Salami man Mat bowled over as Tring tucks in to his first batch

Anyone interested in food might be curious about why Tring is now home to a craft creator intent on introducing English palates to the delights of salami as it’s enjoyed in southern Italy.

But Mat Leaver, who has set up Curious Foods in Miswell Lane after an enforced career change, is happy to supply the answers.

Mat Leaver of Curious Foods, Miswell Lane, Tring

Mat Leaver of Curious Foods, Miswell Lane, Tring

Tring is the base of his new business because that’s where he lives, and after a year of training, researching and developing his production line is finally on stream.

Most salami that’s available in this country has been dried over a lengthy period – it preserves the meat, just as it has done for thousands of years, but it also makes it pretty chewy.

Mat’s salami, if you choose to eat it when it’s young, is a melt in the mouth confection that bursts with unusual flavours.

His developing range was the star of the show when Beechwood Foods, in the town’s Frogmore Street, threw a birthday bash last week to mark three years in business.

Mat is the latest recruit to the firm’s roster of local food producers, and customers who joined in the celebration were full of praise for his work.

Salami flavoured with apple and tarragon, with quinoa, beetroot and caraway, with beef, horseradish, mustard and coriander and with fennel, cumin and garlic were eagerly compared and contrasted.

Waiting in the wings, according to Mat – who uses locally-sourced meat and other ingredients wherever possible – is a new departure featuring raw cocoa nibs.

You can find out more about the business here and follow him on twitter @kyooreeuhsfoods – it makes sense if you say it out loud.