Hobe’s Country Ham has been proudly serving the North Wilkesboro, North Carolina, area for nearly 50 years, so you can believe us when we say that this community loves its country ham. But have you ever wondered why that is? In this article, we explore some details on the history of this popular food and offer some of the reasons we believe North Carolinians love it so much.
- Flavorful Fat. In a lot of today’s nutritional advice, you’ll see discussion about “good” vs. “bad” fat, but this distinction is a modern one. In colonial North Carolina, most people tried to get more fat into their diet–not only does fat add flavor to a dish, it’s also an important nutrient in itself, providing energy to the body and helping to keep you warm. Country ham was a great source of this flavorful fat and remains popular, in part, because of it.
- Ideal Conditions. Another reason that country ham was and is popular in North Carolina is that the local climate is highly conducive to curing meat. Many places at this latitude are part of what’s known as the Ham Belt, meaning that the local temperatures are ideal for curing ham–not so hot as to spoil the meat, but not so cold as to freeze it before it can cure properly. Then and now, people eat what’s produced in their area, and we at Hobe’s Country Ham are here to make sure that you always have access to this tasty dish.
- Local Pride. Another thing that happens when a food is easy to produce in a particular area is that that food will become part of the area’s cultural identity. In our experience here at Hobe’s Country Ham, this is definitely true for country hams and North Carolina. While it may have taken hold for practical reasons, country ham has stuck around because it has become a part of what makes this area and its cuisine unique.