Sam Edwards painstakingly salts, smokes and ages Berkshire hams for 400-600 days.
The ham has a rich full flavor, and an exquisite pliable texture, exactly like its European counterparts. It is sweet, nutty and delicious, the result of amazing skill in the curehouse as well as a great primary ingredient: highly marbled heritage breed pigs, raised on pasture with no antibiotics.
Surry, Virginia has been home to the Edwards family since before 1926 when Wallace Edwards Sr. first started selling ham sandwiches on the ferry boat that carried folk to Williamsburg. Those $1 sandwich would launch a multigenerational curehouse that is among the most respected food businesses in America. Producers of exquisite cured ham, bacon and sausage Edwards Virginia Smokehouse is now run by Sam Edwards III and his son Sam Edwards IV.
In 2005 Sam III was searching for a well raised ham source. He missed the flavor of the cured hams his grandfather produced and he wanted to find hams that could stand up to 400 days of cure — regular hams would turn to dust on the inside after just a few months. Sam wanted to produce a traditionally smoked American ham that recalled the flavors of the long-aged hams produced in Europe like the Serrano of Spain. After years of testing with the heritage breed hams raised by the network of farms working with Heritage Foods, Sam had found the flavor profile (twang) he was looking for and he named it Surry-ano, after his home.