Dustin Harrell, LSU’s rice specialist is reporting that Louisiana rice farmers stand to lose roughly $14 million due to the historic August 2016 flooding that has devastated our state. Other analysts are claiming losses could be closer to $30 million.

We eat a lot of rice and there is none finer than what our state’s farmers harvest from the clay pan prairies of parishes like Jefferson Davis, Acadia, St. Landry, Allen, Lafayette. Calcasieu, Vermilion, Cameron, and Evangeline.

If you sit down to a bowl of jambalaya in Louisiana there’s a good chance that you’re eating the toil of an old rice farmer from one of these parishes. You can pay a lot more for fancy, boutique rice from some far-flung province or nation-state but you will not eat better rice than what is coming from Louisiana. Continue Reading

Lexington, Kentucky ham buyer Luther Deaton Jr broke his town’s 34 year old drought with a $600k purchase of the 2016 Kentucky Grand Champion Country Ham earlier today.

The last time a ham investor from Lexington won the bidding war was way back in 1982 when Gov. John Y. Brown Jr. bought the winner for $18K.

The charity ham auction has taken place each year since 1964.

In a fierce rural charcuterie battle held last week, Broadbent B & B Foods of Kuttawa, Kentucky emerged with the Grand Champion’s blue ribbon for their 17.38 lb beauty.

Broadbent has defeated all comers for the title 16 times since the event’s debut.

Only hams cured and aged in Kentucky are eligible for the competition. The ham must weigh a minimum of 13 lbs and may not exceed 21 lbs.

The hams are judged on their aroma, shape, color and ratio of lean-to-fat.

Last year’s ham brought in $400k.

9th Ward Daily Photo via rl reeves jr

9th Ward Daily Photo via rl reeves jr

Fiesta Brand Extra Fancy Curing Salt is a wondrous product that we’ve used to good effect for nearly a decade. Tomorrow we’re pulling a pair of hog jowls out of a cure that consists of nothing more than this pink salt and Morton’s old blue boxed kosher.

If those jowls did not have the benefit of pink salt they would’ve spoiled a solid week ago. It’s a remarkable substance and is the backbone of all of our charcuterie work. You can’t make bacon without pink salt. And uncured bacon doesn’t exist. If someone tries to sell you that bill of goods then feel free to drygulch them.

Make your own bacon from scratch and you will never buy supermarket bacon again.