Saturday, 11 July 2009

One Local Summer week 5

This week I had spicy chorizo-style bangers with courgette and potato rosti - FAR more successful this week as I left out the cheese - and the last of the onion marmalade. I even took a picture but it came out really dark and made everything look burned. I haven't been successful with picture taking yet.

The sausages came from my local butcher, who also gave me a bit of an education this week.

I've been using the same local butcher for about 5 years now. Shopping separately for meat and green groceries, and only using the supermarket for stuff only they sell, is much more economical and the produce is better quality - fruit and veg that doesn't go off overnight, you could do a stir fry for 2 from one chicken breast, for example. The butcher gets me a ham of a perfect size every Christmas, and they provided all the sliced cold meats for our wedding buffet, and recently a new butcher has taken over in the shop (replacing the miserable old one who could barely raise a smile) and he is grand. He has a limp, a hunch, a lisp and stutter, and is as broadly Bristolian as they come (I may have already mentioned this...I am quite taken with him). I have taken to going in and asking for a joint of meat I can't mess up. He gets it right every time - gives cooking and serving instructions, too.

Anyway, enough bigging him up. This week I asked him if the delicious garlicy sausages I buy every month were made on the premises. Turns out, they're made at the sister store in Bedminster, from local pork, which they grind themselves. The eggs they sell are from Dorset, and there are signs up all over the place naming the farms where the meat comes from.

It's an interesting paradox. The eggs aren't free range - I don't buy them. The meat is most likely not happy meat. So, it doesn't tick all the boxes I usually associate with ethical eating - but it is local, and supportive of local businesses to buy there. I've seen at least two butchers close down since I moved here, and I think people need somewhere to buy hand made faggots (whatever they are - they're hugely popular), tripe and pigs feet. The supermarkets don't even sell ham bones anymore.

That's a lot of waffle. Basically, I am saying - local sausages, right under my nose and I never even knew! So many organic/local/fair trade shops these days spend ages putting up aigns about it that the ones who have been doing these things forever, quietly going about their business, are overlooked.

Back to work on Monday. I won't have nearly as much time for navel gazing and waffling then.

1 comment:

MangoChild said...

Its hard to balance all the elements that we'd like to support and buy from, and sometimes its a matter of doing the best that one can. Glad your meal came out so well :-)