If the taxes on imported ham are getting you down, there is a line of Virginia Country Ham prized to give the European imports a run for their money. The 2008 vintage of S. Wallace Edwards & Sons' Surry Farm includes a line of whole cured Surryano Ham. The company specializes in traditional Virginia country ham but curemaster and president Samuel Wallace Edwards III has also developed a deep appreciation for the flavors of European dry-cured ham and wanted to create that flavor here in the U.S.
The name Surryano is a mix of Surry, Virginia and Serrano ham and the ham is made from six spotted Berskhire pigs, pasture raised with no antibiotics or added hormones. For the 2008 vintage, the company worked on creating a richer ham and fed the hogs two pounds of Virginia peanuts per day in addition to the natural feed and pasture to create meat with a richer marbling. Each ham is cured using Edwards special blend of salt and spices, smoked for seven days, wrapped in netting and hung from wooden frames in warm temperatures – in the case of the 2008 vintage, for 18 months. This aging time imparts a rich concentrated flavor. Like European hams, the Surryano is meant to be sliced thin. The whole Surryano bone-in ham sells for $148, the boneless is $165 and the sliced packages are $26.