Mutton launched in Selfridges

The start of the new Renaissance Mutton season has been boosted with news that the meat is being launched into Selfridges.

Selfridges is presenting new season Renaissance Mutton at its Oxford Street food hall this week. For the first time the butchery counter will offer customers a selection of cuts including leg, diced shoulder and chops.

 The store is also promoting mutton as part of a special two-week promotion called Fabulous Food Fare (18-31 October).

 The Renaissance Mutton comes from the award-winning Elwy Valley Lamb, near Denbigh in North Wales, from Beltex-Welsh cross sheep. The sheep are over two years old when slaughtered and are matured for a minimum of two weeks to develop the flavour and ensure the meat is succulent and tender.

The Mutton Renaissance Campaign began in 2004, spearheaded by His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales after he visited sheep farmers in County Durham who were being paid low prices for their cull ewes.

 Andrew Cavanna, Selfridges' buying manager for fresh foods, said: "We are always keen to offer our customers a better eating experience by selling the best ingredients available, and we feel that mutton is not only an extremely underrated meat in terms of taste and tenderness but it is also a great British staple that has long been forgotten. We are very proud to be part of its revival.

"I personally love the robustness and depth of flavour it has, its 'gameyness' and the many versatile culinary uses it can be put to - what a great treat for the coming cold winter months."

 John Thorley OBE, chairman of the Mutton Renaissance Campaign and policy director at the National Sheep Association, said: "I am absolutely delighted with the news that Selfridges is going to stock mutton for the first time.

"Demand for the meat is really beginning to grow - thanks to high profile support from top chefs such as Brian Turner, Mark Hix and John Williams at The Ritz, consumers are becoming increasingly aware of the benefits and taste of mutton."

He also said that the number of farms, restaurants, butchers and abattoirs across Britain now rearing, selling and serving mutton, is increasing. There are now over 360 businesses registered with the Mutton Renaissance Campaign, compared to 190 at the end of the last season (March 2007).

The Mutton Renaissance Campaign is co-ordinated by the National Sheep Association and the Academy of Culinary Arts, and supported by EBLEX and Hybu Cig Cymru / Meat Promotion Wales.

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