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New to Arbutus: Seaweed loaf (left) and San Fran sourdough
Arbutus Bread, pioneers in the real bread field, are on the move again. Called in to Midleton Farmers Market last Saturday morning and a delighted Dee was on hand to show me their new Seaweed Bread and I was delighted to taste this beauty.
Dee and Declan are rightly proud of this loaf but very keen too to acknowledge the contributions of Galway’s James Cunningham, who produced the seaweed ingredient, and also the help given by John and Sally McKenna.
Brilliant really, isn't it, how people in the real food area (also in the craft brewing sector) cooperate with one another, in the style of the old time meitheal. More and better products are the result and we (the customers) are all winners. James Cunningham summed it up over the weekend: “I love that someone can take my produce and give it a life in their produce. Pretty cool.”
Might be some tweaking to be done yet - the final loaf may be a little higher on profile but it is good. As Dee says this is “We will be doing it in a Boule sourdough to start. A work in progress, first loaf today, so lots more trials to do.”
Dee says the salt content has been reduced to allow the seaweed flavour shine through. But don't worry, you won't be tasting seawater here or anything like it. Just an excellent well made bread. In any event, and I'm quoting the McKenna’s here, seaweed doesn't absorb a lot of salt - just sea minerals and vitamins.
Why seaweed bread? And what exactly is the “magic” ingredient? Dee explains: “Noribake, which we are using, is a natural organic Irish product which we have in abundance. The benefits are:
Natural immune stimulant & gut flora modulator;
Lowers GI index of baked goods;
Allows salt and sugar levels to be reduced in line with EU trends;
Anti-staling effects of formula extends shelf life of baked goods;
Alginate content gives consumer the experience of being ‘fuller for longer’.”
And Arbutus haven't stopped at that. They have also introduced a new sourdough, moving away from the French style that has served them, and us, so well, to a new more folded San Francisco version. So there you are. “Two healthy loaves for you,’ says Dee.
Jason Carrell’s Ginger Room Salads is a new attraction at this pioneering East Cork market and I had lots of recommendations to call to his stall. And he has an inviting display, a huge range of salads, all in colourful matching bowls (brought back from his travels in Fiji, I’m told).
Organic veg from Ballymaloe
Just had a quick chat as we made our purchases (Jason was very busy and sells out every day). But do note that his huge range of “tasty healthy funky style salads” are also available at Wilton (Tuesday) and Kinsale (Wednesday) as well as Midleton (Saturday).
Got to call to some of the long-standing stalls as well including pioneers Ballymaloe who had a fine display of, among other things, organic vegetables; Hederman's close by had no shortage of their quality smoked fish, got a lovely piece of pork from Noreen of Woodside, fish from O’Driscoll’s, a selection of mushrooms from Lucy of Ballyhoura Mushrooms and a bag of big juicy red apples from another stall. All the while the music played, the coffee flowed as did conversations and laughter. Will only get better on the Saturdays ahead!