chapter  4
18 Pages

Virginia Ham: The Local and Global of Colonial Foodways

WithMegan E. Edwards

With this lusty imagery the American Heritage Cookbook introduces the nearmythical history of Virginia’s famed ham. The ubiquity of this food item in the marketed cultural landscape of the Commonwealth’s Tidewater region astounds first-time visitors. A trip up the Delmarva Peninsula, where every souvenir shop sells country-cured hams, affords countless examples of a regional fixation extending from Virginia’s Eastern Shore to the southern banks of the James River. Isle of Wight County, where the acclaimed

Smithfield ham is still salted and smoked for a global market, represents itself as the birthplace of this modern American terroir food.