September 01, 2004
The Progress Index
Go hog wild! Eat Virginia country ham. October is the national celebration of country ham, the roots of which go back more than 200 years. Preserving meat by salting down or "curing" is a technique brought to the New World, but the native North Americans taught them that smoke from hickory, maple or applewood could add other flavors to the smoked varieties of country ham.
During Colonial times, families were bigger by necessity with plenty of kids who all had to work-it-off-in-the- field appetites. Today's households are different, with fewer people and smaller appetites.
S. Wallace Edwards & Sons of Surry has come up with the perfect solution for smaller households who relish the flavor of all-meal, hickory-smoked country ham. It's the 2-3 pound Petite Boneless Ham, a convenient variation of their larger Virginia Ham. It has the same bold flavor and rich mahogany color that have made Edwards Virginia hams legendary. The size of the ham is misleading since when cut in traditional paper-thin slices makes a feast-size quantity, serving approximately 20 people.
The Petite Boneless Ham is fully cooked, and arrives ready to gently heat and serve. It comes in a traditional cloth bag and makes an impressive and memorable gift.
Although the petite ham addresses modern lifestyles, the folks at S. Wallace Edwards & Sons carry on the tradition of curing and smoking ham started by their grandfather in 1926. S. Wallace Edwards Sr. was captain of the ferryboat that carried passengers across the James River between Jamestown and Surry.
One day, while transporting hungry passengers across the river, he was inspired. He could sell his famished ferryboat folk sandwiches made from his family's country ham. Word traveled fast, and before long, he was selling family hams to neighbors, cooks on Southern estates and proprietors of nearby general stores.
"Now, three-quarters of a century later, my wife Donna, my sister Amy and I still work every day to preserve our grandfather's and father's commitment to quality. We still do things the old-fashioned way just like they taught us, but we have adapted some of our products to meet today's smaller families and hectic lifestyle," Samuel W. Edwards III, president of Edwards said.