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Heritage Ham Explained

H eritage breed pigs – like the famous Berkshire hog - are the traditional breeds that were the norm before the industrialization of farming. Slow-growing and unsuited to conventional farming, many heritage breeds came close to extinction. But there’s a movement of small-scale farms returning to tradition and raising old pig breeds—like Berkshire, Tamworth, Red Wattle, Duroc, Landrace and Yorkshire. We must “eat them to save them” because the only breeds that survive are those that produce something of value. Now, after decades of being ignored, the richly marbled and tasty pork from heritage pigs is sought after by connoisseurs.

All About Heritage Ham - Our Products – Dartagnan.com

Berkshire Breed Ham

At D’Artagnan, we make all of our uncured ham from the famed Berkshire breed pork – also known as Kurobuta pork. We find Berkshire pork the best choice for ham because it offers a nuanced, deep flavor and succulent meat. All our ham products are naturally smoked with real applewood (no liquid smoke here), and seasoned with just the right amount of sea salt and raw cane sugar, making them slightly sweet, but still savory and salty. Uncured, fully-cooked, and ready-to-eat, our ham is made without nitrates, nitrites, phosphates, or artificial fillers.

Bone-in Half Ham

Perfect for holiday meals, this 8-10 pound half bone-in ham makes a lovely presentation when heated in the oven with a glaze.

Bone-In Berkshire Ham, Spiral Cut

Spiral cut hams are favored because they eliminate the need for carving around the bone. Perfect, neat slices are easy to serve, and unlike other spiral hams, ours has all-natural ingredients. 

Boneless Berkshire Ham

Without the bone, this 5-7 pound ham is easy to slice and serve for special occasion meals. It’s full of flavor whether glazed or not. 

Boneless Berkshire Ham, Petite

Our smallest Berkshire ham is the perfect size for everyday use in sandwiches and other recipes that call for ham.

Berkshire Ham Steak

This fully-cooked ham steak is versatile and ready for any variety of recipes. Simply pan-sear until browned and serve with red-eye gravy, for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Our Berkshire Pork Farmers

Each of the participating small farms in our cooperative near the Ozark Mountains agrees to follow strict standards. They keep traceable records of the breeding lines, feed the pigs a natural diet of forage and supplemental corn, soybeans and rolled oats, with no hormones, antibiotics, pesticides, animal by-products or fishmeal. Most importantly, the pigs are given lots of space and sunshine, are allowed their natural piggy behaviors, raise their own piglets, and live outdoors with access to shelter.

Pork raised this way costs a little more than the bland, lean, pale pork at the average grocery store, but to support the efforts of these farmers, and to preserve the Berkshire breed, we feel it’s worth it. So we pay our farmers a premium to adhere to these standards. And we think you can taste the difference in the final product, be it raw pork cuts or smoked hams.