What became of the Calloway ham that Winston Churchill enjoyed? Does anyone still make it there?
Clackamas County Oregon
I tried to find an expert in Callaway County, Missouri that might have some insight into the delectable Callaway ham. No expert was available, but I did find reference to Churchill’s Callaway ham critique:
Cita Stelzer wrote a book (Dinner with Churchill, Policy-Making at the Dinner Table) about Churchill’s dinner-table diplomacy and has combed many archives to describe the meals at dinners where Sir Winston used “good food, excellent champagne and Havana cigars” to engage with others and cajole them to his point of view. Stelzer was on campus at Westminster College in Fulton Missouri (home of the National Churchill Museum) and the school re-created the meal served to Churchill. Below is her description of the meal:
Like Sir Winston, we dined on Callaway ham (Fulton is in Callaway County Missouri), fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, buttered corn and rolls. Angel food cake with strawberry topping followed as dessert. The records indicate the meal was served “family style.” Sir Winston was quite pleased with this meal, particularly the ham. Callaway ham is now available only if it is home-cured, and a staff member had gone to the enormous trouble of doing just that. (I agree with Churchill: This is the best ham I have ever tasted.) The fried chicken, mashed potatoes with gravy, and corn, freshly picked last summer and frozen, were not bad, either.
The University of Missouri Extension website includes resources for Country Curing Hams. Maybe this will provide you with some new information about ham curing that will help replicate the Callaway ham.
Thanks for contacting Ask an Expert.