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Country Ham

MFK9 | Aug 16, 200304:44 PM

Several years ago, a friend in Virginia took us to several small lunch counter spots in downtown Norfolk where we had some excellent Viriginia / "country" ham served, both as a lunch entree and with breakfast. This was vastly superior to the boiled / processed / pre-cooked version with no texture and less taste that passes in these parts as "ham". I actually purchased several hams in Virginia to bring home and try to duplicate the flavor back in Chicago. Unfortunately, after all of the soaking (48 hours!), changing water every 12 hours, skinning, boiling (another 3 hours, with a fresh water change), and a pineapple/brown sugar glaze, the result was something that *looked* fantastic, but was still so unbelievably SALTY that it reminded one of Craig Breedlove's race track. I eventually wound up using small parts of it to season unsalted soups and bean dishes. Where in Chicago or environs can one find genuine "country" ham, either to prepare at home, or served at a good breakfast/lunch spot?

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