Deli Farm is mentioned as far back as the Doomsday records, it has had several different spellings and pronunciations but has been spelt so long before "deli" was an abbreviation for a Delicatessen! It sits on the windswept hills between the rugged north Cornish coast and the much romanticised Bodmin Moor. Martin & Jean Edwards, the partners of Deli Farm Charcuterie, are making award winning air dried charcuterie including many different flavours of Salami, Coppa, Bresaola, Duck Prosciutto, Wild Venison, Smoked Lamb Prosciutto and Pancetta.
Neither Martin nor Jean have had a background in the food industry, but have always appreciated good food. The idea of making British charcuterie came about by a flippant comment and the knowledge that it was almost impossible to purchase good quality Salami in this country, let alone any air dried British charcuterie products.
In the latter months of 2005 we spent a lot of time researching techniques and equipment and our very first experimental batch of salami was made using an old smoker for a fermentation chamber cobbled together with a CPU fan, a light bulb and an old domestic fridge for an air drying room where Martin altered the workings to get it running warm instead of cold, wow how things have changed! We were ready to start trading at the end of February 2006.
Each year since then Deli Farm has been achieving many Great Taste and Taste of the West awards, including our Coppa winning Champion Product in 2007 and in 2012 we were runners up in the "Best Producer"section of the Radio 4 Food and Farming Awards.
Deli Farm Charcuterie are one of the UK's pioneering business's to preserve meat by air drying in Cornwall.
We have based our methods on the Italian winter salami; combining these techniques with modern technology has enabled us to create the perfect climatic conditions for drying and maturing. To ensure that we are making a consistently safe and reliable product we have taken a scientific approach; additional to the traditional organoleptic checks we do pH and Aw testing. Also, for food safety reasons and to comply with legislation, we do use nitrites and nitrates, but because of the nature and length of time that our products take to mature the residual amount left when they are ready to eat is miniscule, but by law we still have to declare it on the label.
We use prime cuts of meat that are sourced from selected producers; this is mixed with freshly ground herbs and spices and carefully hand crafted into natural casings. They are then hung up and left to slowly dry; air-dried products have a long shelf life and like a good wine improve with time.
With all air-dried products "what you put in is what you get out" there is no cooking involved to tenderise sinewy bits of meat, that is why with a lot of the cheaper salami you end up with a mouthful of chewy bits. For this reason we use only hard trimmed leg of pork in all our Salami, it does make it more expensive but gives it a far superior texture and we are not prepared to sacrifice quality for cost.
As well as supplying to many of the top chefs and restaurants in the UK, in 2012 and 2013 Deli Farm supplied mixed charcuterie platters into the members and players pavilions at Wimbledon and nearly a tonne of chorizo was part of the menu in the athletes village at the 2012 Olympic Games.
We are committed to the local area and source all our meat from carefully selected producers. When we started all our pork came from a family run farm 10 miles away from us, where the pigs are kept from start to finish, pre stress slaughter is at a minimum as they have their own modern slaughtering facility and they grow a lot of cereals on the farm, which in turn goes into the pigs food – try and beat that for provenance! As we have grown there are times when we need another pork supplier, we tried very hard to find another local producer with the same credentials but that proved very difficult, the additional pork we use is still from Cornwall and from farms where animal welfare is excellent but from a bit further! The beef and lamb we use are grass reared and from the Westcountry, the duck from a free range supplier in Devon and the venison is wild and from various West Country estates.
The environment is very important to us and in an endeavour to minimalise our carbon footprint as well as using locally produced meat we only use 100% renewable energy, generated by the solar panels on the farm with the balance bought from Good Energy and generated by the turbines on Deli Farm. We keep our packaging to a minimum, re circulate the hot air produced by our refrigeration units and most of the vehicles and power tools on the farm are electric!
The Edwards family have always been forward thinking; Deli Farm is home to the UK’s first wind farm, put up by Martin & his parents, Peter & Pip, in 1991. The turbines are now owned by Good Energy, the first dedicated 100% renewable electricity company in the UK.