A Virginia Tradition: The Unparalleled Flavor of Country Ham
In the rolling foothills of Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains, a culinary tradition as old as the hills itself is carefully preserved. This is the art of crafting Virginia country ham, a dry-cured delicacy prized for its rich, complex flavor and melt-in-your-mouth texture. And amongst Virginia ham producers, one name stands out: Kites.
Kites has been hand-crafting country hams using time-honored methods passed down through generations. They source the finest pork from local farms, then hand-rub each ham with a secret blend of spices before aging them slowly in the cool mountain air. This slow curing process allows the natural flavors to develop, resulting in a ham that is unlike anything you've ever tasted.
What makes Kite's ham so special?
The Cure: Kites uses a unique, dry-cure process that draws out the moisture and concentrates the flavor. This results in a ham that is incredibly savory and umami-rich, with a hint of sweetness from the natural sugars in the pork.
The Aging: Time is the magic ingredient here. Kites ages their hams for a minimum of 4 months, but some are aged for up to 12 months. This extended aging period allows the flavors to mellow and deepen, creating a complex and nuanced taste profile.
The Hand-Rubbed Spices: Kites' secret blend of spices is the heart and soul of their hams. These spices penetrate the meat during the curing process, infusing it with warmth, depth, and a touch of mystery.
The Quality of the Pork: Kites only uses the finest pork from local Virginia farms. This ensures that their hams start with the best possible ingredients, resulting in a final product that is unparalleled in flavor and texture.
How to Enjoy Kite's Country Ham:
The beauty of Kite's ham is its versatility. You can enjoy it sliced thin on a biscuit for a simple yet satisfying breakfast. Or, dice it up and add it to collard greens or pasta for a hearty and flavorful meal.
But for a truly special treat, try serving Kite's ham as the centerpiece of your holiday feast. A whole, bone-in ham roasted to perfection is sure to impress your guests and leave them wanting more.
More than just a ham, Kite's is an experience. It's a taste of Virginia's rich culinary history, a testament to tradition and craftsmanship. It's a reminder that sometimes, the best things in life come from taking things slow, savoring the process, and appreciating the simple pleasures of a truly exceptional meal.
So, if you're looking for a culinary adventure, head to your local store and pick up a Kite's country ham. Trust me, your taste buds will thank you.
I hope you enjoyed this deep dive into the world of Virginia country ham, with a special focus on the iconic Kite's brand. Now go forth and spread the word (and the ham)!
P.S. Want to learn more about Kites and their ham-making process? Visit their website at http://www.kiteshams.com/product-category/kites-hams/