Charles Gatton Jr. – Gatton Farms | Southern Foodways Alliance arrow left envelope headphones search facebook instagram twitter flickr menu rss play circle itunes calendar

Oral Histories

The SFA oral history program documents life stories from the American South. Collecting these stories, we honor the people whose labor defines the region. If you would like to contribute to SFA’s oral history collections, please send your ideas for oral history along with your CV or Resume and a portfolio of prior oral history work to

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Charles Gatton Jr.

Father's Country Hams

Charles Gatton, Junior, is known to some as the mad scientist of bacon. Growing up on Gatton Farms, Charles learned the business of curing hams and bacon from his father, Charles Gatton, Senior, who founded Father’s Country Hams in 1950. When his father passed away in 2000, Charles Junior decided to take bacon-making to another level. His epiphany occurred at a food show, when chocolate purveyors asked if he could create a chocolate-flavored bacon. Charles Junior returned home and began toying with different products, eventually getting his hands on some flavorings that he could use in his dry-cure process. Today, Gatton Farms makes ten flavors of bacon, including apple cinnamon and vanilla bourbon, but no chocolate–yet. And, yes, they still offer the traditional hickory and pepper bacons.

Date of interview:
2005-08-23 00:00

Amy Evans

Amy Evans

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The Southern Foodways Alliance drives a more progressive future by leading conversations that challenge existing constructs, shape perspectives, and foster meaningful discussions. We reconsider the past with research, scrutiny, and documentation.


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