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Monday, June 12, 2017
Sweet, Colourful Creations
Cream is one of the new wave of donut outlets in Cork City, its counters loaded with colourful creations, backed by excellent coffee and top drawer ice-cream.
Those colourful rows are something of a sweet shock to anyone, like yours truly, who has been used to the jam and cream filled bullet from previous decades.
Yes indeed, time and donuts have changed since I first came across the confectionary, possibly of Dutch origins, but now with overpowering American influence, in the late fifties. For a few years, beginning in 1959, you could find me most school-going Wednesdays digging into a donut in An Stad, a small café in Leitrim Street.
I, along with dozens of other teenagers (not sure that word was even in use then), would have had attended a game in the Athletic Grounds and, on the way back to college, would stop at An Stad (O’Griofa’s) for a donut and a big glass of milk! Quite a treat in those days.
As we ate, we’d have a look at the black and white GAA photos on the walls. Well, not all B & W. Some had been hand-tinted by Denis Griffin, especially if Christy Ring was featured! Wonder where that collection ended up.
My next distinct memory of donuts (or doughnuts as we'd have spelt it) came from a German master baker (cert displayed) at the top of Shandon Street. Then, on the way home from work, I’d stop and buy a bagful as a treat for my family. Not too sure what decade that was, probably the 80s into the 90s.
The donuts lived up to their name - apparently it means oil cake. By the time I got home in the car, the brown bag was virtually translucent. Still, there was always a major welcome for the sugary treat! But the German left and the outlet closed down and no real connection with donuts until last week's visit to Cream.
Fin Lyons, the ex banker who manages Cream in Daunt's Square (and Oliver Plunket St), told me they were putting the emphasis on quality. And it is local quality, with the coffee supplied by Cork Coffee Roasters, the dough coming from a baker in Ballycurreen and the Ice-cream by Happy Days in Little Island.
And Fin means to make it quality in, quality out and the staff have been trained along those lines. “They are great, industrious and have taken the motto on board.” And they listen to the customers. “We got the word that some wanted a plain donut and it is now available!” Might go for one of those myself, for old times sake!
But when I got the chance, I didn't! I picked the delicious Caramel, a recent Taste of the Week. CL choose one topped with fruit (cherry and blueberry) and infused with pineapple jam.
Quite a selection there at the moment, considering they opened less than three weeks back (May 25th). “Caramel is our best seller,” said Fin. “We have eight different options and lots of plans to enhance those options.”
Same story with the ice-cream. Nine choices at the moments, including favourites such as Honeycomb and Cherry, but that number will soon be doubled.
Fin is loving the change of career. “We have a great product, great service, we will keep innovating. And I like talking to people.”
The Daunt Square outlet has a shelf and stools inside and an outside seating area as well. Oliver Plunket Street will be similar downstairs but will have an upstairs seating area where groups can sit and enjoy.
No shortage of competition in this sector but Cream are backing on local quality, as they plot a rise to the top. Their special dough has already come in for high praise and visiting Americans, tough judges, have left impressed.
Doughnuts have a disputed history. One theory suggests they were invented in North America by Dutch settlers, and in the 19th century, doughnuts were sometimes referred to as one kind of oliekoek (a Dutch word literally meaning "oil cake"), a "sweetened cake fried in fat."
Monday, February 13, 2017
Cork Indie Coffee Trail
A Guide by Dermot O’Sullivan
So (seems to be the word to start with these days), you’re in Cork, looking for a cup of real coffee. You know there are some terrific indie cafés around the city. But do you know where they are? Where is ORSO? Where is Nectar Coffee?
Just mentioned this pair as they feature in the first page of the Indie Coffee Trail, a new guide (with directions) by local chef Dermot O’Sullivan, perhaps best known to many of you as @GasMarkSeven on Twitter. ORSO, by the way, is in Pembroke Street, close to the GPO while Nectar sits on the junction of Maylor Street and Parnell Place.
Dermot’s selection showcases “the best of what Cork city’s coffee scene has to offer”. The cafés have added “another element to the cultural dimension of the city, forgotten buildings have been brought back to life… All the while, locals and visitors alike are becoming more knowledgeable and discerning with their coffee of choice”.
Other coffee haunts listed by Dermot included Dukes Coffeehouse, Filter Espresso & Brew Bar and its new little sister Portafilter, Union Grind, The Bookshelf, Idaho, Warren Allen, Alchemy, Cork Coffee Roasters (at two venues), Ali’s Kitchen, Rocket Man and Rocket Man East, Farmgate, Three Fools and Café Gusto (also two locations)
And there is a map of the city centre indicating where each can be found. A brief description of each café and the type of coffee available and also opening hours is included in the handy pocket sized booklet. And you are also told whether Wifi is available!
What are you waiting for? Hit the streets and discover Cork City’s coffee with Dermot’s help. You can get his guide in all tourist spots like tourist offices, hotels, most cafes listed, art galleries including UCC. Student centres too.
For further info, contact Dermot at CorkCoffeeTrail@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter @gas_mark_seven. Check his blog www.gasmarkseven.
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
CORK COFFEE ROASTERS
Super Funky...Super Cool.... So says the current Bridgestone Irish Food Guide in talking up Cork Coffee Roasters in Bridge Street.
Not too sure about Funky and Cool, words from the middle of the last century, the fabulous Funk Brothers out of Detroit and maestro Miles Davis with the Birth of the Cool.
But the kids in Bridge Street were friendly and helpful and the coffee was excellent. The view out of the window wasn't bad either, Shandon ahead in brilliant sunshine. But, today baby, it was cool outside!
Check out my review of Cork Coffee Roasters - I am cork - on Qype
Oh, by the important way, you can also buy your coffee from Cork Coffee Roasters. And, if you are in the catering business, they’ll have their experts train your staff so that everyone (including your customers) benefits.
Phone: 087 7766322