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A Passion for Pork with Peasant’s Pantry

Farmers’ markets across Nova Scotia are celebrating the second annual Farmers’ Market Week (3-10 August) – the only event of its kind in Canada. The festivities highlight the wonderful fresh food, artisan products and local crafts available at more than 40 markets province-wide. Rustik Magazine has teamed up with Farmers’ Markets of Nova Scotia to profile some of the vendors and producers that make up Nova Scotia’s vibrant markets.

PeasantsPantry_JbwJoseph Crocker
Chef and owner
Peasant’s Pantry
www.peasantspantry.ca

Now in its second year of business, Peasant’s Pantry offers a variety of charcuterie and specialty meats, such as fresh and smoked sausages, påtés, bacon and ham, all of which are made with 100% local meat from farms in Nova Scotia. I make all products in my provincially inspected meat processing shop in New Minas, then sell them at the Wolfville Farmers’ Market year-round on Saturdays and at the Tantallon Farmers’ Market on Tuesdays from June to October. All products are also available in HRM by delivery on Wednesdays year-round.

1) What is your favourite thing to cook and why?
Pork! It’s so diverse, goes with so many different spices, fruits and vegetables, and you can do so many things with it – cure it, smoke it, barbecue it, turn it into påté…

2) How did you get into your line of work? Any advice for someone just starting out?
After culinary school, I cooked in fine dining kitchens in Halifax and the Valley for years. I wanted to start my own business and had a strong curiosity and appreciation for charcuterie – traditional, old world påtés and smoked and cured meats. I’m committed to supporting the local food and farming industries and to using as much of the animal as possible when cooking, which I believe is our responsibility as meat-eaters. Starting Peasant’s Pantry has allowed me to meet all of these goals. I also avoid flour and other fillers, showcasing the fresh, local ingredients in the flavours and textures of the various products. My advice for people starting out would be to find something you’re interested in and care about and determine if there’s a demand for it. For me, it’s providing high quality food, and it makes me happy when people enjoy it!

3) What is your greatest food inspiration (e.g. person, place, meal)?
Growing up in Nova Scotia inspires a lot of my cooking. Fishing and hunting, picking different fruit and herbs and veggies each season… it’s always fun to see what is new each season and it’s a natural way to add variety in your meals.

4) What one ingredient/food would you eat for breakfast, lunch and supper?
Bacon! Honey bacon for breakfast and Tesa (Italian bacon cured with chilies and garlic) for lunch and dinner.

5) Favourite Nova Scotia recipe?
Hodge Podge because it’s such a beautiful mixture of new potatoes and fresh peas and beans at the start of the season, in a milky, buttery broth. A little bacon in there is nice too!

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