So after a rather slack start to my blogging last year, I’m now planning to write more frequently and I thought a good place to start would be to feature some of our fantastic suppliers and tell you a little more about them, why we love them, and why we stock them.
I thought I’d begin with the lovely ladies at Marsh Pig Salami. Jackie and Sarah started producing their brilliantly British cured meats and salamis about three years ago in nearby Claxton – about ten miles from us. After a little taste (#PerksOfTheJob) we were huge fans and immediately started stocking the range, which now includes salamis, chorizo, cured meats, pancetta and jerky.
But what is it that makes their product so superior?!
Marsh Pig was ‘selfishly born out of a personal love of great food’, and after being fed up with all that chewy, sinewy salami on the market (and I hear after a bottle of wine or two!), Jackie and Sarah decided to make their own. They begin with the highest welfare of livestock, always sourced locally and always free range, and then add the finest quality ingredients where necessary to create the most flavoursome and ethical produce. Marsh Pig products are all made by hand and with a lot of love, and this is truly evident in the flavour; typically, a mass produced salami will contain 30-60% fat, compared to just 15% in these salamis, with flavours including fennel, garlic and paprika, red wine and black pepper, and my favourite, garlic and black pepper.
And what I love about the Marsh Pig team is that they’re always diversifying. They launched their ‘Bacon and Pancetta Home Curing Kits’ just before Christmas, which contain step by step instructions and all that you need (‘just add the meat’) to create your own home-cured bacon and pancetta. These literally flew off our shelves as a perfect gift for those foodie types who enjoy their own culinary creating.
Or if you prefer a more in-depth approach into the alchemy and science of turning fresh meat into charcuterie you can now join them over at Marsh Pig HQ for one of their monthly Charcuterie and Smoking Courses; a day long workshop that includes all aspects of the curing processes, as well as a delicious lunch and a whole lot of fun!
There has been a huge rise in the number of producers making charcuterie in the UK over the last few years, but just being British or local isn’t enough – Marsh Pig have it all; the story, the ethics, but most importantly, the flavour. Have a look at their beautiful new website for more details www.marshpig.co.uk and of course, pop some in your basket when you visit us next!
There’s a decidedly different smell in the air… a subtle shift in the light… a newfound longing for roast potatoes and slow cooked stews…
Autumn is here.
It doesn’t quite seem possible that the summer has been and gone and we’ve already been in our (not so) new premises for over six months. Yes, it rained. No, it wasn’t exactly a scorcher. But we met record breaking numbers of new customers holidaying nearby and have been rushed off our little feet supplying many weddings and parties with our deli delights. (And don’t you know that indoor is the new outdoor when it comes to picnics?!).
Last night we rounded off the summer season nicely at the Norfolk Food and Drink Awards. I got to put on my glad rags and join the sponsors, finalists and of course winners, and spend the evening celebrating all things foodie from the county.
As some of you may know, our sister company – Steele Fine Foods – which my husband runs along with his clever little team (and is actually how I came to be in The Deli in the first place, but that’s a story for another time!) proudly sponsored the Best Restaurant Category, whose winner was chosen based solely on the public vote. Through this sponsorship, the very nice people at The Norfolk Magazine asked if I would be their expert judge in the Best Independent Retailer Category.
A tour of the best retailers in Norfolk?! Yes please!
So despite an extremely early start, I got to spend a lovely day summer’s day in August with my partner in crime Rebecca from Durrants (the sponsors of the category), visiting all those who had been nominated, and eventually coming to a decision on the final three and the winner. After visiting all the retailers as a ‘secret shopper’ it was great meeting them all properly at the Awards, and it certainly confirmed our choices as the drive, passion and enthusiasm shone through from all three finalists. Huge congratulations to Mark and Rosie from The Norfolk Deli who were the winners, along with The Norfolk Gluten Free Company and Back to the Garden as the finalists. All three are a must visit!
So now we’re fully into the swing of September and that can only mean one thing for the Food and Drink Industry…Festivals.
At the end of the month we are looking forward to joining in with the celebrations of this year’s Aldeburgh Food and Drink Festival. Now ten years old, it has evolved dramatically into the huge showcase of the festival weekend at Snape Maltings, as well around one hundred fringe events taking place across the county. Alongside this is the Waveney Food and Drink Festival which also takes place over two weeks and ends with a festival at Bungay Castle. We’re in the midst of planning our own Fringe Event for the two Festivals, which we’re hosting on Saturday 3rd October and will be a celebrating of our bountiful counties, with tastings, promotions, and the chance to meet some of our producers. We hope we’ll see some of you there!
So whilst we wave a fond farewell to summer and are in that funny betwixt period where it’s still too early for winter boots, we’re making the most of this autumn’s celebrations of our thriving local food and drink industry!
Eight years, eleven weeks and two days since my life as Ms Earsham Street Deli began, I am finally sitting down and beginning my blog. I have often been told by friends and customers that I should write down my daily ponderings, and so I finally listened... But where to begin?
All those years ago, when my other half and I first decided that we'd buy the lease and begin my very own business adventure, I (confidently) nicknamed the shop 'the deli of dreams'. That name stuck with my nearest and dearest, so it only seems right that it features in the title of my blog.
Being only a novice at the very start of my blogging journey, I cannot be sure which direction my musings will take me, but my intention is to update the world on the exciting moments of deli life and all the happenings of Earsham Street, Suffolk & Norfolk life, and beyond!
Watch this space...