Chef’s search for English charcuterie

Posted on July 11, 2014 by admin

Following on from our very enjoyable trip with chef Anthony Garlando to meet our poultry suppliers recently we were down on a farm again this week! This time we went with Anthony to Rampisham in west Dorset to visit Capreolus Fine Foods, from whom chef is going to be sourcing some fine English charcuterie.

Started four-and-a-half years ago by keen amateur smoker David Richards after he was made redundant, Capreolus (Latin name for the wild deer that was the first meat David smoked) has quickly grown to include three staff in addition to David and his wife Cassie, and their premises are just about to double in size to meet demand.

David showed us around Capreolus’ smokehouse – the smell was amazing! – and the air-drying room, now their preferred method for giving meat extra flavour and texture. We also saw the climate-controlled room where the award winning salamis hang, the humidity, airflow and temperature all carefully regulated to ensure that the finished product is in peak condition.

Capreolus source as much of their meat as possible locally, including pork from Oxford Sand & Black pigs reared in the next village. David is also a keen deer-stalker and has caught his own venison on many occasions! Naturally once we’d had the guided tour their had to be tasting, and we sampled a huge range of their salamis, cured and smoked meats and snacking chorizo over the course of a leisurely lunch.

Their insistence on only using meat from single-breed herds and suppliers known personally by the Richards’ to be ethical and sustainable can affect their supply of some products, which presents a challenge to a chef like Anthony who needs to be sure that he can get the produce he needs in the right quantities to keep a dish on the menu. But so impressed were we by the commitment to quality over quantity that Anthony is going to work with Capreolus to ensure that their excellent English charcuterie features on the aqua shard menu. We’ll let you know when you can come and try it for yourself!

To find out more about Capreolus Fine Foods and their commitment to producing the best English charcuterie, please visit their website. If there are any other of our suppliers who you would like to find out more about, or fir us to visit, please let us know in the Comments!

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