Christmas would not be Christmas without good food and drink.
This year, we may be restricted in terms of how many people can be catered for under one roof, but the quality of the food we serve on our plates shouldn’t be compromised, and we all have the freedom to buy our festive food from whichever retailer we please.
Wales’s independent local businesses need YOU this festive period – and beyond – so that they can continue to positively contribute to their local communities.
To help inspire the budding foodies amongst us make the most of some of the wonderful produce that is available on our own doorsteps, we’ve teamed up with Pembrokeshire-born chef Tom Simmons to show why we should be choosing to source our porc locally this Christmas.
Stay tuned to the Porc Blasus channels throughout December for some brand new, Christmas-cracking recipes ideal for any sized gathering, including:
- Crispy porc tenderloins with cranberry and port gravy – a tasty and impressive alternative to turkey on Christmas Day
- Festive porc traybake – a one-tray wonder packed with seasonal flavours that works its magic in the oven while you put your feet up
- Cider braised pig cheeks by Tom Simmons – a great warming dish if you’re looking for something a little different – but very memorable – to serve over the holidays
- Perfect yolk scotch eggs – an ideal starter if you’re planning to pull out all the stops with a three course meal
You can also follow our sister PGI Welsh Lamb and PGI Welsh Beef channels for more mouth-watering festive recipes throughout this month, so you really will be spoilt for choice!
The foodie’s perspective
Tom, who has been at the helm of Tom Simmons Tower Bridge in London since 2017, has recently returned to Wales and has opened Thomas by Tom Simmons with his partner, Lois. The new restaurant in Pontcanna, Cardiff is influenced by British and French cuisine and is inspired by his Welsh roots.
Tom, who has a lifelong love of cooking and a deep respect and passion for nature and home-grown Welsh ingredients, said:
“Christmas is a busy time for us, but we always pay attention to detail on the quality and taste of our food – that’s why we only use the best produce from our local suppliers and farmers.
“We believe that locally produced meat tastes fresher and better than produce that’s been mass produced and has travelled further to get to people’s plates, so we’re delighted to support any campaign that promotes supporting Welsh food producers.
“I have a personal relationship with each supplier to ensure I’m using the best possible ingredients. I know exactly which farms my butcher sources his meat from, so I trust that what we put in front of our customers is what it claims to be. Traceability makes such a difference to us and ultimately our customers can have confidence in the quality of the product.
“When I buy from a local butcher or supplier, I know I’m not only getting a quality product, but I’m supporting the local economy and helping the environment too by cutting down on food miles. Everyone can play their part in helping our smaller local food and drink retailers this Christmas.”
Importance to the Welsh economy
Lending their support to our campaign is the Federation of Small Businesses Cymru, who recognise the importance of the food industry to the economic wellbeing of communities across Wales. Recent research has shown that for every pound spent locally with an SME, up to 70p circulates back into the local economy – money that can be re-invested to improve society.
Speaking of the importance of the whole supply chain, be they farmers all the way through to high street butchers and restaurants, and everything else in between, Head of External Affairs at FSB Cymru Ben Cottam, said:
“We appreciate this year has been difficult for small business right across Wales, and it’s more important than ever that we support local Welsh businesses through these turbulent times, especially bearing in mind the adverse impact a ‘no deal’ Brexit may have on our farmers.
“We can be rightly proud of the quality lamb, beef and pork that our farmers produce and it’s no secret that our standards are up there with the highest in the world. We recently urged the Welsh public to support small firms at this critical time following our recent firebreak lockdown, and among our suggestions were for people to shop small and local this Christmas, to remember to visit independent restaurants and cafes and to also be supportive of the hospitality sector.
“So I would urge people to not only go out and buy locally produced food but to also visit restaurants and cafes that are serving locally sourced food and are investing back into the future of our communities.”