What is it that makes your local craft butcher so special at Christmas?
Every year, thousands flood to their local craft butcher at Christmas time . It could be to pick up their sons favourite sausage meat or the contents of a tasty Christmas morning fry up . It might also be for some simple reassurance from an experienced butcher like William regarding the size , the storage or the preparation of their turkey or goose.
Or perhaps, its the extra bit of hand made stuffing or the thrifty turkey temperature probe Domo and lads behind the counter throw in for good measure.
Over all, Christmas is the busiest time of year for many butchers like ourselves. This is simply because Christmas dinner is the most important family meal of the year. For most, providing your family with quality food from reputable sources is top priority.
Therefore, it is fair to say that it is we.. your local craft butcher, are the people you trust to bring the real taste of Christmas to your table. We, as a group of Irish butchers take great pride in this fact.
However, what about the remaining 11 months of the year?
Craft butchers throughout the years have been conquering the world, but many are closing their doors in their home towns… Why?
Throughout our own country, Irish butchers have been recognised in the world’s best international competitions, with James Whelan Butchers of Clonmel, winning the Supreme Award for their Beef Dripping in 2015 ; Peter Hannan butchers, from Moira, has won two Supreme Awards at the Great Taste Awards in 2012 & 2016.
Obviously, we cant forget that last year, we brought home the Supreme Award for The Smokin’ Butcher Smoked Black Pudding, beating off 12,366 UK and Irish products.
These are all fantastic achievements but not a message that is reaching the streets, as just in the last 3 months, 14 Irish craft butchers have closed their doors.
Of course, local craft butchers have to compete with massive chain butchers and products being imported from different parts of the world, for a fraction of the price – and quality – but isn’t this something that we, as proud Irish citizens, should fight against?
How come our Irish butchers, the backbone of our Irish cuisine, are being acknowledged and recognised across the globe..
This year, a team of six butchers led by Garret Landers of Limerick won the 2018 World Butchers Challenge in Belfast, having spent a year of Sundays practising for the competition.
Keith Walsh, a family member of the EWS butchers of Donegal, brought home a gold medal, and was also the runner-up, in the Young Butchers International Competition, held in Perth, Australia – but not in their own home grounds?
Irish craft butchers are world champions, so please show them your support. Remember your local butcher is for life, not just for Christmas – don’t let them fade away!
By Anne-Marie Maguire
Marketing Manager at Hugh Maguire Butchers