November 13, 2011

Tennessee's Heavenly Ham

Question: What’s shiny, blue, and smells like smoked pork? Answer: Hubby’s car after we stopped yesterday in Madisonville, Tennessee, to buy a half of a smoked country ham! 

If you want the real deal, it can be found at Benton's Smoky Mountain Country Hams. This small business started in 1947 and is currently owned by Allan Benton. Benton’s doesn’t advertise. They’ve never gotten around to issuing a catalog either. You see, they don’t have to! When your business has been featured in the New York Times and magazines such as Southern Living and Gourmet magazine, you know you’ve hit the big time. 

Discerning, gourmet restaurants from the big cities are Benton’s regular customers. But average day folks like us swear by Benton’s country pork products too. The magic all happens in this humble, concrete block building. The meat is dry-cured the old-fashioned way and hung on wooden racks for months at a time. 

They sliced it up for us, no extra charge. Hubby unwrapped it from the butcher paper earlier this afternoon and had a vacuum sealing party in the kitchen. We now have 14 beautiful center-cut slices tucked away for future fried ham dinners. We also got a few end pieces that will be put to good use for seasoning large pots of pinto beans during the winter months ahead. Of course, we couldn’t resist having some fried up for lunch today and slapped between some biscuits. (I drizzle yellow mustard on mine.) Oh my, it is smoked pork heaven! 

Perhaps you can order one of Benton's hams as a holiday present for a serious chef or foodie friend on your gift list. While you’re at it, go on and get one for yourself too!


  1. Oh my Word!!! A Food Post!!! Look at that ham Girl!
    I can almost taste and smell it from Here...Hahaaa
    Looks wonderful!
    Y'all enjoy!

  2. I think I can smell that ham from here... YUMMMMMMMMM.... When we go to Arkansas, we always stop at a similar place to Benton's ---to get our ham and bacon... SO delicious.

  3. oh my you've got my mouth watering for a nice thick slice of ham. Looks good

  4. Oh that looks delicious! Did it taste as good as you remembered?

  5. I can smell it from here. Yum!! And I love it when people do things the old fashioned way. Why mess with a good thing.
    Have a lovely day my friend.

  6. Not a huge fan of ham but that certainly looks delicious! Yum!!

  7. Girl I was reading this the other night on my laptop and I think I may have shorted a circuit in my keyboard with drool because it wouldn't let me post a comment. So here I am again to say, now I am drooling copiously. I can just taste that ham biscuit and I would dearly love to enjoy it in your beautiful home with coffee Marty made for us, looking at your sweet face and talking for hours. I am so thankful for you, my dear friend. Happy Thanksgiving!!!!

  8. Looks so yummy. We buy a pork from a local farmer. Cooked up one last Friday for company we had. It sure did taste wonderful. Probably not quite as good as yours, but the next best thing. Enjoy that ham!!

  9. Oh boy my husband would be in the car and on his way if he saw this!


Marty, here! Donna loves comments, and I faithfully pass them on to her. Thank you so much for visiting!