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They're Smokin' at Comstock

February 14, 1991|KATHIE JENKINS

Comstock's Smokehouse

C&C Market

Church Street

Barton, Vt. 05822

(802) 525-3444

Billed Open Account Shipping plus $3.50 packaging charge The Comstock family has been smoking meat over corn cobs since 1894, but I didn't find out about them until 10 years ago, when the ham a colleague sent away for landed on my desk. The aroma that came floating out of that plain cardboard box was so overwhelming it suddenly seemed as if there were a campfire under my desk.

It took three years of pleading before my friend would tell me where the ham had come from. First she hemmed and hawed. Then she said she'd lost the telephone number. Finally she agreed to give it to me, after extracting a promise that I would keep it to myself. If too many people starting ordering hams, she said, it would ruin a good thing.

But my friend was wrong. Word has clearly gotten around--today C&C Market has become so successful that it puts out a brochure and sells T-shirts. But success has not spoiled the best hams in the country. They are as good as ever.

The firm's other smoked meats are also terrific. Canadian bacon is moist and tender and very lean, with absolutely no waste. Center-cut pork chops are meaty and succulent. And Comstock's latest addition--whole smoked chicken--is a plump, moist bird, with a delicately smoky flavor. It's wonderful hot or cold, makes a hearty sandwich and is great tossed into a green salad.

Prices are reasonable: A whole skinless/shankless ham, fully cooked, is $3.69 a pound (for 14 pounds or more); smoked pork loin chops are $5.89 a pound; Canadian-style bacon from the loin is $7.89 a pound, and whole smoked chickens are $2.99 a pound.

The postage, however, is high. You'll end up paying almost as much for postage and handling as you will for the meat itself. So order carefully--if you order once, you're likely to do so again; Comstock hams have a way of turning into a tradition.

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