From a small converted garage in Cobble Lane Islington, Picco Salumi is producing London’s first locally-made charcuterie. Co-owner Matt Atkinson talks about working with British producers, London’s food markets, and how to eat beef jerky.
“British charcuterie is just beginning; it’s still very new”, explains Matt Atkinson of Picco Salumi. “People want to buy British, they want to buy locally and so there is an opportunity for people like us to do British charcuterie.” Atkinson with Matt Hill and Adam Brudnowski are the trio behind Picco Salumi. In March this year, they took full-ownership of the business and a name change to Cobble Lane Cured is planned.
Using their combined butchery skills, in particular those of master charcutier Brudnowski, they are adapting the European crafts of curing meats to London using 100% British produce. Assisted by modern technology, “we are now able to produce the depth and breadth of what you would find in somewhere like Italy, rather than bacon and sausages that British curing has been traditionally known for.”
All meat is sourced from small farms in Yorkshire, mostly free-range pork from Anna’s happy trotters but also some rare breeds like Hampshire and Large Black from Jorge at Swaledale Foods. It is then hand-butchered with each salami being hand-tyed, before being aged from anywhere between three weeks to three months.
The current product range includes salamis such as piccolino. Perfect for eating with cheese, this coarsely cut salami is flavoured with celery seeds and rosemary. The pepperoni is an ideal cooking salami - softer and more finely cut, flavoured with fennel, cayenne and caraway. Picco also produces its own beef jerky which Atkinson always encourages people to try. Sold as a whole piece rather than in strips, the best way to eat it is for “people to just chew on it. It’s the ideal snack”.
Atkinson credits London’s adventurous food culture and its local food markets such as One New Change to its success as a young business. “We are really, a modern, British, multi-discipline, multi-tradition butchery. Selling our wares at market stalls around London is the best way to show people what can be done with great British meat. It is the best way for us to reach people who want a real connection with their food and who make our food culture more diverse and interesting."
You can find Picco Salumi during the week at One New Change (@One_New_Change), Cardinal Place, and Baker Street markets; on the weekends at Sloane Square (@ShepherdsMkts) and Maltby Street (@MaltbyStMkt).
Picco Salumi, 25a Cobble Lane, London N1 1SF. Tel. 020 36598084.
You can follow them @piccosalumi.
MY LONDON FOOD LARDER
I tend to trade goods at the market so my larder reflects whoever is there. At the moment, l have some biskies from Cutter and Squidge (@cutter_squidge), cheese from Wildes Cheeses (@wildescheese) and some tomato chutney from Newton & Pott (@newtonandpott).
UK FOOD HERO
I used to be a massive fan of Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Thomasina Miers (in her Wild Gourmet days), but there's too much food telly gawping in my opinion. So my food heroes are closer to home - Adam and Matt, my colleagues, the meat gurus whose knowledge and skill made this possible. And my girlfriend for cooking a slap up meal when I get home late.
FAVOURITE LONDON FOOD MARKET
Duke of York Square Farmer’s Market, that’s a great market. Maltby Street has a great vibe (@MaltbyStMkt) and there’s always a lot going on there. Kerb is starting to do more producer lead-markets, so they are worth checking out. (@KERB_).
LONDON FOOD SECRET
Giovanni at Seriously Italian makes amazing pasta with organic British durum wheat in East London, sauces and pestos all with British alternatives.
One New Change, Saturday Gourmet food markets can be found at Cheapside, EC2M 9AF, on Saturdays 11am-5pm. The nearest station is St Paul’s tube.
Shepherds Markets organises the weekday markets (One New Change, Baker Street among others). Partridges organises the Partridges Market (@partridgesfoods) on Saturday at Duke of York Square.