"These utterly unique honeys rank as the best I have ever tasted. American Tupelo, Kiwi Manuka, Australian Jara, Scottish Heather, and Tasmanian Leatherwood, move over! I no longer have any time for my Greek Thyme!! So completely deep, and exotic, are the kaleidoscopic flavour profiles these Portuguese honeys present, my sweet tooth has abandoned ice cream, chocolate, and hard-candy for a clearly superior force. As a wine writer, and long-time collector, I recognise an exemplary palate when I taste the evidence. Well done, Wild about Honey, don't ever become civilised!!! "Dominic.
Re-Cycle is good, Re-use is better.
We have tried to be an ethical business from the very first day we started, simply because we believe that if you want to live in a certain kind of world, you need to help create it, even in small ways.
If you send honey in a glass jar either via the post or the courier network it cannot be insured. Raw honey in glass jars is precious, delicious, takes great care and love to produce and is broken just as easily as anything else (especially by over-worked and heavy handed couriers).
We have tried, double walled cardboard, filler, triple boxing, bubble-wrapping, all of the above at the same time. It kind of works- though not with kilo jars, but generates a lot of packaging material. Mostly recyclable but not really re-usable. We have looked at all kinds of sustainable packaging, which is not only very expensive but is no more effective in protecting the glass.
Packaging has been an ongoing consideration and subject of refinement over the years, We are also limited by what is available, and iby a market-place where everyone is encouraged to regard price-competitiveness as the major factor in decision-making,
As a friend and one-time boss used to say, "We have good, fast and cheap, pick any two".
One day last year, after a bad bout of breakages, which are pretty tragic, (it can take hundreds of thousands of visits to flowers by bees to make just one kilo of pure raw honey), I just could not stand the waste any more.
After much research our solution was to come up with a product which is the inflatable, air-cushion bag, This object is amazing, it is not 100% courier proof, but it's close. Breakages are almost a thing of the past. However we have a new problem, it is now the horrible waste generated by a plastic object which is very expensive and used only once. This is like the ultimate in eco-unfriendly packaging.
Our solution is simple, if we don't want to create waste, then we have to re-use the air-bags which means that customers have to return them to us. Most of our stockists have been really happy to co-operate with this and so, for all our commercial customers we provide them with a Freepost address to return the air-bags. We are now extending this to all our UK customers.
So from now on, when you receive your honey, you will also receive a packing slip with a Freepost address, just stuff the packaging back in the box and send it back to us so that we can re-use it. It's free to you, we just need you to put in the post. We really appreciate it, we hope you do too.
Our competitors like to copy what we do, this is the one time we'd be really happy if they did.
Well honestly, who doesn't like Bacon ? even if you are a vegetarian, cooking bacon releases some of those aromatic chemical compounds that we are hard wired to respond to and get your mouth watering. So here we go lets make Bacon ! and Pancetta while we are at it.
Seeing as you are going to all the trouble, go to an organic butcher and choose a lovely piece of belly pork from a well-reared, happy pig, who ate well, ran around and had a generally happy existence. If you can get a nice old breed like old spot or in the authors case, black Iberian pig, so much the better.
Sadly these days, there is far too much Bacon which never sees a days curing and is just pumped full of chemicals and nitrates, brine, sliced and packed. This type of Bacon often as not is cruelly produced in industrial agri-business horror shows and is not what we are about, nor do we condone.
The first steps are basically the same for both Bacon and Pancetta. The only difference is after the wet cure, the bacon is smoked and the Pancetta air dried.
2.5 kg Organic Belly Pork
250g of mineral rich Sea Salt and some crushed black pepper.
For Pancetta, you will also need a nice herb and spice rub, think Juniper, thyme (or Zahtar), Garlic, fennel seed, black pepper, red pepper, bay leaves and even Star anise. A little of each ground together. No fixed rules here.
Typically when people cure Bacon, they use Nitrates, either Sodium nitrate or Potassium nitrate also known as saltpetre. The reason is not just to keep the color of your meat pink but to kill botulinum bacteria during the cure. I choose to do it without, using Raw honey instead and trusting its bactericidal qualities to do this instead. Raw honey cured bacon also has a more complex mellow sweetness than that conferred by any kind of sugar. cane, brown, treacle whatever. You choose what you do. If you feel unsafe use the nitrates here is a place you can get curing salts. Excellent site. Sausagemaking.org
Cut the meat into two equal pieces and salt liberally covering every surface. Place on a rack sitting on a roasting tin or equivalent container to catch the dripping salt and water.. Place in the fridge for two days.
For the Bacon
After two days, much of the excess moisture has been drawn out. Brush off the remaining excess salt ( cover don't smother) add crushed pepper and cover liberally with about 120g of Raw Honey of your choice and put in a ziplock type bag and place in the fridge for 7 days. Place a weight about 10 lbs or 5-6 kgs on the meat,( like a baking dish filled with water) Turn the bacon once daily. After 7 days remove, pat dry and then smoke for 2-3 hours*** your bacon is now ready, get those eggs poaching and the toast on. Slice your bacon really thin and fry as normal.
**** there are lots of online resources about smoking meat, don't be intimidated, you just need a ventilated chamber with a source of smoke at the bottom. Improvise, I used a broken old blanket chest and a small electric hotplate with some oak wood shaving soaked overnight.
For the Pancetta
Do exactly the same as the bacon, except rub in your spice mix to coat the entire piece of meat. After 10 days remove from the fridge, pat dry, cover in muslin, tie up with twine and hang to air dry in a cool, dry, dark, airy space. Let hang for 3 weeks, Pancetta is ready. Now lock the door. They have all been laughing at you for a month, but all of a sudden they want a taste...you decide.
Having won Great Taste awards three years in succession we are now allowed to proudly display the Great Taste Producer Logo. This year we only submitted three honeys, and one of our honeys the Serra da Estrela Mountain Honey won a star. We also submitted the Arbutus, but it seems it may be some time yet until that level of strangeness gets loved as well...... Many thanks to the Guild of Fine Food.