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Close encounter with my Easter lamb

In a utopian world of cooking, each chef, professional and amateur, can buy their produce directly from the farm and secure quality and origin. But there are few who are able to do so.
I live in southern Sweden, Skåne, and we have a great “pantry” of procures here. Everything from vegetables, grains and fruit to meat, game and fish. Here you can find almost everything. I am very fortunate. Also, I have the opportunity, and the time … to go out on the road in search of farms and buy directly from the field / barn / stables.

Now before Easter, I want to cook a steak of lamb so I sought out Kåseberga Lamb Farm, which I found via the excellent site, Gårdsnära (Farms Close to you).

After driving here and there, getting lost and getting back on track I finally found the farm and was welcomed by Ingela and Leif. Two farmers among many farmers in Sweden who provide us with fresh, Swedish meat lamb that are either pure Texel or a crossing between Dorset and Texel.

The lambs and sheep wanders on the slopes around Kåseberga village where they eat a nutritious natural bait with lots of herbs and the environment in which they operate, is hilly which make them healthy and strong and makes them live much longer than the average ewe statistically do.

The “babies” are born between January and April and Ingela revealed that my lamb was slaughtered yesterday on Appelorp slaughterhouse, the first lambs on the farm and especially just for me …

A very humbling experience. When I stepped into the stable, the air filled with the smells and sounds of of sheep and the curious little lambs.
So cute! So nice! And so difficult for a urban city chic with a cabin in the woods, to suddenly find myself in the midst of these beautiful animals, which will be served on a plate in a few days.

But so it is. I’m not used to it. I’ve never been on a lamb farm before, but I’ve eaten lamb. I belong to the crowd that might somehow “forget” about were the meat in the markets come from … Or who does´t really wanted to know. But now I do. It is part of my cooking to find and cook from locally produced produce and to find out where they come from and what kind of life they had, before ending up on my plate.
Ingela probably thought I was a little squeamish when I met the sheep and the cute little lambs, and I made her swear that my lamb did NOT have a name…

But to see the lambs and their mothers, munching hay and play around in the hay, made me understand how important it is to see for my self how the animals live before they end up in the kitchen. It makes you very, very humble.


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Pernilla Elmquist

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