Authentic Southern Smoked Meats and Specialty Foods.

We Love Peanut Fed Hogs

How did Virginia Country Hams become associated with being from peanut fed hogs?

When peanuts became a staple crop in Virginia most farmers allowed their hogs to glean the peanut fields after the peanut harvest to fatten them up just before harvesting in December through February.  It was also an economical way to feed them and not let those precious peanuts that dropped off the vine go to waste.  The side benefit of peanut fed hogs was the great oily texture, richness and heavy marbling of the muscle which gave these American country hams world class flavor.  However peanut fed hogs are a thing of the past (since the 1960’s) as today’s conventional pork aretypically raised in confined pens and fed a very strict diet of corn, soy bean and other supplements to produce a very lean and consistent sized hog.   That is why we started pasture raising some antibiotic free Berkshire pigs finished on peanuts to try and mimic the flavor of the past.  Long cured hams (over 400 days) do not do well with the super lean variety of pork raised on large commercial farms of this century.  Currently we are doing about 150 pcs of the peanut fed Surryano hams from Berkshire hogs and we are selling them  exclusively to chefs across the country. In two or three years we will have some to sell direct to consumers.


Sammy Edwards is Digital Marketing Manager for Edwards Virginia Smokehouse. He writes, films and prefers Peppered Bacon on the weekends.