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Tripp Country Hams are slow cured with a mixture of salt, sugar, sodium nitrate and sodium nitrite, aged to perfection then smoked over burning hickory wood.

 This ham does not require refrigeration.  For transportation and short term storage (less than 1 month) the whole ham should remain in the paper wrapping and net.  We do not recommend further aging of this ham.  If it will be over 1 month before this ham will be sliced or cooked we recommend you freeze the ham in the paper wrapping and net then thaw and cook.  If the ham is to be sliced, we recommend storing all the slices in a freezer, wrapped 2 to 3 slices per package in freezer paper or a zip lock bag.  A frozen whole country ham can be thawed, sliced or cooked, and frozen again without affecting quality or taste of the meat.

You may expect your country ham to have a higher salt content than the tenderized or "honey baked" type of ham.  It is the salt, of course, that allows the ham to age for months without refrigeration.  This is typical of all country hams.  It is possible you might have to acquire a taste for country ham, but once you do you will always prefer it.

 Mold in no way affects the quality of the meat but rather indicates proper aging.  It is a perfectly normal occurrence on a genuine country ham.   Don't worry about it, as it is a natural process that occurs very similar to the molding in fine aged cheese.  If mold appears on the whole ham, this may be safely removed by washing the ham, using two parts water and one part vinegar.

 The proper way to slice any ham is parallel to the Aitch bone.  Country ham is the most tender when slice this way rather than straight across.  Some folks like to slice half the ham and boil the other half.  We  suggest that you boil the center part and slice the butt end (still parallel to the Aitch bone).

 If you like, you can have your ham sliced at your local butcher shop or supermarket. They generally offer this service free or for a small charge. Illustrated slicing instructions

 Once the ham is cut you should slice the entire ham and wrap in individual or family size  servings and freeze.  Then your ham can be stored for long periods of time and can be thawed and prepared as needed.  The hock (cut into chunks without removing the skin) and small pieces should be wrapped and frozen separately.  They make excellent seasoning meat when you cook beans and vegetables.