March 27, 2012

Something Wonderful: Benton's Country Hams


As you arrive at the store you cannot believe that something so good comes from something so small. Simplicity in mind and practice, Benton's store front is nothing that would stand out, but certainly something you should always remember. Once inside you are quickly taken back in time to when Allan first started in the business. In fact the only thing Allan has changed was the type of sugar used, the original company used white sugar, and since his family had always used brown sugar instead of white Allan decided to go with that. The smell is that of an old farm house where food is always cooking and being served. -- Thyme For Food

Benton’s Smoky Mountain Country Hams are slow cured using salt, brown sugar, and sodium nitrite and typically aged 9-10 months, though hams are available 1 year and older. This time-honored practice dates back to the era of our forefathers, when the preparation and preservation of meat was a way of life and sustenance. Although the hands of time and technology have sculpted many aspects of our modern world, at Benton’s Smoky Mountain Country Hams we have upheld the traditional dry-curing process and are striving to produce world class country hams and bacon.
Our business was started in 1947 by the late Albert H. Hicks, a dairy farmer who began curing and selling country hams out of a painted block building. Allan Benton and his employees have honed the dry-curing of hams and bacon into a culinary art and have catapulted the products from a simple breakfast mainstay into the world of gourmet cooking, where they have been praised for their characteristic flavor. Benton’s Country Hams and Bacon are available either unsmoked or hickory-smoked. Hickory smoking is performed in a small, wood stove smokehouse behind the business, imparting a distinct smoked flavor that many customers prefer. Our products make excellent gifts and can be shipped anywhere in the United States. We invite you to try some today!
Posted by gerardvanderleun at March 27, 2012 11:29 PM
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

As a kid who grew up on the Upper East Side of NYC, I never had a opportunity to try Country Ham. Years later when I did, I loved it. There is nothing more that I enjoy than a couple of Country Ham Slices and Corn Bread. After getting married every year at Christmas I was gifted a Country Ham from my southern In-Laws.

Posted by: Geo at March 28, 2012 4:41 AM

Grew up a couple of hours northeast of there...why am I hungry all of a sudden?

Posted by: Dave at March 28, 2012 6:51 AM

My son, skilled in the art of charcuterie writes in response to this post:

"Yep, Allan has earned quite a reputation. Every restaurant I worked at bought his products, and I know of several more around here that do as well. The UPS guys would love it when our orders came in because their truck would smell like really good smoky bacon all day. I can't imagine how he keeps up with demand, Charleston alone must represent an incredible volume."

Posted by: Joan of Argghh at March 28, 2012 7:17 AM

Well, the website does note that you will wait at least a month before your order is shipped.

Posted by: vanderleun at March 28, 2012 8:17 AM

I wonder how many calories that video has.

Posted by: Jewel at March 28, 2012 9:53 AM

The Fab. Georgia Pellegrini covered Bentons in one chapter of her great book "Food Heroes". Highly recommended also.

Posted by: Dave J at March 28, 2012 10:07 AM

Does anybody know the name of the banjo tune in the video? Im learning to play and that sounds like a great on to add to my songbook. Thanks : )

Posted by: Andy at March 30, 2012 11:51 AM
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