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10 August 2012

The Glorious Twelfth

© The Blackface Meat Company

For those who are lovers of game the day is almost here – the 'Glorious Twelfth' signals the start of the grouse season. This year, however, it will be held on the 13th August because the 12th falls on a Sunday.

Perhaps some would say the date is not a cause for jubilation, well not for the grouse anyway and also it clearly announces that autumn is not that far away.
Up until this time though, the birds have enjoyed a long and fruitful life wandering and foraging on the British heather moorlands, living an entirely natural and most importantly, wild existence. Grouse are truly wild unlike pheasants and partridge which are raised from chicks indoors.

© The Blackface Meat Company
Being highly regarded for its rich, lean meat our native grouse is a prized seasonal British delicacy at this time of year. The flavour is so unique which can be largely attributed to the grouse’s diet as it feeds only on heather and the small insects that live there.

Eating grouse also helps with the conservation of our moorlands as many of the moors are managed to increase the density of the grouse. This ensures that the habitat is maintained to allow many other indigenous birds, plants and animals to flourish, thereby protecting our native flora and fauna.

The wonderful native grouse has been added to the 'Ark of Taste' by Slow Food.  This is a rare and well deserved achievement.
It is referred to on their site as "the finest game bird in the world both from an organoleptic and a shooting perspective."

The best way to enjoy grouse is to roast it simply, rare or medium so that the natural flavour can be appreciated. Traditionally it is served with the thinnest crispiest game chips and bread sauce.
With the season being relatively short at just 16 weeks you’ve really got to seize the moment and luckily you can find grouse on The Artisan Food Trail…

Grouse on The Artisan Food Trail
Our newest addition to the trail, The Blackface Meat Company sell fully plucked and dressed birds that are delivered direct to your door.
Their grouse roams free in the Scottish Uplands and is collected from local estates.
To find out more about The Blackface Meat Company and to find links to their website/online shop visit their page on The Artisan Food Trail here.

If fancy your grouse with a difference we can recommend Great Glen Game’s Smoked Grouse Breast. It is rich with a subtle sweetness from the cure and infused with the real oak smoke. Slice very thinly and enjoy with a light salad with blackberries.
To find out more about Great Glen Game visit their page on The Artisan Food Trail here.

© Great Glen Game

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