In 1973 Alan Benton realized he’d made the wrong career choice as a college guidance counselor. He heard that his neighbor was selling his ham curing business, so he sat with him under a maple tree to see if he could take it over. Today he produces the best ham and bacon in the United States, an intoxicating combination of pork, salt, smoke, brown sugar, and time. He never intended to make a substantial living out of it, it was supposed to simply be a way of life, with the single goal to produce exquisite hams and bacons. Now, he can’t make it fast enough. “We count our blessings every night,” he says, “because this happened in spite of us not because of us.”

DSC_0135