Above; My rooster, Mr Mary! We were hoping he would be a hen, and was born on Christmas Day 🙂
Since this is a ‘Tried and Tested’ blog, I will only be mentioning the suppliers that I have directly bought from or have been in contact with. There are many more out there that I have not yet managed to support. If you have an ethical butchery that you shop at, please support them and let us know your opinions. Not only for the sake of the farm animals, but for the welfare of our environment and our own health, choose wisely. Ignorance is not an excuse any more, in todays world of information overload!
CAPE MOUNTAIN CHARCUTERIE
This was my first experience of free range pork products, a couple of years ago, and they have been my firm favorites since then. They have their own farm in the Groot Winterhoek mountains, where they raise free range cattle and pigs, from which they produce their products. In the beginning they used to sell fresh pork, and oh, boy, that did it for me. Factory vs Free Range, Chalk and Cheese, you could tell the difference, literally. Moist, flavorful, crunchy crackling, free range pork was just no comparison with the dry, sawdust texture of the mass produced poor pigs. I regularly buy Cape Mountain bacon, chorizo, the dried and fresh type, their salami, and many of their other cured products. The flavors are so great that I often find I will use them purely to flavor a soup or stew, or on our pizzas. Their prices are also pretty reasonable for an amazing, 1st class product.
They do supply a number of restaurants, and otherwise sell there products from various markets, or online orders too. I buy from The Earth Fair Market, Tokai.
FRANKIE FENNER MEAT MERCHANTS
‘We’re not sure when exactly it happened. But it did.
Somewhere along the line we lost touch with the origins of our food. That piece of steak on your plate. The bacon on your pizza
last night. Do you really know where it comes from? And do you even care? We do.’
I have only bought free range pork from Frankie Fenner Meat Merchants so far, and it was delicious. They prefer to be known as ethical meat suppliers, rather than a butchery and are conveniently located on 81Church Street, Cape Town City Centre, offering a reasonable range of fresh, seasonal grass-fed beef, 100% free-range lamb, acorn-fed pork and pasture-reared chicken, from farmers who they know and have a relationship with. There is also have cured meat products, along with butter, lard, kombucha, coffee and a variety of other produce. Their price list is online and you can also check out their website for specials. This is not supermarket, so don’t expect it, but then again you can’t compare apples with oranges! Be prepared to pay a bit more, but at least you can eat with a clear conscience knowing that your meat has been ethically sourced, from farm to fork. Quality over quantity.
‘Be an Informed & Ethical Carnivore: Eat meat with your taste buds, and your conscience and you will enjoy a wonderful sense of well -being and jolly good health’
Another local Cape Town supplier, Martin, started off producing bacon from his garage, and encouraged by family and friends to start selling it, lucky for us, his produce, under the label Cure Deli, is now available at The Earth Fair Market, Tokai, and OZCF Market. What I really like about his bacon is that it is lightly smoked, and also a little thicker. He will also makes a point of only using locally sourced, pure free range, organic meat that is treated well from birth to slaughter, where he himself has checked out the farms and animals, and their well being. He is also now offering other meats. You can sign up for his newsletter, where he will keep you informed of the specials and prices. Just like the old day, where you had your local butcher, who you actually knew. Well almost, except this is the modern, online version.
Thrupps is an almost old school type of departmental store in Illovo, Johannesburg, with a large variety of products, local and imported, but what caught my attention was the free range meat. I was up in Johannesburg a while ago and was really impressed with the quality and price of their free range meat, both beef, lamb and chicken, and even speciality meats like quail and pheasant. They also have a delivery service, and still seem to have that hands on approach to customer service. They also carry a range of other organic products in their store.
My first introduction to Braeside Butchery was at the Taste of Cape Town, where lawyer turned butchery owner Caroline McCann was hosting a show at one of the stands.
“I went from selling hours, to selling kilograms!” says Caroline. Read more of her brave and challenging career journey, and how she arrived at her decision to run a butchery that sells only free range meat.
I was drawn to her passion and dedication for standing up for what she believes and putting her money where her mouth was. I’m sure that was a scary stand to take especially in today’s economics, where money speaks so loud. Have a look at her site as she offers advice, shares the names of her suppliers, and hosts dinners where they do taste comparisons between factory and free range meat. Should be great fun, and good tasty food too, I’m sure.
As I live in Cape Town, I have not had an opportunity to buy from Braeside yet, but do encourage my family in Johannesburg to go and on my next visit I will most definitely be making our next meal from Braeside.
As I said previously this is just a short list of my firm favourites, tried and tested, ethical meat suppliers. Do give them a try. It is great to support our local lads and ladies who are standing up for compassionately and ethically farmed meat, even if it does cost a little more. We as South Africans definitely consume loads of meat, and as said earlier, quality over quantity is the way to go.