As the Holiday season draws near I start thinking about ham. Well actually I start getting calls and emails asking about ham so it starts me to thinking about ham!
I began offering holiday hams in 2004 and it has grown into a big part of what we do at Spring Hill Farms.
I knew our ham was good, but I think sometimes farmers get used to eating their own products and end up taking it for granted that everyone eats this way.
A beautiful hickory smoked ham has been part of our dinner table for a long time not only at the holidays, but several other times through out the year when the mood strikes me.
So...when we started offering them to the public I was surprised at how many people raved about them. I guess maybe I shouldn't have been but hey I try to be modest!
What makes our hickory smoked ham so special? I wish I could take all the credit and say it's all about the pork. And a large part of it is the product you start with.
You can have the best product in the world and if it isn't handled properly as in the case of curing and smoking hams, you can end up with a product that is horrible at the worst, and average to good on the other end of ham-o-meter.
You realize we have a ham-o-meter right? Yea it's a very sophisticated feed back system that some people would refer to as a customer.
Easy....I'm not calling you a ham-o-meter!
The first time we officially took a reading from a ham-o-meter was in 2004 and it was off the chart!
It wasn't just good it was the best ever.
Our Ham was the most delicious ham we have ever eaten. A very fresh taste, full of flavor! Our family loves pork but do not really eat ham very often... - Randolph and Teresa K Granville, Ohio
I've never tried to keep it a secret that Rittberger Meats does all of our processing of pork and beef. The reason we use them....
They are the best of the best when it comes to processing and especially curing and smoking pork. There is something about knowing they have been doing this since 1910 in the same smokehouse that makes me feel like we have something special, almost elite.
Do you know of any other butcher shop that has been in
business, and family owned, for 100 years in central Ohio?
Here's an excerpt from their website.
"Carl Rittberger Sr., Grandpa was born in Lorch Germany
in 1881. He went to meat trade school in Germany, before coming to the United
States in the late 1800's.
From a small retail trade acquired at the Zanesville City Market, he expanded into the wholesale business at his farm on Lutz Lane, where he started September 22,1910.
In the early days, Grandpa rode on horseback throughout the county. He purchased livestock along the way and drove the livestock back to the plant on horseback.
As his business grew, he purchased some 800 acres and raised some of his own
livestock to stay up with the demand. Today we still raise cattle on over 450
Quality was always Grandpa's number one goal even through tough times, and is still ours today! We are still family owned and ran by the 2nd, 3rd and 4th generations. We are even starting to get some input from the 5th generation."
The Rittberger family are experts when it comes to producing a ham that stands alone in taste, texture, and quality.
The Christmas ham was really wonderful- very tender, lean and full of flavor. I'm not much of a "ham person" generally, but I loved this. The left over bone helped make an outstanding bean and farro soup as well - Tim & Emily H. Columbus Ohio
I invite you to try a holiday ham from Spring Hill Farms complete with the Rittberger touch. You'll be glad you did when all the ham-o-meters start going off around your holiday dinner table... I guarantee it.
David T. Fogle