Customers are game for Scottish venison season
Hopetoun Farm Shop is gearing up for a busy venison season as a report by Kantar Worldpanel reveals a 400% increase in sales of game year on year. September sees the start of game season and with the health benefits of venison cited as a major factor for the increase in popularity, the Hopetoun Farm Shop butchers are busy preparing their venison displays of sausages, burgers, steaks and pies.
Containing more iron than other red meats, but less than half the fat of beef and even less fat than chicken, Hopetoun Farm Shop venison also benefits from low food miles, as the venison is sourced from the surrounding Hopetoun Estate. The wild fallow and row deer that roam the Hopetoun Estate are only culled in cases of sustaining the herd. Stalkers inspect and prepare all venison in the game larder on Hopetoun Estate, located only 2.3 miles from Hopetoun Farm Shop where it is then butchered in-house by the team of expert butchers for sale in the butchery.
Hopetoun Farm Shop General Manager Marc Cherrie said: “The meat from our Roe deer is rather tender, we often describe it to customers as having a similar texture to lamb. However the Fallow deer produce slightly coarser meat that is perfect for being marinated or slow cooked. “Our in-house butchers are on always on hand to provide tips and advice on preparing and cooking the venison.” Speaking about the increase in sales of Venison, Marc Cherrie continued: “Venison has become one of our most popular products, with sales almost matching lamb.”
Edinburgh Chef Paul Wedgwood, Chef Proprietor Wedgwood the Restaurant, commented on the venison trend saying “There is no doubt that we have noticed an increase in the number of diners choosing the venison dishes on the menu. “Venison is one of my favourite meats, due to its rich flavour and lean gamey texture. It often features on the menu in a number of dishes, including my latest creation that is served with its own haggis.”
Chris Staples, Hopetoun Estate Deer Manager, said: “There are approximately 250 wild roe deer and 60 wild fallow deer on the Hopetoun Estate, this number is actively managed all year to maintain a stable population of wild deer. “All deer are fully traceable from estate to plate, as each deer is given a unique tag from the moment they are shot will a full record of details which are retained by the butcher. “The award winning Hopetoun Venison achieved one of the food industries most coveted awards in 2012 – a Great Taste Award.