An ad for Kentucky’s infamous Country Ham Motel

The ham auction at the Kentucky State Fair has been a tradition since 1964 when Charles and Harry Gatton of Bremen in Muhlenberg county saw their cured 17.5lb slab sell for $140. The Old House Restaurant in Louisville was the purchaser.

Inflation has hit hard everywhere but nowhere as great as Louisville where Beth and Ronny Drennan of Broadbent Food Products saw their creation sell for $5M last week.

Luther Deaton – the president of Central Bank combined his bid of $2.5M with Joe and Kelly Craft’s equivalent offer to secure $5M for the record-shattering 17.2lb hunk of cured hog meat.

That’s $18,169 per ounce

The moneys will be donated to the victims of Kentucky’s historic flooding that occurred last month.

A Broadbent Ham normally sells for a little under $70.

It’s a great thrill to be in rural Kentucky around the first frost. That’s hog killin’ time and the air is filled with excitement.

Double D Meat Company sausage hot off RL Reeves Jr’s smoker

Smoked sausage is the north star that guides Louisiana’s best red bean cooks.

Sunday nights in New Orleans means one thing: Emptying a big bag of Camellia beans into a glass bowl filled with cold water for a good overnight soak before you make your family’s red beans and rice dinner on Monday.

That tattered old note card with your great aunt Ophelia’s recipe? It stays in the cupboard. You know the formula by heart. Continue Reading

2021 Boudin Cook-Off and Acadiana Bacon Festival

The Boudin Cook-Off and Acadiana Bacon Festival took last year off due to Covid but the organizers have decided to come back stronger than ever for this, their 14th year.

The party is held out of doors and most sentient observers long ago determined that conducting one’s affairs in the great outdoors is largely safe and bug-free.

Boudin journalist Robert Carriker is the man behind the event and he vows that all necessary safety protocols will be followed to the letter. The sausage obsessed promoter of Cajun charcuterie noted that, “this will be the place to be to sample everything from boudin rouge to bacon-wrapped boudin balls, to cheesy bacony grits, to boudin pie, and everything in-between.”

2021 Boudin Cook-Off and Acadiana Bacon Festival
October 16th, 2021
Parc International
Lafayette, Louisiana

Hope to see y’all there

Kartchner’s Specialty Meats in Scott, Louisiana

Best Stop, the long-running Scott, Louisiana Cajun meat house has had a serious dent put in their business by rival Kartchner’s. Kartchner’s opened a big fancy meat-based grocery store on the I-10 exit and now travelers have to roll right by it to even get near Best Stop. On recent visits Kartchner’s was packed and Best Stop was a ghost town. Best Stop has reacted by coaxing the controversial Rouse’s grocery chain into carrying their products. Read all about it here There’s plenty room in Acadiana for both companies. Continue Reading

A Duroc pork belly on the backyard smoker

Writing for The Spectator, Joanna Blythman looks at the modern state of charcuterie and examines the work of Guillaume Coudray who is on a bit of a mission to expose the use of nitrite and nitrate vs salt in the art of curing meats. I do not agree with some of the arguments posed but the conversation is an important one. The article.

Dalmatinska panceta and pečenica are classic rural examples of Croatian cured meats. They are now officially protected by the European Union. The public squares of Zagreb come alive on Saturday mornings when the charcutieres set up tables crowded with blades and meat to vend to the public. more

Tough news coming out of Pennsylvania. Waltman Meats aka Smithgall & Ging Meat Packers is closing up after a half-century of business. Don Waltman is 77 and reports that he is tuckered out.

Tommy’s Ham House in Greenville, South Carolina is also closing. Tommy Stevenson had a 36 year run selling big fluffy biscuits packed with salty, cured ham but he’s hanging up his apron. Lewis Barbecue of Charleston will be taking over the building and installing a Texas-style smoked meat house.

The French are attempting to ban nitrates from their charcuterie. It’s going to be an uphill slog. Retraining all the people in the industry on the new methods will take thousands of hours and cost millions of dollars. Here’s the report on the efforts more

A muffaletta from Tag’s Deli in Chalmette. Stacked full of cured meat.

Gray, Kentucky is just a little speck on the map nowadays but at one time it had several bustling businesses. There was a diner, a well-outfitted general store, a motel, and a handful of tiny, old-fashioned country quick marts. The village is fading but at least it can lay claim to being the home of 16 year old Lily Jones and her prize-winning country ham. How many teenage girls are staking their claims in the world of charcuterie? Not many. Read about Ms. Jones’ exploits here

I’ve taken dozens and dozens of motorbike trips throughout Mexico but have yet to visit El Mercado de Yecapixtla where Cecina Eva and Cecina Aída vend cured, dried Mexican beef alongside other renditions of American charcuterie. Paco de Santiago has the tale of a generational family business here

Cajun Traditions Food Processors has purchased an old garment factory in Church Point, Louisiana. They’re turning the factory into a Cajun meat manufacturer. This will mean jobs, and more importantly boudin being produced in 1000 pound lots that will be shipped all over the great state. more

Back in the early 90s Willie Joe Showels was one of the few men selling boudin in the city of Austin, Texas. I used to love to visit his Willie’s Barbecue joint on Martin Luther King Boulevard. We’d sit around talking about smoked meat, and he’d regale me with stories from the good old days. Willie Joe has passed away. He is survived by 10 of his 11 children, 42 grandchildren and 72 great-grandchildren more

Are you a Muslim with a deep yearning for bacon that must go unanswered due to religious restrictions? Godshall’s Quality Meats has some bacon products that you may feel like exploring more

rl reeves jr reports on the US charcuterie scene

He was almost at the corner of the rue Piroutees, and the [charcuterie] shop was a joy to behold. It was filled with laughter and bright light and brilliant colors that popped out next to the white of the marble countertops. The signboard, on which the name QUENU-GRADELLE glittered in fat gilt lettering encircled by leaves and branches painted on a soft-hued background, was protected by a sheet of glass.

Émile Zola, The Belly of Paris, 1873 Continue Reading

Green’s Sausage House in Zabcikville, Texas

I bought a bulldog second hand at a flea market in Boaz, Alabama back in the 90s. Named him Scrap Iron and he became a good friend to me. That little dog loved cured meat. I can picture him staring at a boudin vending machine with slobber hanging off his anvil-heavy jaws. Continue Reading