On Country Ham

COUNTRY HAM

Oh You
Wicked betrayer of self control
Guiding dented and weak souls
Upon curvy and crooked culinary paths

Oh You
Perfect house of porky salinity
Pushing your tenderest smoked flesh
Upon my desire like crack’s vendor

Oh You
stout defender of federal truth
Performing a prideful dance of Culinaria Americana
Kentucky’s and Tennessee’s and Virginia’s pride

Oh You
Standard flag of wholesome hogginess
Trampling sister bacon and brother hocks
Standing there, peering from the mount

Oh you
trimmed thin and thick
Nestled sizzling in pan
Taunting eggs overcome with piggy juice

Oh you
Beckoning for a pairing partner
Riesling or Pinot or Gewurtz you cry
And there I run answering you salty call

Oh you
Swine
How I swoon at your brown glistening
Imperfectly formed perfection

Oh you
Country Ham

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4 Responses

  1. george kaplan - October 1, 2012

    You should send that soupcon of salivary superlatives to Anthony Bourdain. Well done- No! Rare!

  2. Fredric Koeppel - October 2, 2012

    You offer no explanation for this Great Ode to Country Ham, but you’re right on anyway. Country ham is one of the USA’s best regional foods. Every Christmas I prepare a Southern breakfast of country ham, fried eggs, red-eye gravy, grits — real hominy grits, not the coarse corn meal that passes for grits nowadays — and biscuits fresh from the oven. The beverage is Champagne, traditionally, in our house, Pol Roger Reserve Brut, but Bollinger would be fine too.

    • george kaplan - October 2, 2012

      Surely in Koppel Land something corn-based with your country ham.

  3. Tom Wark - October 2, 2012

    Frederic, as you may have guessed, I’ve recently had my annual country ham delivered to my home. And as you may have guessed, I was reacquainted with the magic of this delicacy. This time with Broadbents.


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