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.

We walked into the Treme for the 2016 Louis Armstrong Second Line held in conjunction with his big Satchmo Summerfest. This is one of New Orleans best parties and it’s held in the quiet of August when the only second lines are for funerals and most of the big Social Aid and Pleasure Club members are sitting at the house with their feet up.

Here’s what we saw:

A Lovely Baby Doll At Satchmo Summerfest

A Lovely Baby Doll At Satchmo Summerfest

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Craft Beer News From RL Reeves Jr

Craft Beer News From RL Reeves Jr

In Austin if you’re too broke to drink local craft beer, Lone Star is the default choice of would-be drunkards. In New Orleans Miller High Life fills the same void. Adweek takes a look at the lovely lady that has festooned the marque’s bottles since 1907. This piece does not fit under the craft rubric but it is a good read. Continue Reading