Pig Cheeks with Polentawith Brandt & Levie Pork Amsterdam, Netherlands
“We work with whole animals, for us it is key to explain to people that if you eat meat, you are obliged to eat the whole animal.”Jiri Brandt, Geert van Wersch and Samuel Levie Sausage Makers
Brandt & Levie is a childhood dream come true for founders Jiri Brandt, Geert van Wersch and Samuel Levie, who are well on the way of achieving their mission of producing the tastiest sausage with well bred Dutch pigs.
The founders of Brandt & Levie met whilst working in the kitchen of an Amsterdam restaurant. Their common dream to do something with sausage led them south to learn from masters of sausage making. In Corsica they walked with pig farmers who kept their pigs in the wild, allowing them to wander through the forests and feast on chestnuts during autumn. In Italy they had the best guide in town; Carlo Petrini, the president of Slow Food. He was delighted that young Dutch guys, one of which bore a Jewish name, wanted to enter the world of sausage making and introduced them to the best artesian Italian butchers, such as Dario Cechinni and the Savigni family, to undertake their internship.
Back in Amsterdam, they started experimenting with small amounts of sausage, hanging them in cellars and attics. After testing dozens of flavors, using Italian techniques, they settled on the first eight flavors of dry sausage and the Brandt & Levie brand was born. More products quickly followed and now you can find their sausages throughout Dutch delis and high level supermarkets.
Sustainability was one of the main reasons for the creation of Brandt & Levie. They believe that we consume too much meat and as sausage makers they are trying to teach people to eat less meat and better meat. It is important to Brandt & Levie that their meat comes from well bred Dutch pigs. They have a direct relationship with the farmers, buying whole animals and leaving nothing to waste. The pigs have plenty of space, often even more than under organic guidelines, and receive regionally produced food and plant residues from the surrounding countryside and nearby supermarkets.find out more
With creamy polenta, a rich tomato sauce and fresh gremolata, this is not a typical Dutch dish. However, it is very Brandt & Levie, given their strong ties to Italian sausage making traditions.
Free-range pigs are raised in a natural environment and are free of growth hormone and anti-biotic residues, which are known to be bad for health.Dr. Marta Guasch-Ferré Dietician and PhD in Nutritional Epidemiology