If you are looking for a great hickory smoked country ham, smoked bacon, or domestic prosciutto you have to head to Greenback, TN and Benton’s Smoky Mountain Country Hams. Benton’s is a small, family-run business started in 1947 by the late Albert H. Hicks, a dairy farmer who began curing and selling country hams out of a building in his backyard. Allan Benton, a former high school guidance counselor, took over the business in 1973 and has been dry-curing hams and bacon ever since.
Benton’s country hams and bacon are nationally known and have made their way to the French Laundry’s Thomas Keller, to Momofuku’s David Chang in Manhattan, to Wolfgang Puck and Emeril—among others. Benton’s most likely owes their success to the chef at Blackberry Farm in Walland, TN. Back in the early 90’s Chef John Fleer at Blackberry Farm started sharing Benton’s products with the chefs who visited Blackberry Farm, single-handedly starting the spread of the Benton’s Smoky Mountain Country Hams name.
And, if you aren’t convinced how popular Benton’s country hams are, just do a Google search for Allan Benton and see what others are saying.