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Provenance

Squisito Butchers & Provisions are pleased to be voted Northamptonshire Food & Drink Awards  

'Local Food Hero of the Year 2014/15' Award Runner-Up!

 

Away from the hustle and bustle of town life Squisito have been quietly working

on our new shop in rural Northamptonshire just off the M6 near Rugby.

 

Coming from a village that lost all it's shops Squisito want to recreate

the community feeling of a farmers market with genuine artisan

produce from small producers where food is not a 'commodity'

or, in other words, a celebration of taste and an alternative to

supermarket domination.

 

For those of you who distrust supermarket claims about

'happy farmers' and the 'finest' ingredients we would like to tell

you about Squisito's own accreditation system for our shop

and farmers market stall to answer the question many of you

have asked, "What's the speed limit sign on your labels for?"

 

Firstly, Squisito believe that

 

                                                                                There are many food 'accreditation' systems out there like Red Tractor,

                                                                                Organic and FARMA but ultimately what is better than being able to talk

                                                                                to the person who made your lunch and know's what is in it because

                                                                                they made it and chose the ingredients?  

 

                                                                               Locality is a much trumpeted feature of many farm shops and even

                                                                                supermarket claims but the truth is that there is no substitute for

                                                                                making your own produce. If you are a farmer who rears cattle or

                                                                                poultry or has cows for dairy the facts are that you are not allowed to

                                                                                slaughter your own beasts or sell your own milk at the farm gate except

                                                                                in rare circumstances.

 

This means your lunch has to be 'processed' or 'made' by a 'secondary producer'

which is why Squisito decided to source our ingredients from people we know,

butcher our own meat and teach amateurs, smallholders and chefs like

Tom Croxford (now Northamptonshire 'Young Chef of the Year') how to

'produce' their own food from field to plate.

 

So, when Squisito choose our suppliers and other people's products for our

shop not only do Sara and Alex know the producer by first name, we

display the origin of the producer with their county flag and their mileage to

our shop. With non-UK produce we label with their country flag so in either

case you can see where it was made at a glance and read a bit of that product's

life story.  

 

                                                            So, when we mean 'producer' or 'supplier', we don't mean a brand name or

                                                            'Mr T*%$co' but the name of the people who actually made the product you buy  

                                                            from Squisito. Even Sara's homemade 'Lamborgini' sausage rolls or Alex's sausages

                                                            display the '32' food miles from our shop to Farmers Market in Birmingham since  

                                                            they are made at our shop in Yelvertoft where the food miles are '0'.                                                                                                              

 

                                                            Squisito apply the same ethic to 'foreign' produce like tea, coffee, olives and the

                                                            flour in our pasta so our labels show the country and speak of it's authenticity 

                                                            since small producers the world over are just as threatened by big business as in

                                                            the Midlands. An alternative market with ethical 'retailers' is oxygen to these

                                                            artisans survival just as much as ours.

 

We think our 'speed limit symbol' or 'real food miles' sign is simple and clear statement and not one that can be applied to most 'branded' products where the name is the same in every language which often disguises an international system of unsavoury practices where food is reduced to a commodity and your health the lowest common denominator. In other words we see provenance as not just about locality but also quality, sustainability and artisan skill or tradition.

 

All of our produce is labelled for the 14 common allergens - celery, cereals

containing gluten, crustaceans, eggs, fish, lupins, milk, molluscs, mustard, nuts,

peanuts, sesame seeds, soya and sulphur dioxide. More importantly, what you

will find very little 'processed food' or what we call 'denatured food' - that is

food-just-for-profit where the ingredients are the lowest common denominator.

It is not for nothing that genuinely fresh ingredients need little labelling apart

from what variety it is and where it came from!

 

However, out in the commercial world of food-just-for-profit those evil

e-numbers are disappearing to be replaced by additives or preservatives or

ingredients that don't legally have to be listed as 'ingredients' on the label

because they are 'processing aids'. It's known as 'clean labelling'.

 

Confused? Politician speak? Neuro linguistic doublespeak (err, wossat?) Well, we'll explain because it wasn't clear to us until we read an article by Joanna Blythman in The Guardian magazine recently. It's a problem we are familiar with as food producers and 'retailers' since we buy ingredients and resell other producer's products.

 

                                                            In our opinion, 'processed food' is one of the greatest threats to our health and that  

                                                            of our children whilst 'clean labelling' by food 'manufacturers' seeks to hide the  

                                                            fact that our food has changed more in the last 60 years than the previous 6000  

                                                            years. It is the reason Sara and I became 'food producers' for our family and now  

                                                            our customers and teach others to do the same. It is also the reason we label our  

                                                            own produce with our  'no additives or preservatives' symbol since you cannot tell  

                                                            what is in or on your food if it's not on the label!

 

                                                            Ever wondered why something you bought from a supermarket doesn't go mouldy

                                                            when it would if you grew it youself and left it out in the kitchen? Ever wondered

                                                            why a cigarette lighter won't light if you pop it in that bag of salad?

 

If all this sounds a bit preachy try reading the article by Joanna Blythman or buy her new book Swallow This: Serving Up the Food Industry's Darkest Secrets

 

Ultimately, Squisito believe that whether you want to make change happen in food and in farming or just your health and your waistband, you have to put your money where your mouth is and buy food that is just as good for your body as your community and the environment since

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

because

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, if you don't want your hard earned money to go into offshore accounts, tax dodges and marketing budgets we say don't eat food from who know's where and producers who support supermarket practices but visit Squisito and buy local produce or grow your own (which is why you also see seed packets for sale in our shop).

 

To read how a young couple with a toddler cut their food bill by £895 a year and improved their food quality and choice by using independent butchers and farmers markets near Oxford instead of Sainsbury's, Waitrose and Aldi click here.

 

Remember

 

 

 

 

Provenance is knowing Every time you enter Brixworth Food Miles Speed Limit Local Food Hero Award Sign Cheap food is only cheap Every £1 spent Northamptonshire symbol Pork & Stilton No additives