After a massive fire hit Edwards Virginia Smokehouse in Surry County, VA on Tuesday, ham lovers all over the country are scrambling to figure out just how much of the revered pork product, if any, will be available in the coming months or years. (But first things first: Thankfully, no one was hurt in the blaze.)
According to The Washington Post, the Edwards family has shut down production, and a letter on the smokehouse’s website says that they will be closed “for an undetermined amount of time.” And while the fire raged during the smokehouse’s lunch hour, when all employees were in a trailer eating and safely at bay from the flames, it is still not clear how much of the ham made it out and how much burned to a char.
With the fate of the hams still in the air, restaurateurs and chefs from around the world have begun sweating, forced to imagine a future where they can’t serve Edwards’ Surryano or classic country hams.
For Jeremiah Langhorne, chef and owner at the Dabney in Washington DC, that means taking the hams off the menu, for now; “I want to make sure we have some around for special occasions… The pictures [of the fire] look godawful. . . . From what I saw, it’s a total loss,” Langhorne told the Post.
The Edwards family is expected to give another statement to the press in another week or so, but until then, it appears that we’ll be in the dark as to how much ham was destroyed in the flames.
For some, though, the possible ham drought has only pushed the need to sell Edwards product and to get the word out about the disaster. That’s the case for David Chang, who tweeted his sympathies when the news hit and who’s Ssam Bar serves a number of Edwards’ hams. Ssam Bar executive chef Matthew Rudofker told the Post that they won’t stop selling the ham until they run out.
With such a following and history behind its hams, it seems unfathomable that Edwards Smokehouse would pack it in completely. But until further word comes out, you might want to start stockpiling or sharing any Edwards ham you can find.
[via The Washington Post]