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It all started in 1926 on a commuter ferry, if you can believe that, across the James River in Virginia. The ferry captain, S. Wallace Edwards, began selling simple ham sandwiches to commuters- pulling carefully cured ham from his family’s larder. Once he saw how people responded to his family’s ham he began aging them on a larger scale and three generations later they’ve developed a devoted following for Virginia-style ham. When they wanted to develop a cured ham, similar to Spanish Serrano, they partnered with Heritage Foods USA, a group that is focused on restoring traditional food systems. All the meat for these cured hams comes from pure-bred, Six-Spotted Berkshire pigs raised completely outdoors on independent family farms within Mark and Rita Newman’s network of producers in and around Myrtle, Missouri. All of the meat is completely free of growth promotants, animal protein by-products and sub-therapeutic antiobiotics, which contributes significantly to its ideal marbling and extraordinarily rich flavor. The Surryano is named for the Edwards’ hometown Surry, Virginia. The curing methods reach back to Native American traditions but remember that Native Americans methods were influenced by settlers from Italy and Spain. Hams are smoked slowly over hickory chips for approximately 11 days and then further cured for over 400 days.
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