Charcuterie firm named best producer in Co Derry

A pig farmer has said he was honoured to be named the best producer in Co Derry, Northern Ireland.

Alastair Crown, of Corndale Farm, found success at Blas na hEireann Irish National Food Awards at Dingle in Co Kerry over the past weekend, having won a gold award for his fennel salami, and silver for his chorizo. In addition, he was named Best in Derry producer.

Corndale Farm was founded after Crown, a former solar systems technician, identified a gap in the market for chorizo and fennel salami.

“I was honoured and more than a little bit shocked to win gold and silver for my salami and chorizo in the Blas na hEireann Awards,” explained Crown. “It’s a marvellous boost and hugely encouraging to come away from these important awards knowing that my fennel salami is now the best in the island of Ireland. It will do wonders for the business I started such a short time ago. I’ve already had approaches from independent retailers about supplying them on the back of the success in Dingle.

“I am clearly going to have to step up salami and chorizo production. I am really excited now about the future of the business. I wasn’t sure in the early days how people, especially in Northern Ireland, would react to my cured meats. I’ve really been blown away by the positive feedback from chefs, food specialists and consumers about the taste and overall quality of the meats.”

Still in its infancy, Corndale Farm was only formed last year and is among a handful of businesses cementing Northern Ireland as a hotbed for charcuterie and cured meats. Ispini Charcuterie, based in Co Tyrone, gained three gold stars in this year’s UK Great Taste Awards and was named Best for Charcuterie in the UK.

Other meat-focused firms from Northern Ireland also found success at the food awards. Hannan Meats from Moira won a gold award for its Himalayan salt-aged steak striploin, while the country’s only buffalo farm, Ballyriff in Co Derry, took home a silver for its Buffalo Burgers.

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