Country hams at Christmas

December 6, 2007

The New York Times brings the glad tidings that the first Spanish Iberico hams go on sale today in the United States. These hams–jamon in Spanish–have been cured for two years and sell for $900 apiece or a mere $50 per pound. You can buy them here.

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On hearing this, I called up Alan Benton, proprietor of Benton’s Smoky Mountain Country Hams, the best country ham I have ever had in Tennessee. Speaking from his store in Madisonville, where whole and sliced hams are flying out the door during his busiest time of year, Benton took some time to expound on his favorite subject.

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New Yorker on Great Smokies hemlocks

December 5, 2007

Richard Preston, author of scary non-fiction biological books such as The Hot Zone, has now turned his attention in this week’s New Yorker magazine to a killer stalking the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

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Thirty-Two books connected to Memphis

December 4, 2007

Memphis Magazine is 32 years old, and in commemoration of the publication the editors have graced their December issue with 32 by 32, a list of good books either set in Memphis, about the city, or written by authors who have lived in Memphis. That’s a broad range of odd volumes to tide one over a Tennessee winter, even the mild ones of Tennessee’s largest city.

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