Town claims world's biggest ham biscuit

Saturday, March 22, 2003

SMITHFIELD, Va. -- "The Ham Capital of the World" is now the home of the largest ham biscuit ever baked, according to the Guinness Book of World Records.

The 2,200-pound sandwich was created to commemorate the town of Smithfield's 250th anniversary last Sept. 28.

Project organizers who sent an application to Guinness received an e-mail Thursday: "You are now a Guinness World Record holder!"

Betty Thomas, who submitted the Guinness application and helped plan the biscuit baking, was thrilled.

"I was dancing all around the room," she said.

The biscuit, which was baked in a custom oven and removed with a forklift, measured 8 feet in diameter.

After being stuffed with 500 pounds of Smithfield ham, it stood 2 feet high.

The idea was to make a ham biscuit big enough to feed 1,752 people because 1752 was the year of the town's charter.

The new recognition for Smithfield, the home of pork producer Smithfield Foods, was not good news in Cadiz, Ky., where the Future Farmers of America and organizers of the Trigg County Ham Festival have always claimed the ham biscuit record.

At 10 feet, Trigg County's biscuit is wider. But it weighs only 400 pounds because it is very thin.

"Ours is more like a sugar cookie," said Tom Berry, a reporter for the Cadiz Record who has written about the biscuit battle.

He said the Cadiz festival organizers plan to ask Guinness to restore their biscuit as the record holder, but Berry was skeptical.

"I can say right now, I don't know if Trigg County can match that Smithfield biscuit," he said.

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