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Dec 22, 2009 09:07 AM

Heeeeellllllp! Need a country ham in the Bay Area!!!

I'm in a pickle! I had ordered a whole country ham (10 days ago) from Benton's in TN for a large party I'm having on Boxing Day. They just called today to say they were backed up and would not be able to ship my ham to me in time. Yikes!!!!!

Now, I need a ham ASAP locally. Preferably Smithfield or the like. I've heard 99 Ranch has them, but there's some talk of only shoulder and not leg. I'm worried about quality, though. Will this ham be as good as the hams being shipped from the South?

Need to get it today, thanks for any advice, folks!!!!

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  1. Haven't paid attention for awhile, but generally both picnics and hams are available. The sliced cross sections are picnic cuts usually. The brands are the same Smithfield brands that you'd pay a lot of money to have shipped. This time of year the stores will gave more whole ones often laying on top of the meat counter wrapped in the cloth bag.

    I'll be on the peninsula this afternoon and can check marina foods. Email me if you strike out at ranch 99.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Melanie Wong

      Thanks Melanie! Appreciate the speedy response. This is a rather stressful moment in a hostess's life!

    2. If you can find a fresh REAL Smithfield ham locally, it will take 2-3 days soaking. Suggest you phone supplier and get express delivery. Get a a cooked country ham, ready to slice.

      1 Reply
      1. re: OldTimer

        She said she's serving it on Boxing Day (Dec. 26), so I presume she's taking the soaking time into account when she says she needs it today (Dec. 22).

      2. you can still order a country ham..cooked or uncooked from Johnston and if you call before 2pm today it can be sent 2 day air or tomorrow will have to be overnight.
        1 800 543-4267

        1 Reply
        1. re: cakebaker

          Johnston's makes both cooked and uncooked country hams neither of which needs to be soaked. The cooked is served at room temp (they say heating it ruins it and dries it out) and is available whole or sliced whole. very delicious country ham.


          9 Luter's Smithfield hams on the shelf at Marina, $4.99 per lb. Picnics by Gwaltneys are $3.99 lb.

          Marina Food
          2992 S Norfolk St, San Mateo, CA 94403

          1 Reply
          1. Thanks everyone. I wish I had read Melanie's posts earlier today. I could get my ham shipped to me from Benton's, or any of the others shipped overnight, but it costs almost as much as the ham to do so, which on principle, I am not feeling good about (they should have let me know that things might get backed up - I specifically asked about the date). I'm reconsidering my options, and at this late date, likely changing my entire menu to be centered on fresh pork, likely Zuni-style mock-porchetta.

            All that said, I'm determined to get my arms around a country ham, so it'll be Easter. And I'll order right now (although not from Bentons).

            thanks everyone for your help, especially Melanie.

            3 Replies
            1. re: mielemaiale

              I'm sure that porchetta will be a hit too.

              Benton's uses Berkshire pork. I was thinking about ordering too, as I liked the taste of it last year at Slow Food's event. But the service issues are concerning.

              I'm glad I had a chance to document the Smithfield hams at Chinese supermarkets as far as the brands and prices. We've talked about them many times here over the years and I'm happy to supply the details. Plus I found some interesting things at Marina.

              1. re: Melanie Wong

                I wonder if the fact that the Momofuku cookbook's praising of Benton's has caused the backlog. If so I'm sure they weren't expecting this kind of demand, and has probably sent them into this delivery problem. I have a friend who's ordered from them a few times and hasn't ever had a problem like this. Not that I'm excusing them from giving you incorrect information when you placed your order, I'm just hoping that this is a slight hiccup in their customer service rather then a reoccurring trend.

                1. re: Piperdown

                  I know this is an old thread, but mail-order anything at Christmas is tough, it's the busiest shipping season. It pays to order in advance near Christmas--literally. A lot of online vendors offer free shipping at the start of December to even out their demand.