind of thing I enjoy a few bites of, not a large quantity.

The mold doesn't bother me, since some mold is fine to eat - people eat cheese with mold all the time for example. It has to be properly prepared, of course, but it's not unhealthy.
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Old Yesterday, 11:02 AM
Location: Loudon, TN
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Benton country hams are made about 12 miles from my home. So good the owner's actually been inducted into the James Beard Who's Who for their quality products. They also make the best hot dogs and bacon I've ever had. You can order online and have it shipped to you. It's pricey!


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Old Yesterday, 11:10 AM
Location: Loudon, TN
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Regarding the mold that may form on the outside of a country ham, it's normal, and safe to eat after removing the mold.

This is from the USDA Food Safety website: https://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal...afety/ct_index

Dry Curing
In dry curing, the process used to make country hams and prosciutto, fresh ham is rubbed with a dry-cure mixture of salt and other ingredients. Dry curing produces a salty product. In 1992, FSIS approved a trichinae treatment method that permits substituting up to half of the sodium chloride with potassium chloride to result in lower sodium levels. Since dry curing draws out moisture, it reduces ham weight by at least 18% but typically 20 to 25%; this results in a more concentrated ham flavor.

Dry-cured hams may be aged more than a year. Six months is the traditional process but may be shortened according to aging temperature.

These uncooked hams are safe stored at room temperature and because they contain so little water, bacteria can't multiply in them. Dry-cured ham is not injected with a curing solution or processed by immersion in a curing solution, but it may be smoked. Today, dry cured hams may be marketed as items that need preparation on the part of the consumer to make them safe to eat. So, as with all meat products, it is important to read the label on hams to determine the proper preparation needed.....

...Foodborne Pathogens
The foodborne pathogens (organisms in food that can cause disease) that can be found in pork, as well as other meats and poultry, are Escherichia coli, Salmonella, Staphylococcus aureus and Listeria monocytogenes. They are all destroyed by proper handling and thorough cooking to an internal temperature of 160 F. The following pathogens are associated with ham:

Trichinella spiralis (trichinae) - Parasites that are sometimes present in hogs. All hams must be processed according to USDA guidelines to kill trichinae.

Staphylococcus aureus (staph) - These bacteria are destroyed by cooking and processing but can be re-introduced via mishandling. They can then produce a toxin which is not destroyed by further cooking. Dry curing of hams may or may not destroy S. aureus, but the high salt content on the exterior inhibits the growth of these bacteria. When the ham is sliced, the moister interior will permit staphylococcal multiplication. Thus sliced dry-cured hams must be refrigerated.

Mold - Can often be found on country cured ham. Most of these are harmless but some molds can produce mycotoxins. Molds grow on hams during the long curing and drying process because the high salt and low temperatures do not inhibit these robust organisms. DO NOT DISCARD the ham. Wash it with hot water and scrub off the mold with a stiff vegetable brush.
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