Know Thy Producer - Richard Bosman's Cured Meats
Written by lorenzo on October 28, 2013
Every week we introduce you to masters of the Cape food fraternity who endeavour to produce goods that are as delicious as they are good for the environment. This week we meet Richard Bosman, as we look at his charcuterie story.
If there is one meat process that I am particularly disturbed by it is the South African Pork business. In no way am I trying to insinuate that it is much better abroad, but as is our philosophy, lets start local and hope the ripples of our success reach every corner of the globe.
Pork, if you have made no attempt to specially source it, will have been reared in a 2m x 5m pen housing enough pigs that it resembles a mosaic puzzle - miniature gaps necessitating a group shuffle to get them towards their food- a monotonous diet of whey water (generally) a relative highlight of an industrial existence. These pigs, who are natural foragers, live on metal slats, housed away from natural light in a mechanised life span that sees them cycled through existence in about a year. A year is too short for adequate development & growth, but conversely too long for such harsh conditions - just right from the commercial producers accounting.
in despair, meeting Richard was a revelation as I was able to engage someone who shares my philosophy for food- Source the best you can, and through the addition on a few flavours, create a product that sings of the nature in which it was raised. An Odyssey in itself if you will. To do this, Richard works with a small holding in the Hemel en Aarde valley in which happy swines rove free in the pasture, digging, running and just being happy pigs!
I understood the difference while at Richard's Charcuterie premises. I saw some pork arrive and I quickly mistook it for beef. Why? the colour was a deep pink/red, a stark contrast to the 'white' pork I had encountered in the stores. it was the case that the lifestyle, with no running to oxygenate the blood, no diversity in food stuff, that had caused this pork to be a sad, anemic message of no life lived. No need to ponder what sort of nutritional value one might derive from this.
Richard uses this magnificent, ethically raised meat, to create a spectrum of products, which for The Odyssey include Sticky Ribs, Chorizo, 'Parma' style cured ham and Honey bacon which we use to wrap our Chicken Supreme.
Chicken breasts are a great vessel for carrying flavour. Stuffed with Spinach, pepperdews, ricotta cheese and lemon zest we have ingredients that infuse through the roasting process while our pasture raised honey bacon crisps on the outside, adding body to the dish while preserving the lovely tender texture of the chicken.
Keep a look out for Richard's cured meats around town and know that by supporting him, you are supporting a better future.