& COOKING ARTICLE
quite recently I had never heard of the word. Then one
night when I stopped for a lunch break,
at three in the morning, I discovered a jar of Red
Pepper and Chilli Jelly' in one of the hotel fridges
- that was the end of boring sandwiches. Cheese, ham,
cold chicken became tastes to savour with the addition
of this Tracklement.
that I could enjoy this wonderful food product at home,
as well as at work, I thought I would see if it was
available outside the world of commercial catering.
Not only did I find that it was but there is also a
wide range of similar products to be enjoyed and savoured.
makes it? Who else but The Tracklement Company Ltd and
what a fascinating story . . . . .
the words of William Tullberg, the founder . . .
1970, when I started to make the first wholegrain
English mustard, the only readily available mustards
were Colmans yellow or brown, ready made in
little pots. Professionally, I had to taste a great
many sausages and pies, the products of 26 factories
and all excellent, and my palate needed something
better to accompany them.
had previously come across French Moutarde à
lAncienne and, reading John Evelyns
Diaries one day, I came across a mention of what was
obviously the English equivalent. So I thought I would
try to make some for myself. The resultant trial in
a coffee grinder was encouraging, but it took time
before a friend found an old industrial coffee mill
that we could adapt to grind mustard seed correctly.
I then started to make the occasional small batch
of Urchfont Mustard, which we served at Saturday morning
sausage and mash parties.
relish with which this tracklement was greeted by
friends and neighbours was most gratifying and when
one of them asked for a jar next time I was making
some, I thought it would be amusing to write a label
for it. No problem for me - I had designed plenty
in my time and knew just what the legal requirements
were. With the aid of my pen and the office copier,
I put together what you might call a professionally
amateur label and some days later, gave my friend
the first jar of Urchfont Mustard.
his way home, he called in at the local pub, where
he showed the landlord his new acquisition, and on
my next visit I was asked to make a couple of
dozen jars for the pub. It was at that point
that it crossed my mind that maybe I was on to something
here. Another room was rented in a bakery in Church
Street, Calne, a nearby market town, where my wife
and I were already holding what we called, Maslens
Subscription Dinners. I photocopied the necessary
number of labels, obtained supplies of mustard seed
and spices from a merchant in Bristol and got to work.
The problem of jars and lids was solved by a nearby
jam manufacturer, who generously gave me the necessary
jam jars and lids to fulfil this magnificent first
order! By the following Sunday, it was delivered.
One can be forgiven for saying, The rest is
rest really is a mixture of happenstance, stubbornness
and good luck. I had a disagreement with my employer,
who sent me off with a years salary, and this
allowed us to set up Maslens Restaurant. The
restaurant was a reasonable success and got into the
Good Food Guide and meanwhile, with help from friends,
the mustard business slowly took off. I remembered
my Lincolnshire grandmother using the word tracklements
for meat accompaniments and we named the company Wiltshire
sales forged ahead. We started to make headway in
kitchen shops, producing some splendid pottery jars
which made a big impression. The business grew so
fast that my jam manufacturer friend suggested they
should help with production and we formed a new company,
Wiltshire Foods Abroad.
idea was to introduce a new range of high quality
jams under the Easterton Village label,
to be marketed alongside the Tracklements range, by
now increased to four mustards and four herb jellies.
Specialist production and packaging would remain at
this arrangement produced some very good results,
particularly in Australia, Singapore and America,
the jam manufacturer got into financial difficulties
and ultimately went into receivership. We were able
to buy back the stocks of product and labels from
the receiver and, in spite of considerable disruption,
carried on production from Church Street as The Calne
Mustard Company Ltd., without interruption to our
expansion meant that we needed new premises and after
a great deal of searching throughout Wiltshire, we
found a freehold bakery in Sherston, near Malmesbury.
It had the great advantages that it had potential
to become home, factory and office and also that it
was already licensed for food manufacture. We first
saw it in 1983, went through all the usual problems
of buying and adapting the buildings for our purposes,
and finally moved in 1985. The packaging was redesigned,
the product range increased, we took over our own
distribution and by 1993 we had outgrown our premises
we moved down the road to purpose built premises on
the site of a disused dairy farm: first one unit;
then a few years later, half the next-door unit; then
later again, a third unit, and in 2001 we expanded
again into the other half of the next-door building.
But, however large we become, you may be assured that
we have no intention of ever lowering the quality
of our products. They will still be hand-made in small
batches, using the best quality raw materials we can
find - without any flavourings, colourings, thickeners
or artificial preservatives (except where we use fresh
cream in the recipe).
flavours, clean, clear, classic tastes.
are proud of our products and our hand-made manufacturing
process. We dont cut corners: we grind our own
mustard from whole seed and spices; we use only wine
and cider vinegars; we use fresh garlic, chilli and
pimentos, and our wild horseradish root is gathered
by gypsies on the banks of the Humber. All this accounts
for the clean, clear, classic tastes. The flavours
are simple and direct, allowing many uses, from accompaniments
to food on the plate to dips and marinades and in
are a people Company. People make the
mustards and know when they are ready by experience
and feel. People make the sauces and chutneys and
through their enthusiasm and product knowledge get
them just right. (Using fresh ingredients means that
we need to allow for variations - for example, fruit
and vegetables may carry more or less liquid and the
chutneys may have to be simmered a little bit longer
to get that just right texture.) People
provide the efficient, yet flexible and friendly service
that is so appreciated by our customers.
loyal customers are people who know about good food
and care about good food. They share our knowledge
and enthusiasm for great tastes, simple tastes, simply
made. To them our thanks. And to those who havent
met Tracklements before, a warm welcome and a promise
of the kind of quality that will make you yet another
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