Sunday, March 18, 2012

Food Adventure: Virginia

The state food of Virgina is ham. Virginia Ham. To be completely honest I didn't think that "Virginia Ham" would be any different than regular old ham. I thought maybe the pigs in Virginia were happier or special in someway, making the ham taste better, but after a quick Wiki search I learned that the actual pig doesn't have much to do with the process of making Virginia Ham. Well of course you need a pig, but any pig would do, not just a Virginia one. Anyway, Virginia Ham is special because it's a cured meat, meaning it has been soaked in a salty/watery solution for a long time. The aging process is important in curing the meat because it brings out so many flavors. After the meat has been cured it is smoked over hickory chips and then is again left to age for "several months or up to 2-4 years" (according to Wikipedia). Making this stuff is a process, to say the least. In our quest to find Virginia Ham this weekend we visited Alexandria Virginia, home of President George Washington's estate at Mount Vernon. There was the most adorable little restaurant on the property there that we decided to give a try. Appropriately Virginia Ham was on the menu, as a sandwich, we of course had to give it a try. The sandwich came with a thick slice of pepperjack cheese which seemed out of place to me but Adam loved it so go figure. The ham itself was really flavorful and extremely salty thanks to the curing process. It was pretty tasty, but at the end of the day it was still a ham sandwich. Virginia Ham or regular ham it is all pretty similar, just as I had suspected. Truth be told my favorite part of the meal were those amazing home made chips. They were to die for. Thanks for the ham Virginia!

On our "yumm scale" we rated Mount Vernon Inn Restaurants Virginia Ham Sandwich a Yumm. 

For your reference the "Yumm Scale" :
1. Yuck
2. Yu...
3. Yumm
4. Super Yumm
5. Holymolycanoliyumm!

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