Home cure proves a treat for butcher

Wiltshire butcher Graham Burroughs has come up with a novel way to compete with the French market that comes to town every six weeks.

His shop, Jesse Smith and Co. in Marlborough High Street, has started producing dry-cured hams from an old recipe passed down from Graham's butcher grandfather.

"Everyone buzzes around the parma ham at the market," he said, "so we thought we'd try making our own."

The hams are salted, left to cure for three weeks in the fridge, then covered with cloth and left to hang in the cellar for six months. They have proved so popular with his customers that Christmas orders are being taken for the batch that will be ready in December. The 18 hams Graham made earlier in the year have sold out. "We were surprised how popular they were," he said. "Our customers say 'when can we get some more?'"

The demand has been so high that he has plans to start making the hams more often, so there will be hams available year-round rather than every six months.

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