From the marshes on the River Crouch, just 50 miles east of Hampstead, we bring you a quite unique style of lamb. It's the distinctive flavour and meltingly tender texture, which make it significantly different from mountain lamb. The juicy meat is darker than mountain-reared lamb, has less fat and is fully traceable.
The lambs are born between March and April and live first of all on their mother's milk, then after four to six weeks, grass is added to their diet. The lambs feed on a rich variety of plants and minerals growing in the salt marshes, which give the meat a superb flavour. Surprisingly it doesn't taste at all salty or of seaweed as you might expect; instead the richly flavoured meat has gentle hints of the coastal flora and fauna, such as glasswort, sea purslane, samphire and sea lavender.
The high salt levels and iodine-rich content of these plants and grasses also make the muscle cells in the flesh retain more moisture and so the meat is juicier and 'melt-in-the-mouth' tender.
The added benefit of the sea-washed pastures is that the salty water kills a large number of bacteria that can be harmful to sheep and so the need to treat the animals with chemicals is considerably reduced.