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Lucy Deedes from our food shop shares her latest thoughts on our butchers counter…
I think we’re all agreed that it’s a thoroughly good thing to know the provenance of our food and in no area is this more significant than in that of farmed livestock. The outbreak of BSE in the UK in the eighties and nineties gave us a salutary shock about the choices we make in buying our food. It’s our duty as consumers to buy responsibly and part of that is knowing whether or not the animals who provide our food have as good lives and stress-free deaths as possible. Now, in addition to our developing interest in the integrity of farmers and food producers, we question such things as the food miles and excessive packaging.
At our smallholding in Kent my mother was able to combine devotion to her animals with pragmatism about their eventual destinations. She reared calves on the Jersey house cow and when they grew big enough to knock her over (her unconventional but effective rule) she trotted them up the road to the village butcher, who had his own slaughterhouse.
We can deliver that level of traceability at the Hungry Guest and our butchers buy from highly respected local farmers with meticulous standards of animal husbandry: we know the history of the animal from the farm to your plate. We sell Scott Free Range pork, from pigs born and reared outside where they can roam freely and dig in the mud; the beef, from Gostrode Park Farm, is hung for 28 days, ensuring the best possible flavour.
Our customers choose to buy their meat from us because they can have exactly what they need, from a single slice of bacon or one lamb’s kidney to an entire rib of beef. Then they can buy the accompaniments they need in the shop, whether it’s bread, vegetables, herbs or sauces and marinades. If you can’t see exactly what you want, then ask Paul, Ben or Owen and they will take infinite trouble to prepare it just as you like – and if they don’t have it, they will be able to source it.
The barbecue season is upon us: we sell fabulous award-winning sausages – Traditional, Hoisin Duck – and the butchers are constantly experimenting with flavours so try and make sure you’re in the shop when the chipolata samples are out for tasting . There are hamburgers suitable for both the barbecue and the grill; marinated free-range chicken breasts, lamb cutlets, kebabs and pork chops. Add our brioche buns and some Nutbourne tomatoes and you’re done. And if you buy meat only occasionally, then all the more reason to buy the very best from us and know that it will be an absolute treat.
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