Showing posts with label Bee Sensations. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bee Sensations. Show all posts

Monday, September 15, 2014

Flight of the Bee Sensations

Flight to the Top for Bee Sensations
Irish Quality Food Awards 2014.

Great to be at the table with Bee Sensations last Friday evening when one of their lovely jams won at the Irish Quality Food Awards 2014. On the Pig’s Back and Burren Salmon were also among the victors on a night which is mainly for the supermarkets and the larger producers (such as Dale Farm Dairies, ABP Cahir, Kepak, and O’Brien Fine Foods who were all on the podium).

Munster based Bee Sensations are a husband and wife company, run by Tom and Croéin Ruttle. They are quite famous for their innovative (often blended) jams, which use honey instead of sugar, and of course for their honey. As it happened it was one of their jams, the Honeyed Fig, Rhubarb and Chilli Savoury Jam, that struck gold in the Grocery Ambient - Savoury class.

But there was a moment of unnecessary drama before the win was confirmed as apparently the wrong class was called out first. Still, the busy couple were soon able to relax as their name appeared on screen. It was about the only obvious hitch in a very slick presentation, introduced by Paul Kennedy and compered by celebrity chef Catherine Fulvio (“a farmer’s daughter”).

Birgitta Curtin is one of the heroes of Irish food and she keeps innovating and winning. Her success came  in the Fish section where her Burren Smoked Irish Organic Salmon with Seaweed Marinade came out on top. This came in for high praise from the judges: “really fantastic in terms of colour, texture and flavour”. Like Bee Sensations (and unlike most of the other producers), she didn't have a supermarket partner listed.
Olivia, of An Olivia Chocolate, and, sister Emily (left)
But Cobh’s Deirdre Hilliard and her company Just Food weren't as  fortunate in the Soups section. Her HiLo Super Greens Soup was behind a Lidl Ireland soup, Newgate Tomato Soup by Princes (the international food and drink company).

The cross-border event is labelled Irish Quality Food Awards not Quality Irish Food Awards. There is a difference as we all know from small print on food packaging! Honey is one often quoted example.

Cork’s Isabelle Sheridan of On the Pig's Back certainly enjoyed her trip to the Mansion House as she was named the Supervalu Small Producer of the Year.  Based on her French family recipes, Isabelle has been making chicken liver patés and terrines in Cork since 1995. Her Chicken Liver Paté with Garlic and Brandy is the product that led to this breakthrough and the organisers say they are sure “it will be a fantastic addition to Supervalu’s product line and look forward to working with On the Pig’s Back”. Well done Isabelle.

The awards are open to all retailers, food producers, wholesalers and food service operators “across Northern and Southern Ireland” (someone should tell the PR it is the Republic of Ireland!). Awards were presented in some fifty categories and the Overall Gold Q Award went to Simply Better French Trimmed Connemara Hill Rack of Lamb (Dunnes Stores/Tendermeats).
Yours truly with Isabelle Sheridan (On The Pig's Back)
See the full list of awards here.

Blas na hEireann update on Bee Sensations July 2015 here

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Taste of the Week

Taste of the Week

Bee Sensations, namely Tom and Croéin Ruttle, are well known for their innovative range of jams and, of course, for their Amarena Cherries in Potcheen. All these jams and marmalades are based on their own Irish Honey which is used as a substitute for sugar. 

Perhaps, their most basic product of all is their Raw Honey, from their own hives. Resplendent in the newly designed Bee Sensations packaging, the raw honey is a beautiful product with lots of uses - try using it in your porridge!  

I know many of you are more familiar with clear honey but please don't leave this behind because it is cloudy. Just take a smidgen on your tongue and soon you’ll know this is a natural gem and why it is Taste of the Week.

“Our bees are Irish Bees and we are involved with the preservation of Irish Bees through FIBKA and also NIHBS. As long standing members we are again true to nature by making sure while providing Irish Honey that our bees are well maintained...” 

Sounds good. Tastes even better! You'll find Irish Bee Sensations on Twitter at where they've just announced that they are have qualified for "the finals of Q awards".

Blas na hEireann update on Bee Sensations July 2015 here

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Taste of the Week

Taste of the Week
Bee Sensations  have been surprising many with their gorgeous products in recent times and came up with yet another winner just before Christmas and this was their "Amerena Cherries in Irish Honey and Potcheen", our Taste of the Week.

Just like their lovely jams (Honeyed strawberry with champagne and passion fruit is one of my favourites), honey has replaced the sugar and there are no artificial preservatives used.
Jars of this gorgeous treat are available in Bradley’s, North Main Street in Cork. Restaurants, such as Limerick's Tuscany Bistro, also use Bee Sensations products.

If you are in a hurry, you may take this straight from the jar! Our picture above shows it poured over ice-cream and it can also be poured over things, think I read somewhere that someone used it with the Christmas pudding. Bee Sensations themselves (Croén and Tom) suggest using a few of the cherries in champagne or brandy as a toast. Now what will I toast next?

Blas na hEireann update on Bee Sensations July 2015 here

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Doneraile Farmers Market

Doneraile Farmers Market

Enjoyed my recent visit to the Farmers Market at Doneraile Court. It is a rather small market but there is quite a bit of quality there. And, of course, you can make a day of it by adding lunch in the Tea Rooms plus a walk in the park which has the added interest of three herds of deer.

My first stop was the Bee Sensations Stall where Tom and Croén Ruttle sell honey from their own hives. And not just honey in jars but also in comb form. Besides they use honey instead of sugar in their jams. And these are irresistible! How can you say no to Strawberry, Champagne and Passionfruit? Especially after trying a sample.

We also bought a pot of their Croén’s Kitchen Gourmet Honey, Plum and Passionfruit jam where the Passionfruit tones down, in a nice way, the sweetness of the plum. And another pot that found its way to the city was the Gourmet Honey Seville Orange and Ginger Marmalade.  And some jars of honey as well.

They also do Natural Beeswax Candles and Soaps, Honey Based Sweets, Breads and Preserves.

Hard to drag oneself away from Bee Sensations but we did and got as far as the Skellig Pantry, all the way from Ballinskelligs with some gorgeous fish products, including smoked trout. Also some patés and the one we enjoyed most was their tasty tub of mackerel.

Had a pack of cheese crackers, courtesy of Dan of the Mustard Seed in the car, and was looking for something to go with them. Found it at the Odd Couple Stall, the same Odd Couple that operate an Italian shop in McCurtain Street. They had a range of artisan cheeses from Italy; they personally know the producers. I was interested in the Pecorino, a semi-mature one from Sardinia (they also have some from Sicily). And must say that it went down perfectly with the crackers.

Also picked up a few other bits and pieces at different stalls, including a half dozen organic eggs that cost a rather hefty €3.50. Others stalls there include Dolls House Designs (amazing dolls houses) and the Good Little Cook with their pastas and sauces, including their  award-winning cocoa tagliatelle and Joanne, the Cake Fairy, based in North Cork, who’ll make all your cake dreams come true!

And there is more. Well worth a trip down from the city – you’ll be there in no time. The next market is scheduled for July 14th (11.00am to 3.00pm).

Blas na hEireann update on Bee Sensations July 2015 here