Recipes for celebrating October food observances!
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Eat Country Ham Month
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They say "Go Hog Wild & Eat Country Ham" for the month of October. During this month we are encouraged to enjoy country ham in as many ways possible. Host a breakfast or brunch and let country ham be the star of the show.
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When is this holiday?
The holiday is celebrated the whole month of October.
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This holiday is not to be confused with...
International Bacon Day or Bacon Day - is an unofficial
observance, often celebrated on the Saturday before US
Labor Day (the first Monday of September).
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Discover the difference:
Discover the difference between “city ham” and “country ham”
and get some great recipes to boot during Eat Country Ham
Month. For info: Natl Country Ham Assn, PO Box 948,
Conover, NC 28613. Phone: (800) 820-4426. E-mail:
eatham@countryham.org. Web: www.countryham.org.
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History & Origin of this holiday:
Our research did not find the creator or the origin of this day. We did not find any congressional records or presidential proclamations for this day. Even though we didn't, this is still a holiday that is publicized to be celebrated. So have fun with it and celebrate it!
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Who celebrates this holiday?
Everyone who loves country ham.
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What type of holiday is this?
This holiday falls in the category of a Food holiday
and seems to be celebrated in the United States & Britian.
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Do people really celebrate this day?
Yes they do! Most who celebrate this holiday do so by hosting a breakfast or brunch just because those are the meals that fit country ham the best. Biscuit & ham parties are common in the south where homemade buttermilk biscuits are the star of the show as much as ham is.

How can I celebrate this holiday?
Host a party of your own!
Send Free E-Greeting! -  If your ready to get together with your friends
  don't forget to invite them  with these fun Internet Invitations.
Blog and tweet about it! Pass on the information about this unique holiday.
 
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What is country ham?
Country ham is a variety of cured ham, typically very salty, associated with the Southern United States. Country ham is first mentioned in print in 1944, referring to a method of curing and smoking done in the rural parts of North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Georgia, Kentucky and other nearby southern states. Virginia ham is a country ham produced in VA (including the more-precisely-defined Smithfield ham); whereas "VA Style" refers to a curing style, not a location.
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Production:
Country hams are salt-cured (and occasionally nitrite and nitrate-cured) for one to three months. They may be hardwood (usually hickory and red oak) smoked, then aged for several months to 2–3 years, depending on the fat content of the meat. Country hams are not fully cooked, but preserved by the cure. Smoking is not a legal requirement: some types of country ham, such as the "salt-and-pepper ham" of North Carolina, are not smoked. Smoking turns the meat a much redder color than unsmoked hams. They are usually sold in stores unrefrigerated as whole, bone-in hams packaged in rough cotton bags, with identifying markings printed on the bags. Country ham is also sold in presoaked, sliced, ready-to-cook form, usually vacuum-packaged.

Preparation:
There are several methods of cooking a country ham including slicing and pan-frying, baking whole, and simmering for several hours (in several changes of water). Whole hams may need to be scrubbed and soaked for several hours before eating to remove the salt cure and mold. Even when soaked, they are still quite salty. For traditionalists, part of the appeal of country ham is this highly salty taste. Some eaters of country ham scrub, scrape, or pare off the outer crust of curatives, slice it, pan fry it, and eat it as is. Or they may fry the ham with the crust on. Some discard the crust; others consume it along with the meat.

Country ham is often served in restaurants as an entree as a whole slice, often with the femur cross-section left in. In addition, it is commonly used in a ham sandwich. It is also commonly served boned, sliced and then cut into pieces to be used in sandwiches in buttermilk (or similar) biscuits, sometimes with butter or red-eye gravy, made by adding water or coffee to country ham pan drippings and cooking down for a short time.

Country ham is in some ways similar to Italian uncooked prosciutto (prosciutto crudo), but prosciutto is not smoked, and is usually moister than a country ham. It is also usually sliced much thinner than the thicker traditional country ham "steaks" or even slices for sandwiches.
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More about October
Facts about October  • October Observances  • October Food Holidays 
Movable October Holidays  • Weird October Holidays  • October Parties  • October Recipes
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Resources & Outside Links:
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses "some" material from Wikipedia / article cham or country ham photo / or related pages.
Top Photo: originally posted to Flickr as IMG_1734 Author John Goetzinger (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
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