It is nearly that time of the year again and what a year it has been. The less said the better at this stage. One thing that has definitely grown this year is the desire to cure meats at home. I guess once you’ve mastered sourdough and are bored with banana bread the next challenge is to make your own bacon. (Assuming your pineapple fermentation is up to scratch), not that these have to run in series and can run in parallel too 🙂
Our courses are more popular than ever and I have met some of the most wonderful people over the past 10 years. Many have stayed in touch and we continue to swap curing stories. What is also interesting is that about 30% of the participants have been gifted a course and what better present to give someone who has enough socks and single malt or Chanel No 5. I do suspect there are possibly ulterior motives at play as well, as the gift donor is often the recipient of lots of home made bacon, sausage and chorizo thereafter.
The course covers block work, how to make prosciutto, coppa, bresaola, bacon, sausages, salami and chorizo at home.
If you are avoiding the malls this season, if you are scared of running into a Boney M marathon or if you are just out of gift ideas why don’t you get that someone special a Charcuterie Course gift this year. I will be running the following courses next year:
Cape Town: 19th February and 12th March
Bryanston: 5th-6th March
Plettenberg Bay :19th-20th March
Prince Albert: 16th-18th April
You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
If these dates don’t suit you we also offer gift vouchers that the participant can use to book an alternative date.
Our prosciutto recently won a gold award at the Aurora International Taste Challenge. We are extremely proud of this achievement and have some exciting news for those who are able to look beyond this challenging year of double twenties.
Our next Prosciutto Club Day will be held on the 4th of December. Guests will learn how to make their own ham and we will look after it for you until it is ready to be eaten at the end of 2021 or beyond.
Our 2019 group have been enjoying their hams during lock down and what could be a better pairing with that sourdough bread and Pineapple beer you have perfected 🙂
The day also includes one of our famous charcuterie lunches.
Email me to book your spot. It is also an ideal gift for the person who has enough socks and soaps on a rope and would love something a little less than ordinary.
I have APProached this post with APPreciation for all the APPlication over the past month to get things APProved in time. Big APPlause for Will and co at Nologo Studios who have APPlied themselves with diligence and APPeal. Never putting the APPlecart (who knew that was one word) before the APPaloosa (yes I had to look that up too) either.
What I am APParently trying to say before this post loses its APPeal is that our new APP is now live. Hooray!
Available in both iOS and Android APP stores you can now order our products for home delivery using our super easy interface on your phone or tablet.
Life and the universe have a funny way of making connections, renewing them and surprising one with synchronous events.
Many years ago and I do mean many. When you could still give someone a hug. The Nokia 2110 had yet to be built, and Nelson Mandela was still our President. I worked with a lovely lady called Sandi. We looked after the Girlswear clothing ranges for a large retailer and she was so good at her job I had very little to do.
Her partner Peter was an entrepreneur with a love of olives and I recall many meetings at their house where the lid was lifted off a big tub of olives and Peter would scoop out a handful for us to snack on.
Since the turn of the century (man that sounds like a Dickens novel) we have gone our different ways in the world. I’ve been kept up to date with their olive exploits over the years as a very good friend of mine is now one of Peter’s business partners in another venture.
Peter owns Zoetigheyd farm outside Robertson in the Renosterveld and has been producing one of South Africas finest olive oils. Last year they were voted one of the 10 best in the country. The farm uses no chemicals at all and the oil is cold pressed on the morning the olives are picked for the best flavour.
We have been very fortunate to get our hands on some of that oil this year and I have added it to our online shop.
For many years we have been selling our beautiful cured meats in vacuum bags. The process removes all the air from the pack and prevents oxidation and spoilage. It is very effective and is widely used.
But, the process also squashes the slices together and they become very hard to separate. And we need to use several layers of plastic to interleave the slices to allow them to be separated. And it has been bugging me for a while.
We finally have a solution that we have just started to roll out. We are now able to replace the air inside the bag with inert gas (Issy, my 17 year old daughter studying science, explained that one to me). I am sure Alan Committie could give us the latin name for this too. A mixture of nitrogen and CO2 is injected into the bag after the air is removed. It is also known as gas flushing. No more plastic interleaving, no more squashed meats and it’s better for the environment.
The slices are easy to separate and the meat is in a recyclable PET tray. It is as close to freshly sliced as you can get.
Look out for the new packaging at the Oranjezicht market at Granger Bay and other delis as we start to roll it out.
We are navigating through a sea of daily changes and the only constant appears to be uncertainty. The key to survival is going to be adaptation. Nothing new to Darwin et al and nothing our ancestors have not had to do in the past when the world went through wars, pandemics, industrial revolutions and climate upheavals.
In years to come we will be able to analyse how the Covid-19 situation was handled in each country and whether it was effective, what could have been done better and what should be avoided the next time around.
However without the benefit of hind sight, we can choose to complain, moan and blame but the reality is that we need to adapt and survive. New ways of working will evolve, new shopping patterns will become mainstream, new etiquettes will be adopted for online meetings and new technologies will be developed to enable productivity during self isolation.
Commander J has seamlessly reinvented her business model and is offering online zoom pilates classes (email@example.com). They are extremely popular and she now has clients all over the world – something that was not possible before. Just please remember to mute your microphones please. Your huffing, puffing and moans can interfere with my guitar practise.
Our business has supplied many restaurants in South Africa over the past 10 years and many of the owners are my friends. Watching the hospitality industry be decimated by the lock down has been extremely hard and our thoughts are with you all.
We have had to change our business model to adapt. Happily we can now offer you home deliveries in Cape Town and Gauteng.
Hopefully you can now spice up your banana bread recipes with some bacon, chorizo and prosciutto 🙂
What a crazy year this has been so far and clearly there is more to come.
The next few weeks are sure to be filled with uncertainly and lots of changes.
We have a small company with dedicated staff who have been with me for years. In 2016 we implemented an ISO 22000 food safety system make sure we take the necessary precautions when preparing and handling the products that we make.
After the Presidents speech last night, our main outlet at the Oranjezicht Farm Market at Granger Bay has closed until Covid-19 is under control.
In the interim I’d like to make all our customers aware of our online shopping partners:
I do miss listening to Gareth Cliff in the morning on the way to work. Sometimes un PC, often funny and at times quite eloquent, his greatest contribution however was BMAP. I have mentioned this before in a previous post but in case you have forgotten BMAP is the Boney M acclimatisation programme and starts in October to prepare unsuspecting shoppers for the onslaught of Boney M music played over the in store PA systems in large retail outlets in the lead up to Christmas.
Speaking of Christmas always makes me think of prosciutto. That favourite cured meat starter for Christmas or New Year. And what could be better than your own, hand made prosciutto. Next month on the 1st of November we will be hosting another Prosciutto Club. Guests will learn how to make their own hams and we will store them until they are ready. This is no quick process as the curing time is over a year but we take all the hassle out of it for you and you could be celebrating with your own ham next year.
The day includes our famous charcuterie and cheese lunch with home made focaccia.
It is also a great gift to give to someone if you are struggling with ideas this year.