Back to the grind

I’ve been home nearly two weeks now, but it’s only this week that I’ve got back to the grindstone. We had some friends staying with us last week, so it was a blur of cooking and evenings out.

First bit of charcuterie action was on Saturday. I was up at 5am to feed the pigs, though they were snoring happily at that time, but I had an early train to London to catch. I was headed to Charcuterie & Company at the South Bank – twenty or so stalls selling a variety of charcuterie and a demo tent. It was a little quiet when I arrived (just as it opened) but by lunchtime it was heaving, and it was great to see charcuterie being sold to such an enthusiastic crowd. I apologise now for the quality of my pictures, in the rush to catch the train I forgot my camera and had to rely on my crappy old iPhone.

First stop of the day was the demo tent to see Marc Frederic make up a batch of salami. Marc’s been a great help to me over the past few months and we’ve had a couple of great chats on the phone – it was great to finally meet him in the flesh. Fans of charcuterie should check out his blog, and he’s got a book out this Christmas, it’d make a great stocking filler! BUY IT!

There were a couple of interesting British Charcuterie makers selling at the site – Forest Pig had some great air dried ham, and Cannon and Cannon were there too representing a number of British makers. The British product that really stood out for me was a cooked ham by John Doig from Moons Green in Kent. I also had a chance to try some old favourites from Trealy Farm. There were a fair few stalls there selling European charcuterie, I had a very tasty beef chorizo, and some excellent speck, however, my favourite item of the day has to be the air dried ham I had from Reiners Fine Food – it was a relatively young ham (18months if memory serves) but it had the most delicious light sweetness and incredible marbling through the meat.

Stuffed to the gills with free tasters I took a stroll along the South Bank towards Borough Market. Although I’m up in London often, it’s rare that I get time to venture to Borough. It must be close to six years since I was there last; it was a cold crisp Christmas Eve morning and I was stunned at the crowds out buying their turkeys and veg. My God, that was nothing compared to the crowds there on Saturday. The queues for the ready to eat food stalls numbered 30+ people and everywhere seemed to be doing a roaring trade. I couldn’t see any dedicated British Charcuterie stalls, but I’ve since heard that Cannon and Cannon will have a stall there from next month, excellent news!

Before heading home, I went to meet up with my new web developer. Gosh, doesn’t that sound good, I have my own web developer! Excellent meeting, I’m a little more savy now on what I can get built, it’s down to me to get it all sorted now! Hoping to have something launched in the New Year.

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3 thoughts on “Back to the grind

  1. Thanks for the kind words. That South Bank Festival was the first public tasting of any of our products. I’m now up to my ears in pork, cure, salt and the constant cleaning everyday trying to get stocks up to a level where we can offer a regular supply. You’ve also confirmed my stature as a electronic primitive. I haven’t written a blog for a year – mainly because I’ve been building the factory and haven’t come up for air. Our website remains an idea. I haven’t figured a way to get images into emails like most other people. But people like the saucisson, chorizo, hams and charcuterie. I wish you well in your pursuit of charcuterie bliss. The more that’s out there the better it will be for all of us. Best wishes.

    • Thanks for that John. I’m of the same ethos as you when it comes to the UK charcuterie industry. We’re a small bunch and we need to work together. I’m still wrangling with planning at the moment, so I’ve not yet entered the world of full production. I’ve been using a food incubation facility locally to develop all our products, working through approval over the next few months with the hope that when we finally have our own place (April I hope) that we can hit the ground running. If you’re ever down West Wales give me a shout.

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