"And you've got sweet Kentucky ham on your mind, on your mind"
From the song "Sweet Kentucky Ham" Lyrics by Dave Frishberg, from the album "Girl Singer," by Rosemary Clooney.
While other areas may be arguing barbecue, in Kentucky the argument is just as likely to center around who has the best country ham.
According to Wikipedia, country ham is a variety of cured ham, typically very salty, and first mentioned in print in 1944, referring to a method of curing and smoking done in the rural parts of North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Georgia, Kentucky and other nearby Southern states.
Locally, stores, deli's and restaurants often make their name on the quality of country ham they serve, whether it is fried, thin sliced and served on a beaten biscuit or sold whole. Recipes for prepping and cooking a country ham can be as closely guarded as the Colonel's recipe of 11 herbs and spices.
One place in the community where country ham has become king is Hutchison's Grocery where more than 1,000 country hams -- baked, sliced and maybe shipped around the nation -- moved across the counter each year.