15 August 2012 14:44 to
In 2004, Roger Saul, founder of Mulberry, bought the land surrounding his house, and unsure what to do with it, then decide to introduce a crop called ‘spelt’ – which was little heard about at the time. Roger embarked on a fact finding mission around Europe to find out more about the grain, and thereafter grew a trial field of spelt ‘organically’ – ie: without sprays of any kind – alongside a conventional crop of wheat, which he later learned had 5 chemical ‘treatments’ prior to being harvested – which ultimately convinced him that turning organic was the way forward.
A short background to the winning product
In 2005, the brand Sharpham Park launched a range of organic spelt breakfast cereals, and such was the success of the launch that in 2006, the Sharpham Park Mill was built and brought into commission and new and innovative products introduced, including the Pearled Spelt. The estate is proactive in its encouragement of wildlife and sustainability, using their own rare breed animals to help them fertilise the land and nip the weeds. These animals are then sold on as meat products, and the skins and wool used for rugs and blankets. Currently stocked are White Park cattle, Manx loghtan and Hebridean sheep and Red Deer and have their own bee hives to help pollenate the fields during their rest years.
They are a young and dynamic company, passionate about producing the very best of what they offer. They are also rare in the industry in that we grow, harvest and mill all the spelt in our products, here in the West Country. Lead by Roger Saul, who sets high standards of quality – following on from his experience with the Mulberry brand.
Made using spelt grain, which has been ‘pearlised’ to remove the outer bran allowing the grain to be cooked like rice, but with a richer flavour and better health benefits. The term ‘Speltotto’ (a risotto dish cooked using pearled spelt rather than rice) is attributed to Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall, who coined the name whilst on a filming trip to Sharpham Park, and is now used by great chefs nationwide including Gordon Ramsay and Heston Blumenthal. Not only can you make risotto style dishes as mentioned earlier, but it can be used as a rice alternative in any dish including salads, arancini, jambalaya and spelt ‘rice’ puddings – and all with a grain grown here, in the UK unlike rice. It also has much greater health and taste benefits and is very easy to use.
To find out more visit www.sharphampark.com
Try Sharpham Park's Chickpea and Spelt Soup using their Organic Pearled Spelt.
Runner up in the pasta and rice category
For its Organic Pearled Spelt