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Dec 26, 2008 05:39 AM

A.B. Vannoy Hams, West Jefferson, NC

Thank you Kathleen Purvis (food editor of The Charlotte Observer) for the article earlier this month regarding Bryon and Nancy Jordan, the owners of A. B. Vannoy Hams.
These folks are the last in NC to open air cure their hams and have 4 ingredients, salt, brown sugar ,mountain air! and time!
I called and ordered 2 gift boxes (one for me and one for my in-laws), and we ate some for Christmas breakfast. This is truly the best country ham I have ever tasted. The ham was thinly sliced and no too salty, and was very tender. Each gift pack contained 3 vaccum packed packages of ham (about 12.5 oz each) and one 5 oz package of trimmings for future seasoning use. Each gift box was $ 26.00 plus tax an shipping., and worth every penny.
A.B. Vannoy Hams, P.O Box 14, West Jefferson, NC, 336 246 3319

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  1. You're welcome, Tee. I had a lot of fun working with the Jordans, and I certainly learned a lot.

    2 Replies
    1. re: kathleen purvis

      I enjoyed the article very much as well. I was wondering why the Jordans get most of their pigs from the midwest when so many are raised in North Carolina. Any idea?

      1. re: Low Country Jon

        my thoughts exactly. also have you seen them make any connections with the more boutique growers of heirloom pigs in the carolinas?

    2. Yes, thank you for the great article - otherwise we would have never known about A.B. Vannoy! We ordered a whole 14 lb. ham for the very modest price of ~$50, including shipping. After two days of soaking and a day steaming in the oven, it was so good that numerous people called it "pig candy" at Christmas dinner.

      I do, however, wish they would source a little more locally (and I would be happier to pay more for them to do so, especially if they get into grass fed and/or heritage breeds). Still I've kept my little yellow tag from the ham to make sure that we are able to order from them again next year.

      This is really a gem of a company, and I hope they stay around for a long time.

      1. I smell a chow-purtunity. Maybe we could have a sticky at the top of the south board to organize those who would be interested in having Vannoy cure an heirloom ham. I am sure we could get 20 to 30 people willing to pay for an heirloom ham to be cured. Maybe one of us could contact vannoy and heirloom farmers to see what the real cost would be taking into account predicted loss of some hams and variation in the weight or everyone interested could put down a deposit and ask them to proceed.

        I would think if we approached it as a large group purchase of hams versus 30 single buyers asking for special treatment we could make this work

        3 Replies
          1. re: quazi

            I certainly would. I sent them an email to see if they would entertain the notion.

            I perused a few of the heritage breed farmers' websites, and it appears as though fresh grass-fed hams are around $5.00/lb. to the public. I don't know what kind of discount, if any, could be obtained for a larger purchases. There is, however a farm who raises grass-fed pigs in Ashe county, which is closer to A.B. Vannoy.

            1. re: jazzy77

              I am sending an email to the mods so that we can get a sticky so that anyone interested can join in. In the meantime email me at mundy1 at bellsouth dot net

          2. Saturday morning before leaving Winston-Salem, my hosts took me with them to the Dixie Classic fairgrounds for the farmers market. I bought a 12-oz pack of the Vannoy biscuit slices, vacuum-packed and no refrigeration needed, to take home.

            Googling for info about A B Vannoy Hams, I was returned to this site and your old post. I had asked the source of the pork and was told that the fresh hams came from Indiana because they were a consistent size. I'm wondering whether the 'hounds were able to arrange for a custom-cured ham using heritage breeds.

            I've had Benton ham made with Berkshire pork and it is indeed a wonder. My other question is whether 'hounds eat the Vannoy ham raw. I've had the Benton ham raw or just warmed through and not really cooked. It's easier to do that when you know where the pig came from.

            When we returned to the house, my hosts pan-fried some Vannoy ham and served it with red-eye gravy. What a delight.

            A B Vannoy Hams
            205 Buck Mountain Rd West, Jefferson, NC

            7 Replies
            1. re: Melanie Wong

              never had it raw but usually have it slightly warm through on stovetop or under broiler. would love to do a group effort similar to k purvis with an Ossabaw, Mangalista(sp) etc

              1. re: quazi

                Last year I was hot to find some Mangalitsa to cook with at home and contacted the producer assn, and was referred to a local rep. After three emails that went unanswered, i gave up. But now I'm hearing that Mangalitsa isn't as tasty as some of the other heritage breed options I can access more easily so I've cooled down in that hunt. Haven't tasted Ossabaw, but just thought I'd mention it.

                1. re: Melanie Wong

                  I bought a couple of hams from AB Vannoy last year from Christmas. I cooked one and saved the other. The cooked version was good, but not astounding. I would rate the ham from Loveless in Nashville as excellent. This year, I think, we'll order from Benton's or we'll get one from a producer in Smithfield, NC. I tasted some of their aged ham at Southern Season. It was great.

                  I bought from Vannoy's based on this thread. I ate some raw. It was pretty tasty. I have one of the hams aging in my cellar. Hopefully it will mature further in flavor.

                  1. re: Tom from Raleigh

                    Thanks for the feedback. I had some Smithfield Virginia country ham at yesterday's church lunch. It was saltier and firmer than my small sampling of Vannoy's. While I've often had Virginia ham at home, and have soaked and cooked them myself, the one I tasted here was better. Maybe my friends and I in California don't have enough experience soaking them to the right degree.

                    1. re: Tom from Raleigh

                      Please check out the article on Johnson County Hams and Rufus Brown in the current ediblePiedmont. They mention the Ham Store in Smithfield. The focus was on Magalista (sp) pigs that are fed a barley based diet. I think ediblepiedmont has a website, but not sure if the article is on the website. The 'prosciutto' is featured on the cover of the mag.

                        1. re: winedine

                          That was the country ham and prosciutto I sampled at Southern Season this spring. It was excellent.