hunting for pork products in north carolina

nahunta sign
Originally uploaded by illewminator.
on a recent trip to north carolina, one of my missions was to hunt down some down-home-style country ham, as requested by NuttinButGlutton. [in case you didn't know... country ham is dry cured, as opposed to soaked in brine, like most hams found in stores. consequently, it is much saltier and has a firmer texture than the brined variety.)

this mission took me down a country road off of highway 70, following the promise of a series of screaming yellow signs proclaiming, "Nahunta: Largest Pork Display in the Nation!"

little did i know i'd be following this road about 5 miles, only to come to another sign, directing me to continue for another 5 miles past a bunch of houses, a small racetrack, and some rotted-out tobacco shacks, until finally we were greeted by the pungent -- and distinct -- aroma of pig pens. lo and behold, the nahunta pork store was right in front of us, about the size of a small grocery store with shiny metal grocery carts standing at the ready outside the automatic front doors. these people are serious about their pork products.

inside, there are several meat cases, filled with every imaginable part of the pig. and just in case you forgot where you were, in one of the first cases, there was a pig face (not the whole head, just the face) staring up at you from a cellophane-wrapped styrofoam tray.

i found my way to the ham section, where i've never seen so many varieties and cuts of ham. lined up against the walls were metal racks loaded up with whole country hams. you could also get cured side meats, ham hocks, and ham slices. i opted for the vacuum-packed ham slices as i was not prepared to lug a whole ham back with me on the plane.

i was so tempted to also buy several packages of bacon, but i knew they would never withstand the cross-country journey back home. still, the variety and quantity of bacon was impressive, as you'll see in the photo (which reminds me... i should post my story on my homemade bacon candle on this blog).

as a follow up, NuttonButGlutton will have to post an entry on what he did with the country ham. stay tuned...


Blogger VdV said...

Damn that's alot of pork...more pork than I think I've ever laid eyes on during my whole Filipino lifetime (and you know my peeps love their pork!)....

Next time bring back some bacon pleeeeze!

5/14/2005 10:54 PM  
Blogger illewminator said...

if someone figures out a way to transport bacon without having to refrigerate it, i'd bring back some bacon from every part of the country.

5/24/2005 3:45 PM  

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