Traditionally, Easter hams were made from the hind quarters of winter pigs which were salted and smoked. The rear hams are the largest primal cut of the hog and therefor would take the longest to cure. This celebratory feast would use up the last of the cured winter pork and usher in the fresh cuts of spring.
Our hams are made with local heritage bred pork raised on Central Florida pasture. This Easter we will be featuring hams that we've cured using pork from Palmetto Creek Farms, a small family farm raising Hereford hogs in Avon Park, FL. You can read all about what Jim feeds his prized pigs here. You can also see why he prefers Hereford hogs over Berkshires, Tamworths, Poland China, Spots, Durocs, Yorkshires, Hampshires, Landrace, Chester Whites, and all sorts of cross-breeds. In short, the man knows a lot about swine. Before he raised Herefords for meat he was raising show pigs. To us, he still is.
We cure these Florida hams for weeks in a brine using Florida Crystals brown sugar, natural Celtic Sea Salt, and sodium nitrite (to fend off pathogens). Then they get rinsed thoroughly and air-dried for a couple days before being slow smoked for about 7 hours with applewood chunks.
Once our hams finish smoking we give them a generous rub of raw Orlando wildflower honey and allow them to cool down, soaking in the honey. Our honey comes from our friends at Willful Provisions who are still tending to hives that we helped rescue last year.
Our hams are available for $13/lb at Florida & Co. in the East End Market. The market is closed on Easter Sunday. Please contact us to secure your ham today. Supplies are limited. Make these hams the discussion and centerpiece of your holiday table. They support your local farmers and artisans. They're sustainably produced. And they're the most delicious thing you've ever put in your face.