Finding Country Ham

Some top producers, like Newsoms in Kentucky, send each ham with a numbered certificate to authenticate its production. To ensure you’re getting the genuine article, ask the producer how long the ham has been aged—it takes many months for a ham to develop its flavor and dry texture. For those who would like to try country ham but don’t feel up to the challenge of soaking and boiling the meat (an essential step), most country ham producers now offer pre-cooked hams, ready to glaze and eat.

In general, it’s best to buy country hams from reputable producers who follow the time-honored practices of ham-making. Notable purveyors include:

S. Wallace Edwards of Surry, Virginia offers a fine ham for purchase online (or call 800-222-4267).

The Kentucky producer Newsoms, presided over by “ham lady” Nancy Newsom Mahaffey, will send your ham with a certificate of authentication. They have produced country hams using the same family recipe for over 85 years.

Amber Brand Smithfield hams can be ordered online or over the phone at 1-800-628-2242.

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