Thursday, 27 May 2010

Samphire Pie Heaven

To be obsessed with pie is to be quintessentially English. There's nothing more pleasurable than sinking your teeth into something moist and meaty encased in good pastry.

At the Letchworth Food Festival, I had the pleasure of meeting Karen Nethercott from Samphire who has two award winning food shops in Norfolk, one at Blickling Hall and the other at Wymondham.
I had read about her fantastic pork pies and was eager to try them for myself. They looked very appetising and homely all piled up on her stand and were proving to be very popular with visitors to the festival – I spotted a good few people eating them on the go. I'm glad I bought some when I did, as Karen later told me she had sold out by 11 O'clock!

The pies are terribly good, I particularly like the one with onion marmalade, but the plain is equally superb.
On the initial bite, the pastry is so crisp and crunchy and just melts away in the mouth leaving the rich pork meat to tantalise the taste buds. Gosh these pies are good – stuffed to the brim with moist, tender meat and just the right amount of jelly.

What makes the pies all the more outstanding is that you know where the meat has come from – Karen's smallholding to be exact. Her rare breed British Saddleback pigs are allowed a natural life as possible, roaming around outside, doing what pigs do. The combination of fresh air, sunlight and lots of hugs and cuddles makes the pigs very happy indeed. I wholeheartedly believe, if you're going to eat an animal then at least give it some love and respect.

Samphire also make a range of sausages using their own seasoning mix, theres no nasty stuff like flavour enhancers or colourings, just good honest pork, herbs and spices.
The whole approach to producing local and ethical food is very important to the people of Samphire and this has been recognised by the RSPCA who have given their badge of approval.

Well, Samphire get's my approval too, and when I'm back in Norfolk, I'll be making a special trip to stock up on more pies and sausages.

To find out more about Samphire and buy online visit the website:

Featured on The Artisan Food Trail

Note: This article is now published on the Norfolk Holiday Guide website
Animal photos from Samphire website Photos: ©childsdesign 2010


shellsuitwarrior said...

I can't recommend their sausages highly enough. Every few months I travel to their shop and pick up a batch to freeze and keep me going.

Tracey said...

I'm a Samphire fan too, their smallholding is local to us (open day is worth a visit) and they do our Farmer's Market too. The onion marmalade pork pies are my favourite.

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