Students see the business end of a pig

School students watched a pig professionally chopped into prime cuts of pork in their classroom yesterday to inspire them in their catering exams.The meaty subject matter was discussed in the latest in a series of guest lectures by food professionals at Fakenham High School.

School students watched a pig professionally chopped into prime cuts of pork in their classroom yesterday to inspire them in their catering exams.

The meaty subject matter was discussed in the latest in a series of guest lectures by food professionals at Fakenham High School.

Simon Wade, of P&S Butchers in Holt, brought in a fresh half-carcass of an outdoor-reared pig to demonstrate which knives to use, and where the best cuts of meat were found.

He was closely watched by about 20 GCSE catering students who are preparing for their first practical exams in a fortnight's time.


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Catering tutor Marcel Schoenmakers said: 'We feel that showing the students how to cut a pig up is far more beneficial than spending three hours looking through books. After this session they will be able to visualise a piece of pork and know exactly where that cut comes from.

'In two weeks time the practical exams begin and most of them will use meat in their menus - they need inspiration and they need to know about using the right tools.'

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One of the students, 16-year-old James Wright, said: 'I want to go into the catering business when I leave school, so I just want to learn something about working with meat. Some of the girls are a bit squeamish, but the boys don't really mind.'

The class has already seen demonstrations by other experts including a cheese-maker, a baker, a chocolatier and an environmental health officer.

During his butchery demonstration, Mr Wade separated familiar joints of meat from the pig's shoulder, loin, belly and leg using a range of knives and saws.

He said: 'It is great that the kids get to see how meat is produced, and not just in a tray or a plastic bag from a supermarket. This is a chance to show what we do, and they can learn about the good cuts they will use when they become young chefs.

'Wherever these guys end up in their career, the key thing is for them to use local, well-fed and fresh meat. We want to get them familiar with certain cuts, even if they just cook them at home.'

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