The perfect quail
We are proud to bring another great supplier to the table: Norfolk Quail. Based on their farm, Highfield Farm, Norfolk Quail has a strong mantra for ethical farming and are proud to have the first entirely ‘free-to-fly’ quail in the UK.
Norfolk Quail started just over three years ago when John and Ellie Savory ate at Gordon Ramsey at Claridge’s in London, and were invited to see the kitchen and meet the chef. They discovered that chefs all over Britain were finding it difficult to source English quail meat, let alone ethically farmed quail meat. They decided to research the possibility of doing it themselves.
Highland Farm has a healthy flock of over 20,000 quail. They actively promote sustainable farming practices and environmentally-friendly production practices. Not a cage in sight!
The quail are all bred and reared at the farm and kept in specially designed, automated and insulated housing, and are fed on a game ration that has been formulated specifically to their requirements. The quail mature at a natural pace and are processed at approximately 12 weeks, unlike cage produced quail meat which is grown quickly and slaughtered at between 4 and 6 weeks old.
The birds are hand plucked and waxed to ensure that the skins are not damaged. Unlike the ‘wet’ processing method used for other types of poultry in the UK, Norfolk quail meat is not bled on the processing line. This helps the quail to maintain their pink colour and slightly gamey flavour. Chefs seem to prefer the reared quail over the wild as they can rely on the consistency of both size and flavour and know just how old the meat is.
As well as quail meat, Norfolk Quail also sell quail eggs. In August 2012, they were awarded a contract with Clarence Court to supply quail eggs from up to 10,000 quail.
Highfield Farm is HLS and Conservation Grade, FSA approved, and John and Ellie are involved in Operation Turtle Dove.
“Unlike typical French Quail, which are reared under unnatural light conditions, the Norfolk quail are free-to-fly in a natural environment. This leads to a slightly smaller bird with a plumper breast, which has a far superior and complex rich taste. We did a blind tasting and the Norfolk Quail won hands down.” It’s the perfect quail.