Calvey Family's Achill Mountain Lamb
For more than fifty years, the Calvey family have bred, processed and offered Achill Blackface mountain lamb. More than anything else, it is this meat that defines the island of Achill. The meat is simply unique in flavour and texture. It has a particularly rich, saline flavour, and the fat is sweet. In fact, the small amount of fat, and it's delicacy, is perhaps the most differentiating fact between the Blackface lamb and its mainland cousins. It's also both very easy to cook, and very fast to cook – you can roast a shoulder in an hour or so.The Blackface lamb is small, and can be over-wintered, even on the harsh terroir and wild winters of Achill. It feeds on sea-salty pastures and mountain heathers, and will stroll down to the shoreline to eat washed-up seaweeds. These things alone serve to make it unique, to bless it with an utterly distinctive taste and texture. But it is the work of the Calvey family, then, in breeding, rearing and minding the lamb, with the utmost care and dedication, that gives it the gold standard halo. Achill Blackface lamb from the Calvey family is one of the greatest foods you can eat, and an icon of the West Coast of Ireland. Eating this precious meat isn't simply a culinary experience: it is a cultural experience, and there are few other cultural experiences in Ireland so rich and singular.
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