How long have you been in business?
North by Sud Ouest Charcuterie started up in July 2019 but I’d been making Charcuterie for a long time before that. I’m actually a chef and, as you might guess from the name of my business, I was based in South-West France for years.
There I made boudin noir (a.k.a. black pudding) – and various saucissons. It wasn’t until I returned to Britain, that I extended my range to include cured and fermented meats such as Coppa, Culatello, and Chorizo.
Where is North by Sud-Ouest Charcuterie based?
I’m incredibly lucky. My unit is at Edge & Son, the butchers in the Wirral. We have an arrangement which works for both of us mainly as Callum Edge is a Charcuterie enthusiast, we work together.
I’m a single operator, Callum lets me have space, and supplies my pigs – mostly Gloucester Old Spot – allows me to use his mincer and other various bits of equipment. I can make use of the odd pig’s head and sell my products in his shop.
I can’t imagine why more butchers don’t work with Charcuterie producers. It’s to everyone’s advantage particularly when you’re at the start-up stage.
What inspired you to make Charcuterie?
To me, it’s an extension of cooking. I find it particularly rewarding to make what most people can’t or don’t make. And tough though setting up a Charcuterie-making business is, believe me, it doesn’t compare with the hours you have to put in as a chef………and I want to build a business for me and my family.
Where did you learn to make Charcuterie?
I’m pretty much self-taught. I spent hours on the internet – researching, experimenting and following discussions. There’s a lot going on, particularly with ex-pat Italians and Poles who miss their charcuterie. The book I found particularly useful is Stanley Marianski’s The Art of Making Fermented Sausages.
How would you describe the style of your Charcuterie?
I think it is largely traditional. I work carefully and meticulously and believe in the gradual accumulation of continuous improvements – the marginal gains philosophy. It’s about small incremental learnings and improvements every time!
I also insist on good quality, basic materials – the best spices, free-range pork – and as local as possible. If everyone sourced locally, we’d be in a much better place!
What products do you produce, which are your favourites and where do you sell them?
I make Goula from the Sud-Ouest, you’d probably know it as Guanciale or Jowl. My Coppa has a pronounced nutty flavour, delightfully sweet – I absolutely don’t add sugar to the cure – with a slightly peppery finish from the Aleppo pepper. And I’m proud of the Culatello, aged 18 months, it has a good depth and length of flavour with a good meaty note.
As for where to buy my Charcuterie, I’m just getting my online sales going….