Artisan Charcuterie ‘made slowly’ in West Dorset by Capreolus Fine Foods… 12 years of champion charcuterie!
Karen and David Richards have been curating their English Charcuterie since 2009. They and their small team follow timeless artisan techniques inspired by the finest Continental producers to make a wide range of charcuterie which they supply to trade, retail and the general public. The champion duo are devoted to the sensual enjoyment derived from their artisan charcuterie and are constantly innovating and pushing flavoursome boundaries.
Capreolus are avid supporters of the Slow Food UK movement which underpins their ethos (and their USP). They take responsibility for knowing where the animals come from, who raised them, how they have been cared for, and ultimately that they have been slaughtered under the most humane conditions. Capreolus put a much higher value on the husbandry than on whether it carries an ‘organic’ label or not. They truly believe that happy animals equals great meat.
As with any small business it’s been a 12 year road of twists, turns and lessons so when the pandemic hit the food industry with a crash, bang, wallop they sought solutions to keep their business and their valued workforce moving forward. The landscape is now very different. Before the pandemic the Capreolus customer base was almost entirely in the restaurant trade but with a year and a half of enforced lockdowns and Brexit, and of course the shift in the public’s relationship with food and home cooking Capreolus pivoted their efforts to sell into the retail sector and direct to customers online. The result of the change in direction has seen Capreolus growing faster than ever before and to manage this shift in momentum they have reinforced the foundations with two senior hires of a Technical Manager and a General Manager at their Dorset HQ to help drive the business forward.
Despite many awards over the years David Richards, the Master Epicurean is never one to rest on his laurels. He got to work during lockdown curating three new salamis to add to the Capreolus product range. It’s no surprise that all three have triumphed with several highly respected accolades for 2021·
2021 Great Taste Award 3-STAR – Wild Venison Chorizo. The flavours in this Chorizo are based on the Capreolus ‘standard’ 3 Stars Chorizo using 50% local wild venison (from Sika Deer living on the Isle of Purbeck) and 50% free-range pork.
What the Great Taste Judges said:”This is outstanding – quite fabulous. Everything about it is rounded, balanced and knit together. Very clever blending of all of the elements. The casing isn’t chewy or tough. You’ve balanced the pork perfectly with the venison so the fat holds together with enough moisture – it doesn’t over power the venison. Seasoning and spice are perfection and the smokiness from the Pimenton is a hint and no more. A gentle tingling heat on the finish lingers with the savoury acidity to deliver the desire to reach for more. You have nothing more to add to this – we cannot criticise it in any way. It is utter perfection!”
2021 Great Taste Award 2-STAR – Dorset Truffled Salami This is a pork salami based on the ‘classic’ Saucisson Sec (very simple, just a bit of garlic and black pepper) but with the addition of Black Truffle. Truffle can be a bit like Marmite – you either love it, or hate it – and when used indiscriminately can also be very dominant. This has a subtle level of truffle; you can definitely taste it but it is only one of the flavours and is not front and centre.
What the Great Taste Judges said: “What a stunning aroma of cured pork and truffle! The pork flavour is delicate and yet builds in its delivery of flavour. The truffle dances alongside all the ingredients without taking over, and the ratio of fat versus meat is bang on the money; you have balanced the ingredients very well and still allowed the pork meat to remain the star of the show. The texture too is wonderful”. award winning epicureans”
2021 Great Taste Award 2-STAR and Taste of the West Gold – Venison & Green Peppercorn Salami Using local wild venison (from Sika Deer living on the Isle of Purbeck) and free-range pork, then flavoured with black pepper, garlic, and Porcini mushroom. Running through the salami are whole green peppercorns. This salami has a rich flavour from the venison and an earthiness from the Porcini mushroom; the green peppercorns give bursts of resinous, prickly heat when you bite into them.
What the Great Taste Judges said: “A rich looking salami with an enticing meaty, lactic aroma. Delicious!!! It’s tender, creamy and zingy! All the flavours are strong but nothing overpowers they are so well-balanced. A very well judged and moreish salami. A joy to try!”
David, the Capreolus Master Epicurean, says: “I love developing new products and playing with flavours. I am passionate about combining flavours that sing to each other. These 3 new salamis are recipes that have been brewing in my head for some time; the spur to bringing them to fruition was finding a wonderful source of local Sika deer venison from the Isle of Purbeck. Putting our artisan produce forward for a panel of experts to taste and review is always nail-biting so for us to be awarded a plethora of awards again this year shows that we are still at the top of our game. The last 18 months have been a rocky road in the food industry but thankfully we have a wonderfully committed team and we’ve managed to come through the storm stronger with plans for exciting times ahead. We’re feeling pretty champion!”
For trade or stockist enquiries, please contact us on +44 (0)1935 83883 or email email@example.com.