Moves to sell reestit mutton over internet are soup-er

Anderson Butchers business manager Jay Joubert (left) and Taste of Shetland’s Jill Franklin with some of the firm’s reestit mutton. Photo: Dave Donaldson

Seen as an integral part of the winter season and sometimes referred to as Shetland’s equivalent of a “national dish” reestit mutton is a seasonal staple in many isles households.

And now one local business will be offering this well-loved part of Shetland’s culture to food-lovers beyond our shores by selling the product online.

Launching online sales of the local delicacy this week Jay Joubert, business manager at Anderson Butcher, called the lamb product a “defining” dish of Shetland.

The cured mutton product, which Anderson’s produces in Whiteness for sale around the isles, has already found footing on the mainland with famed chef Martin Wishart offering it at his Leith restaurant, Mr Joubert said.

And now the butcher has partnered with the Shetland Food and Drink Association to sell the product throughout the country on the group’s recently launched Taste of Shetland website.

Still commonly produced throughout the isles – to be consumed with tattie soup during the festive season and into Up-Helly-A’ season – a number of recipes for the signature dish exist.

At Anderson production begins in August at a dedicated space in Whiteness. There the mutton will be ‘reestit’ before being placed in a brine pickle for up to three weeks before being hung to dry for several more weeks. The product then hits the shelves around October or November.

Jill Franklin, manager of the local produce promoting group, said they decided to partner with member business Anderson Butchers after being contacted by mainland residents looking to purchase reestit mutton.

“I had some enquiries on Taste of Shetland from people south about how to get reestit mutton. We also wanted to start doing seasonal promotions as part of what we do, because Shetland has got some amazing seasonal produce.”

Just 48 hours after listing the product online the butchers were receiving orders to dispatch across Scotland, Orkney and the north of England.

Ms Franklin said: “I think the thing about reestit mutton is that it’s exclusive to Shetland, it’s not made anywhere else in the UK now. At the same time there’s so much interest in slow food just now, real quality food that takes time to make.”

She added: “It’s one of Shetland’s best-kept food secrets. Only locals and ex-pats know about it but we’re trying to get the story of reestit mutton out more widely.”


Add Your Comment
  • Thomas Brotherston

    • January 29th, 2018 14:02

    This product is the natural reaction to the homogenising influence of the corporate food industry. Well done.
    One day local food will be the norm when we stop judging how well an economy is doing by how much richer the already rich are doing.
    Sustainable Self Sufficiency is the way to go. We don’t need to prosper at the expense of somewhere else. Oh if only we had control of our own affairs!

  • David Spence

    • January 29th, 2018 16:51

    I believe 70% of the food market is controlled by the Supermarkets or the Supermarkets are the largest customer to the farming industry?

    However, as we have seen through mass production of meat, the welfare of the animals is a second priority.

    Factory farming food is at the behest of most supermarkets, and the super markets will use ‘ public demand and cheaper production costs ‘ as their priority. In other words, blaming the public and not themselves for the mass production of meat, and disregarding the welfare of the animals.

    It is also interesting to know how British farmers will cope under Brex*hit, and what subsidies the government will give farmers now that we are not part of the EU?

    How will British farmers manage to export their product to the EU without heavy tariffs being imposed?

    Could British farmers afford to export to the EU under Brex*hit?

    Farmers have been told to grow more food under Brex*hit, but what help will they receive from the government and how much will Supermarkets undermine those farmers in terms of offering a fair price?

    Will the average plate of food in the UK, be completely bleached with US imports?


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