Country Ham: A Southern Delicacy

September 5, 2010

Country Ham

Country ham is a staple breakfast food in the South. It is such a staple, that the thought never crossed my mind that it might not be a universal breakfast food. Oh how my world was rocked on my first visit to Kansas City.

Growing up in Johnson City, Tennessee, Saturday and Sunday morning breakfast meant heading to Hardee’s or your local gas station if you were in a hurry and didn’t want to cook. And that meant biscuits – for me, a ham biscuit and a sausage biscuit – hashrounds if we were at Hardee’s, and an orange juice or occasionally a coke, if I could get away with it. The ham biscuit was awesome – salty country ham, oozing it’s grease into the fluffy biscuit, wrapped in a paper wrapper, hot and just waiting to be eaten.

So imagine my surprise the first time I get a ham biscuit at Hardee’s in Kansas City. I bite into it, and… deli ham??!! What the heck was this? Fast forward 14 years, and every time I leave Tennessee to head back to California, there are a few vacuum-sealed ham steaks stuffed in my luggage, no doubt puzzling the TSA when they search it. If you don’t head to the South frequently, you can also purchase these vacuum-sealed packages (or a whole ham) online.

Once I get home, I freeze the steaks, and pull them out on Saturdays or Sundays, when I’m ready for a good, hearty Southern breakfast. (more…)