Romney Salt Marsh Sheep

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What are my special features?

Romney Salt Marsh Lamb is produced by traditional grazing of the Romney breed on the salt marshes of Romney in Kent. Romney Sheep are medium-large in size, have a heavy wool fleece and are renowned hardy foragers. The marshes are free from fertilizers and provide an environment where the sheep can roam freely.

The meat has a unique flavour due to the sheep grazing over the natural grasses and samphire of the salt marshes. The hardy environment conditions cause the sheep to produce extra fat which marbles the meat, adding to the flavour and making it moist. The meat has richer and sweeter flavour than meat produced from the same breed which has been grazed on regular pasture. The lamb is known for a delicate taste even in older lambs.

What is my history?

In the 19th century, the sheep formed an important part of the Romney Marsh landscape and economy, soon becoming one of the most successful breeds in the world. There were as many as a quarter of a million sheep across the Marsh. To look after them, farmers and landlords employed the services of self-employed shepherds called ‘Lookers’ to tend the flocks and move them around the marshes. Today the only evidence of these people are the remains of weather shelters or looker’s huts which can still be found dotted over the marshes. The sheep were also an important commodity as their fleece was highly prized within the woollen industry.

Why am I forgotten?

Although historically prized by the British, nowadays most of the UK salt marsh lamb is now produced in other areas and is exported to France where it is sought after by top chefs.

Don’t lose me… cook me!

Product Category:

Breeds

Area of Production:

Romney, Kent

Slow Food UK Contact:

arkoftaste@slowfood.org.uk

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