Kentucky hams are made from Hampshire hogs fattened with beans, acorns and clover, and then during their final weeks, their diet is restricted to grain.
Kentucky hams were traditionally made from Hampshire hogs. Hampshire hogs (a thin rind hog) were imported from England in the late 1820's because they were a hearty breed that foraged well on their own. The most common name for these hogs at this time was Thin Rind hogs.
One of the earliest breeding groups, the American Thin Rind Association, was organized in 1893 at Erlanger, Kentucky. The name of the hog and the association was changed from Thin Rind to Hampshire in 1904.
It is probable that the original Smithfield Hams were also made from only Hampshire hogs.
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