There are two features that make the A. B. Vannoy Ham special. First, the slow curing process that Mr. Vannoy started many years ago is currently being used today. Approximately 2,000 raw hams arrive at the ham plant each January. Each one is hand-rubbed with a cure mixture consisting of salt and brown sugar. Then they are stacked one on top of the other on old sawhorses and kept under refrigeration between 35 to 39 degrees until March.
During this time in the salt room, the curing process begins as each ham "takes the salt." In March, each ham is individually wrapped in brown paper, placed in stocking nets, and moved upstairs. In the upstairs drying rooms, the hams hang on old drying beams throughout the spring and summer months. Cool mountain breezes circulate through the open windows and facilitate drying. By September first, the curing process has concluded, and the hams are released for sale by the USDA inspection service.
The second feature that makes the Vannoy ham unique is that it is cured without artificial preservatives. Unlike the hundreds of mass-produced hams on the market, no chemical preservatives such as nitrites or nitrates are ever used on or injected into our hams, a practice that originated with Mr. Vannoy. Many customers purchase the Vannoy ham for this very reason.
True country ham connoisseurs agree that the slow curing process and the lack of artificial preservatives make the Vannoy ham the highest quality country ham available on the market today. It's the same authentic process and the same great flavor year after year, ham after ham. Take a step back in time and taste the tradition for yourself.