Award-winning meat products from Trøndelag
TEXT: ALYSSA NILSEN | PHOTOS © DALPRO
On the islands of Hitra and Frøya, along the Norwegian coastline of Trøndelag, DalPro AS is a Labour Market Co-operative, helping people get back into the workforce through making locally sourced, award-winning products from wild sheep and deer.
With a 30-year history, the success of DalPro is undeniable. Not only is it a Labour Market Co-operative, successfully helping people get back into working life, but the products they make are renowned for their flavours and quality.
“Our main job is to help people who, for whatever reason, have fallen out of the working life, to get back into it,” says CEO Ove Haugen. “We help them develop and broaden their competence, to make their return to work easier. Whether their challenges are physical or mental, or there are other reasons for the position they’re in, there’s room for them at DalPro. We help them patch up the holes in their CVs.” Involving their clients in all stages of production, working side by side with professionals and specialists, DalPro’s formula has proven to be both a sustainable and a successful one.
DalPro’s products are all based on the meat of wild sheep and deer, and both animals are bred and slaughtered right there at their own farms, guaranteeing that every step in the process of the animals’ lives is cared for properly. And even though the majority of the wild sheep and deer DalPro uses in its production are bred on the farm, they roam the hills and fields of the area freely all year long. This means that they are exposed to the Trøndelag weather and climate, as well as the plants and the geography of the area, just like animals would in the wild. The remaining animals for the production are bought from local breeders and hunters in the region. The lifestyle and diet of the animals result in the meat having a slightly different taste to what people are used to; the herbs and plants they eat add extra flavour to the meat, making the taste wilder.
“The flavour of wild sheep is milder than you’d expect,” says Haugen. “The breed is hardy, a bit smaller than average breeds, and tastes less of sheep. So even though there’s less money to be made because of the size, we expect the demand to grow because of the flavour.” Deer meat, on the other hand, is among the healthiest you can find. It is as lean and low-calorie as chicken and has higher levels of Omega-3 than cattle, as well as an abundance of vitamins and minerals, such as riboflavin, B12, iron and zinc. The flavour is mild and suitable for a wide range of meals, and it can be prepared in either a pan, the oven, a wok, on the barbecue, or in stews, pates or burgers.
High-quality, award-winning products
Through all their hard work and dedication, DalPro has figured out a winning formula, quite literally. Over the years, DalPro has received multiple awards all over the country, and is currently one of the most award-winning local food producers in Norway. From multiple medals in the Norwegian Championships to several Product of the Year awards, DalPro’s products keep impressing new judges and customers alike.
DalPro sells all its products at its own farm shop and through local and national outlets, but a lesser-known fact is that anybody can order the cured meats through the webshop and have them shipped by post. The most popular products in the webshop are the acclaimed ‘fenalår’ (a salted, dried and cured leg of lamb), ‘pinnekjøtt’ (salted and dried lamb ribs), and different kinds of cured sausages. Ever more people are discovering and enjoying the opportunity of having the award-winning products shipped directly to their home address too.
If you choose to visit the farm outlets, you might even get to meet the animals. The demand from tourists wishing to feed the deer is growing, and at DalPro, the animals are tame enough that they will eat straight out of your hand. “A lot of kids in the modern day and age have lost the concept of the origin of food,” Haugen says, “so being able to show them a farm where animals are bred for food is of enormous educational value. And then they get to sample the foods afterwards, like deer burgers cooked outside, if the weather is nice.”
However, if you live too far away to stop by and would still like to try DalPro’s award-winning products, including lamb shanks, sausages and leg of mutton, you can find the web shop on the website.