Monday, May 7, 2012

Eating my Words


So, it turns out I have to eat my words.   And it is all the fault of a man from Kentucky named Harry.  

As you may recall, I admitted in a previous post that I am not a ham fan.   Well, I have been converted.   After a weekend Derby party, I am a Kentucky ham fan.   A Col. Newsom's Kentucky Country Ham fan to be exact. (http://www.newsomscountryham.com)    

Just look at that Kentucky ham!
 
I don’t know what exactly he did to the ham, but it took him three days to prepare it and there was a bathtub involved.   True story.   When he ceremonially sliced into it, a beautiful reddish color was revealed.   It was unlike any ham I have ever seen in the U.S.

Harry, the ham converter (and carver).
After being totally intrigued by the color, I went in for my first taste.  The salty, sweet, porky flavor had my taste buds rejoicing.    It tasted like a lovely prosciutto; not that soft, pink ham that has tainted my appetite for ham in years past.   

Just look at that color.
From the Newsom website:  A new user of country ham may expect them to be more salty than a packing house ham. The flavor is much more intense due to shrinking and enzymatic activity during aging. As early as 8 months, usually at approximately 10 months of age, some (but not all) Kentucky country hams form white streaks through the ham that appear as white specks in the meat after it is sliced. This is a concentration of salt and proteins caused by aging. These specks are in no way harmful to eat and are only an indication of a properly aged Kentucky country ham. Hams showing this indication of proper aging are much sought after in this area of Kentucky ham country.”

Amen.

My Derby meal.  So good.
For Dessert:  Authentic Derby pie, straight from Kentucky.  Served with homemade cinnamon, Bourbon ice cream.

Now had I only placed a bet on the winning “I’ll have Another” horse (which had I been betting on name alone would’ve been where my money went), the evening would’ve been perfect.

Meanwhile, yes, "I'll have another" slice of ham.  Please.

Cocktail Pairing:  What do you pair with Kentucky ham for the derby?  A Mint Julep of course!    Click here for my Mint Julep recipe using sparkling wine: http://blog.thesparklingqueen.com/2011/05/08/sparkling-mint-julep-to-toast-the-kentucky-derby.aspx

Cheers!

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