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Monday, June 23, 2014
Now you can put Wilton on your Farmer’s Market list
Every Tuesday at the Shopping Centre
Most Cork foodies are well catered for towards the end of the week but Wilton has come to the rescue in the early days of the week by announcing a Farmers Market every Tuesday.
Shoppers in Wilton and Bishopstown can now stock up on a diverse range of naturally produced foods. The very best artisan producers and local farmers from Cork are now able to offer locally grown vegetables and fruits, fish straight from the boats in Schull, organic milk, roast free range duck, gluten free cake, meat and cheese and a huge selection of artisan foods. Rupert Hugh-Jones, organiser of the Wilton Farmer’s Market says “our aim is to showcase the produce of Cork for the people of Cork.”
Not only can you stock up on local produce, but the vast array of hot food stalls in the Farmers Market ensures that this is the perfect place to grab a spot of lunch. All tastes are catered for with a choice of wood fired pizzas, fragrant curries, fresh sushi, the tastiest steak sandwiches, Mexican tortillas, and the best coffee in Cork.
“Wilton Shopping Centre want to support our local farmers and artisan producers by ensuring they have a direct outlet in which to sell their produce every week,” says Susanne Irwin, Manager of Wilton Shopping Centre.
The diversity and variety of stalls at Wilton Farmer’s Market is second to none and this market will surely become a weekly visit for foodies all over Cork. The Wilton Farmer’s Market will be on every Tuesday from 10am to 2.30pm.
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Friday, May 16, 2014
Schull Country Market
Cornucopia in a Car Park
|Dave from Shehymore Free Range Farm|
Sunday morning and the car park near the pier in Schull in transformed into a cornucopia, a profusion of good things to eat and drink from the locality. And not just food as there are also stalls that feature high quality crafts, also from the local area. The Schull Country Market, one of the first markets in the country to be approved under the new Bord Bia ‘Good Practice Standard’, is well worth a visit as I discovered last Sunday after a ninety minute drive from the city.
While I had met some of the stallholders before, including Gubbeen and West Cork Pies, Loughbeg's Walter Ryan-Purcell, who runs the Fresh from West Cork stall in the city's English Market, made sure I knew most of the others before I left.
Modest Walter introduced me to his wife Josephine (together they run Loughbeg Farm) and son Jack. You can get their gorgeous chutneys here and in the English Market and we were lucky on Sunday to get a taste of some products that they’ll have on the market soon.
Watch out in particular for their Goats Milk Ice-creams. They have a range of flavours, including a beautiful banana one. These are highly recommended. Another likely hit is their Num Num range, for juniors over 12 months. Not sure I’m qualified (well, I suppose I am over 12 months) but I got a couple of samples to taste. These are the Ratatouille with Steline Pasta and the Three Cheese Macaroni; these are gluten free with no added salt or sugar. Tried both and they are full of flavour. Lucky juniors!
Enjoyed a chat too with Willie McCarthy who now sells fish rather than catching it. His fish is fresh! His man does no more than two casts at a time and then makes for the shore and Willie. McCarthy also has a stall in Togher (Clashduv Road) and it is is proving a popular draw every Thursday morning.
Local grower Tim York produces a variety of chemical-free summer vegetables - specialising in tomatoes, French beans and mixed leaves and asparagus - with other fresh vegetables in season. On Sunday his Lisheen Organics stall was full of veg, including in season asparagus. That was irresistible but the first of his vegetables that we tried was a super fresh bag of Pak Choi that went very well indeed with a piece of smoked bacon from Fingal Ferguson of Gubbeen.
As you probably know, Fingal and his family produce delicious smoked meats, cheeses, salami, sausage, pork and burgers from their own farm and smokehouse near Schull. Like us all they were enjoying the sunshine on Sunday and all are looking forward to a great weekend at the Ballymaloe LitFest. By the way, we had a little of the bacon left over on the Monday and CL put it to good use in an omelette, a great way of further enjoying the flavour and texture.
Fingal introduced me to a new product made in Skibbereen by Scratch my Pork. The main ingredient is Irish Pork Pig Rind and it comes in various flavours, including Smokey Bacon, Mexican and Cajun. Crispy and very tasty stuff indeed!
I have sung the praises of West Cork Pies on this blog before. They are very good indeed and they don't stand still, new flavours coming onstream all the time. And they are having some fun with the names. On Sunday, I bought one called The Dragon Pie (chilli included!). It was hot for sure. And of a very high quality, like all their previous pies I’ve tasted. The ethos of the company is excellent as you can see from the photo.
Had a talk too with Dave Loukes of Shehymore Free Range Farm selling his poultry and eggs. He had some tempting whole chickens for sale but we bought a couple of breasts. At present Shehymore are selling just the chickens and eggs but coming soon are Free Range Pork and Young Beef and they’ll also be doing Marinated Chicken Fillets.
Frank Krawczyk is well known in West Cork and beyond for the quality of his charcuterie and we were looking forward to having one of his high quality sandwiches at the end of our turn around the stalls. But we left it a little late and Frank had run out of bread. Still he cooked up some of his flavoursome sausages and served us lunch in a bowl. We thoroughly enjoyed the meat and the salad, complete with flowers and sauce. A superb lunch. Well a superb main course, as a tub of Walter’s brilliant banana ice-cream served as a delicious dessert!
Bought lots of other bits and pieces including honey, brown bread and Wild Garlic Pesto. Would have liked a crepe from Lillian but Frank and Walter had filled us but we did enjoy a quality coffee from Shane who uses coffee from Badger and Dodo and who we met a few weeks back in Bantry.
Great to meet Shiona James as we were very impressed with the work of husband Nigel James. He creates beautiful and functional vases, jugs, dishes and bowls, finished in his own attractive glazes. All items are hand-thrown, from stoneware and porcelain clays and are intended for everyday use, being safe for oven and dishwashers.
Not all the regular crafts people were there on Sunday but there was some excellent wood products from Gary (he works mainly with bog oak, also does small “wish sticks” called Unicorn Wands!) and by Malcolm (who works with all kinds of wood).
Peppermint Farm is a busy place but Doris Hoffman was concentrating on her herbs and herb teas at Schull on Sunday. She has quite a selection, all made in West Cork. I came away with a bag of her relaxing tea. Just had a cuppa there a few minutes ago….zzzzzzzzz
Monday, March 10, 2014
Blue Sky Friday in Bantry
Arrived at Bantry Market last Friday morning and the priority was to get a coffee. And, boy, did I get a good one as Coffee Mezzo came to the rescue. Shane uses just Badger & Dodo beans and soon I was happily sipping a two shot Macchiato. He tells me that the Cortado, a similar drink but with more milk, is also very popular, especially with Spanish visitors.
Shane operates in both Bantry and Skibbereen and will be in action at the Schull market during the summer months. Expansion plans are in train and you might well see him soon in Bandon and Clonakilty Farmer Markets. And he also does events, anywhere people gather. If you see him, know his coffee, Cortado or Macchiato or just plain Americano, is top notch!
A few weeks back, I got a terrific West Cork Beef Pie from Fresh From West Cork in the English Market, so I was delighted to come across Paul Phillips, the Schull based producer at his stand in Bantry. What a selection this man has: Pork Pies, Steak Pasties, Beef and Potato Pasties, Gubbeen Cheese and Feta Pasties, Quiche (with Goats Cheese etc.), Steak and Kidney Pies, Chicken and Leek Pies, even Scotch eggs and more. So keep an eye out for Paul's pies at the West Cork Markets and also at that stall in the English Market.
While the Bantry market is not all about food, far from it, you can get quite a lot there. Gubbeen of course have their cheese and smoked meats and there is another cheese stall as well where I picked up the superb Cratloe Hills sheeps cheese from County Clare, produced by Sean and Deirdre Fitzgerald. You can get eggs, potatoes and lots of other vegetables, not to mention fruit.
|The Olive Stall|
On the first Friday of each month, a fair is held in conjunction with the market in that magnificent town square under the gaze of Theobald Wolfe Tone. But, aside from a few hens, there was no fair to speak of last Friday but I was assured that it does have a big presence here as the year rolls on.
Aside from the food, you can buy carpets and other household items, lots of bric-a-brac and certainly lots and lots of tools. I think there were at least three stalls selling hand tools there on Friday and they seemed popular.This being Bantry, you will also find a stall selling fishing gear. Quite a varied market and one that will be getting better as the days get longer.
|Liliane, making a crêpe.|
See also: Stunning Sheep's Head Penisula
Sunday, November 10, 2013
Castlemary Farm. Midleton Farmers Market. The Food Emporium.
|Olive and one of her goats.|
This super Saturday started with a visit to Castlemary Farm. Great to meet up with the hard-working Olive Hallahan and her goats (who have a very comfortable life, especially Dan the Man!). Olive’s small shop on the farm opens every Saturday morning and today, for the first time, she had her Smoked Goats Cheddar on sale.
Frank Hederman did the smoking here so that cheese was top of our list but we also got a few other bits and pieces including a Goat Cheese Fruit Yoghurt and a lovely brown loaf made with goat buttermilk! She also sells produce by the neighbours, including honey and eggs. The smoked cheese, by the way, tastes like a success, the smoking very finely judged indeed.
|Olive meets another Billy|
You may also buy Castlemary products at the regular Friday Country Market in Midleton and at the nearby shop recently opened by Helen Aherne. Olive tells me that Helen is a talented baker and her cakes also feature in the Midleton shop.
From Castlemary, I made my way to Midleton and to the regular Saturday morning Farmers Market. We were still reasonably early but O’Driscoll’s of Schull were rapidly running out of fish. Still we managed to get some fresh cod. Mushrooms from Irish Shiitake, Smoked Mackerel from the aforementioned Mr Hederman, and a lovely sweet Almond Brioche ring from Arbutus Bread were among the other products to find a way into the sturdy shopping bag. Lots of choices for lunch and later!
The sunshine was giving way to rain as I headed downtown in the afternoon to the Food Emporium at Brown Thomas. Lovely to meet Darina Allen who was signing copies of her most recent book, 30 Years at Ballymaloe (with over 100 new recipes), and to renew acquaintance also with Anthony Cresswell of Ummera Smoked Products who had samples of his brilliant produce for tasting.
Ballymaloe have a pop-up wine shop here and some of their wines were open for tasting with Peter Corr of Febvre Wines doing the honours and opening some terrific wines including a Vacheron Sancerre, a lovely pure white wine, mineral rich and zesty, produced by biodynamic farming.
That was good but the star of the show was undoubtedly the 2008 Raveneau Chablis. It was a rare pleasure to sample this Classic Chablis 1er Cru from Reveneau’s Butteaux vineyard.
The tastings here are of a very high standard indeed and that will continue next Friday evening at 6.00pm when Chris Forbes of Taylor's Port, one of the oldest of the founding Port houses, and Sarah Furno, of the magnificent Cashel Blue and Croizier Blue Cheeses, are the distinguished visitors. Should be a lovely evening.
|Darina Allen, Ursula Bosman (Brown Thomas) and Yours Truly at the|