British charcuterie often doesn’t get the love it deserves. An effortless lunch, starter or dinner party dish, these salty slices can lift many a dish with their savoury depth too. This ancient way of preserving meat has been around since Roman times, but now the process is most prized for the flavours it creates. It is a brilliantly efficient way of preserving meat – after all, the necessity of keeping meat edible before the advent of refrigeration prompted its invention, but with that necessity came the development of a food art form.
The salting and drying of meat intensifies the flavour, which is further layered up with just the right amount of fat for rich texture, and a balance of herbs and spices to create a beautiful eating experience. Our friends Paul and Tom at Westcombe Dairy in Somerset have amped up the whole charcuterie creation by integrating it with their whole farm operation.
Already famed for their outstanding clothbound Cheddar cheeses, they are working with neighbouring farmer Fred Price of Gothelney Farm and his herd of Tamworth pigs – a rare breed that thrives in slow growing sustainable systems. The pigs are fed the whey by-product from the cheesemaking process, and preventing food waste in a circular farming system. This outstanding pork forms the basis of their charcuterie collection, alongside free-ranging rose veal, produced from the dairy herd bull calves. This is a brilliant solution to a difficult problem in dairy herds, as any male calves born don’t fatten particularly well for beef because dairy cows have been bred to put their protein into milk production, not filling out a beefy frame. The same genetics influence the males too, and historically they were often destroyed as there was no market for the animals. Not so at Westcombe Dairy – they have found a way to take two so-called “waste products” and create food that is truly special.
This all means that these exquisite preserved meat isn't just delicious - but they are ethically made, locally sourced and delicious to boot. A true masterclass in regenerative, circular farming and the wonderful products that are produced from it. This is food with verve.
This Italian style salami is seasoned with wild fennel and Peperoncino chilli. Satisfyingly chewy and delicately spiced, it is studded with pieces of cured Tamworth pork loin, ensuring a wonderfully tender texture with a kick of fiery heat.
This French style salami is soft and silky in texture with a wonderfully savoury taste and hints of pepper. Careful maturation, combined with natural mould flora have produced a decidedly moreish saucisson with peppery notes. The subtle, rich flavour is well balanced in the salty meat and creamy fats.
The earthiness of this Italian style salami comes from the wonderfully aromatic Sicilian fennel. Soft and silky in texture, it has a full and broth-y flavour with peppery and earthy notes. The subtle, rich flavour is well balanced in the salty meat and creamy fats. A perfect addition to any cheese board.
See our sustainable charcuterie collection here.