The Fruit Pig Company are an East Anglian-based, bespoke butchery company producing joints and charcuterie from traditional, rare breed meats for restaurants, delis and pubs. Owner Matt Cockin is passionate that each Fruit Pig animal should be supplied by themselves or sourced from a circle of rare breed smallholders and farms. All animals are nurtured in low intensive, free-range conditions on open fields. This makes for some truly astounding and delicious results… Meet the man behind it all:
1. Hi. First things first: where do you hail from?
I was born in Nottingham but spent most of my growing up across the border in Yorkshire.
2. What did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a Harrier pilot in the RAF. All was going well: Air Cadets at 13, glider wings 16, private pilot 17. When it came to applying, I missed the aircrew standard and had 20 glorious years as a Fighter Control Officer which is a little like air traffic control with added space invaders!
3. How did you earn your living before starting the Fruit Pig Company?
I left the RAF in 2006 and bought a small holding on the Norfolk/Cambridgeshire border.
4. When, where and how did you learn to butcher and cure meat?
My last years in the RAF were at MOD in Whitehall. I spent most Wednesdays as a NVQ student in Meat Processing at Waltham Forest College.
5. Which of your products do you love the most?
Our fresh blood black pudding is the messiest job in butchery but the most satisfying to make.
6. Which new products are you working on right now?
We’re cutting a lot of Presa in the last 2 weeks. It’s a little known muscle in the pork shoulder and is prized on the continent.
7. How would you rate British Charcuterie against it’s European rivals?
British charcuterie is in excellent health. We just have not been confident in the past to stand next to our European friends and talk about it.
8. And what can the industry in this country do to improve?
We all need to improve the education surrounding food and especially charcuterie. Naive councils run scared of most of the uncooked/under cooked charcuterie world and they help spread the fear. Also, the mass-market suppliers love over regulation as it keeps the ‘little ones’ down. How do vendors in France and Italy thrive and we don’t?
9. How would you win round someone who isn’t keen on the idea of Black Pudding?
If they’re willing taste, a fresh grilled slice of black pudding under a freshly poached, free range egg!
10. Finally, you’ve been told that for exceptional medical reasons you must turn vegan tomorrow – what’s on the menu for dinner tonight?
Actually, a goat’s cheese salad but I have a small slab of Derbyshire black pudding in the fridge so that will find its way on I’m sure.
Fruit Pig’s Fresh Blood Pudding is a truly unique product as 95% of the UK’s black pudding is made using imported, dried blood. This hand made blood pudding used only the freshest blood and makes for something really quite special. The Fresh Blood Pudding is currently only a product we provide for wholesale customers so if you’d like to try it then check out some of our customers such as Duck & Waffle and Albion Group. If you’d like to see what else The Fruit Pig Company has to offer, head over to www.fruitpigcompany.com