Finding Fulks Run Grocery on Route 259 just south of the West Virginia border is half the fun. It is alluringly remote, in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley, surrounded by nothing but countryside. It’s a real grocery store, built in 1949 by Garnett Turner; and, frankly, there’s little that you can buy and eat on the premises. But we cannot resist tipping friends off to any ham house we find, especially Turner’s Ham House, which is located behind the grocery store and is considered by those in the know to be the finest small-scale producer of sugar-cured country ham anywhere.
Many people who know Turner Hams never go to Fulks Run, for it has been a thriving mail-order business for years. Recently, at home in Connecticut, we got a fabulous box full of boneless, center-cut sugar-cured ham slices and red hot rooster sauce and ham glaze to dress them, as well as some packages of gorgeous Grindstone Mountain Proscuitto.
Good as it is to get these items in the mail, there is special pleasure in entering the old, wood-floored country store and taking a deep breath of air perfumed by well-cured ham. Of course, you can buy a nice ham right here, to take home and prepare. We love the way the big beauties are displayed – wrapped in cheesecloth, piled up in various shopping carts all around the store.