Foccacia

The journey from field to fork: Tomatoes, lettuce and sausages

Bringing you quality food means working closely with our producers ever step of the way...

By Asda Good Living, 29 August 2017
The journey from field to fork: Tomatoes, lettuce and sausages

Where food comes from and how it reaches your plate is as important to you as it is to us. 

That's why we're committed to working with farmers and growers across the country to deliver quality, affordable produce that's bursting with flavour. Here are the stories behind some of your favourite foods...

Tomatoes

MEET THE PRODUCER

Andy Roe, from Flavourfresh Salads in Southport has been supplying us for 20 years, and has tended to tomatoes since he was just 13 years old. Now 52, he still finds the job as rewarding as it was when he grew his first crop. 

It’s not every day there’s excitement about tomatoes, but the pumpkin-shaped Tomkin tomato – unique to Asda – is certainly one worth shouting about. ‘Flavourfresh discovered the variety in Holland and brought it back to grow in Lancashire, and when we showed our results to Asda, their reaction was, “Wow, this is good”,’ explains Andy. It’s been such a success that the farm now grows around 150 trial types every year to find the next hero tomato. 

Andy and his colleagues produce tomatoes in all shapes, sizes and colours. ‘The tomatoes that are black, brown and purple-striped are quirky, but we always select varieties for flavour first,’ he says. ‘When I look at a tomato, it’s the eating experience that is king. The Tomkin has it all – the shape, the Ferrari-red glossy colour and the flavour.’

Tomato and rosemary focaccia 

This classic Italian-style bread, studded with flavour-packed tomatoes is perfect for tearing and sharing. 

 

Lettuce

MEET THE PRODUCER 

Grower Len Wright (near left) and colleague Jamie Baybutt cultivate salad leaves at Baybutt’s Farm, Southport. Len has been working with Asda for 29 years. Len Wright may grow 20 types of lettuce, but it is the Romaine variety he supplies to Asda that he enjoys the most.

‘Sweet, with a distinct taste, it’s my first choice of lettuce,’ he explains. ‘I like it because every leaf tastes different.’

The climate and the location of the farm make it perfect for growing good-quality produce. In fact, Lancashire is known as ‘the salad bowl of the UK’ as it’s ideal for growing all the ingredients that make up a salad. 

‘We’re based in a unique place,’ Len explains. ‘Our farm goes right to the coast so the salt from the sea plays a part, too – you can taste it in the earth.’ 

His colleague Jamie agrees. ‘Growing Romaine on our wonderful peaty soils gives a particularly sweet flavour,’ he adds. 

Len was one of the first farmers in the area to grow salad. ‘When we started out, we supplied to local shops and markets. Then things expanded and I’ve been working with Asda since the 1980s. I wouldn’t have it any other way!’

Sweet pea and bean salad with yogurt drizzle

A tangy yogurt dressing complements the sweetness of Romaine lettuce in this crisp, fresh salad

Sausages

MEET THE PRODUCER

Sarah Savage is product development manager for Asda at Finnebrogue Artisan in Northern Ireland, which has been producing our Extra Special sausages for four years.

Sausages are always a favourite, whether with a fry-up at the weekend or on the end of a cocktail stick at a party. These days it’s a challenge to create sausages that stand out from the rest – but that’s where our Extra Special range comes in. 

Producers Finnebrogue, who also supply meat to high-end restaurants such as Heston Blumenthal’s world-famous Fat Duck, take pride in the fact that Extra Special sausages are just made of good-quality meat – and that’s it.

‘We understand that customers want to trust where their meat comes from and feel confident about what is in it,’ says Sarah. ‘We use British pork, sourced from local farms, which is Red Tractor approved, meaning it guarantees safe, quality food that meets animal welfare standards.

‘The range uses prime cuts of pork shoulder and belly, and the meat going into the sausages is always fresh, never frozen. The whole range is gluten-free, too.’ There’s nothing Sarah and her dedicated team won’t do to research the perfect sausage.

‘We’ve travelled the world looking for inspiration for different flavours,’ she says. ‘But most importantly, we ask our customers what they want.’ 

Butternut squash, sausage and spinach hash

This-all-on one, veg-packed dish uses ready-prepped frozen veg to make things even easier. 

Feeling inspired to create some of these recipes? Make sure you stock up on everything you need at Asda or pop into your local store