Showing posts with label Mella's Fudge. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mella's Fudge. Show all posts

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Taste of the Week. Mella’s Salted Caramel Fudge

Taste of the Week
Mella’s Salted Caramel Fudge

Lovely to meet up with Mella and her utterly delicious fudge at the recent Cork Kerry Food Fair in the City Hall. Lots of tastings going on and I got a few bars.

One was (note the past tense) the Salted Caramel Fudge, our Taste of the Week. 

This is a deeply caramel flavoured fudge combined with O’Neill’s Irish Atlantic Sea Salt. And, yes, like all her fudge, this just melts in the mouth - no effort required - and the top notch salt adds an extra note or two to the combination.  Another symphony from the fudge maestro!


Widely available and also at Mella’s on-line shop 

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Great Variety at City Hall Food Fair. Hard to Beat Cork & Kerry United

Great Variety at City Hall Food Fair

Hard to Beat Cork & Kerry United
Clair and Jo

Made an early start to Saturday’s Cork Kerry Food Fair at the City Hall. Just as well, as the aisles soon filled up, the punters keen to sample the wares and hear about the many products, some of them new, on display in the 70 or stalls. It was great to meet up with some new producers and also to say hello to some that we’ve come to know over the past few years such as Timoleague’s Anthony Cresswell, a terrific supporter of local food and well known for the delicious stuff that comes from his Ummera Smokehouse.

Had heard good things about the Busy Botanist, the winner of the 2017 Listowel Food Fair Best Emerging Artisan Food Product Competition which is sponsored by Kerry LEO.  The Glenbeigh company was established earlier this year friends and herbalists, Clair Kelly and Jo Arbon.  

The overall winner of the Kerrygold Listowel Food Fair Cheese Competition was a garlic and thyme flavoured goats’ cheese.  Cordal are the producers and they too were in the City Hall but were busy when I passed and I forgot to go back later on.

While it was a pleasure to meet Clair and Jo for the first time, it was lovely too to link up again with the likes of Mella and her amazing fudge - it just seems to get better and better. And the same could be said about Hegarty’s Cheese from Whitechurch. Got a taste of their 12-month cheddar from Jean-Baptiste and it was just exquisite, as always, a classic.
Kinsale Bay's Aoife ad Lorna

It has been quite a year for Kinsale Bay Food Co with their products becoming more readily available with every passing month. Manager Tommy Doyle has quite a crew in the Little Island facility and Aoife White and Lorna Conroy were keeping the flag flying last Saturday.

Melanie Harty’s 100% Irish jellies, savoury and sometimes spicy, are well known all over the country and we meet Melanie, herself well known all over the country selling her produce! If you're on the road that much, you have a particular interest in the weather and she told us about her experiences during the recent storms and said that Brian with the heavy rains caused her more problems than the windy Ophelia.
Mella

More spice down at the end of that line where Athula had a stand. Athula, who works out of the Cork Incubator Kitchens in Carrigaline, is well known for his sauces, particularly his Piri Piri range with which he started, and you’ll also see him in local Farmers Markets. You’ll see his doing tastings in lots of local SuperValus  and at events like the City Hall. If you want to know how best to use these sauces, check his website here.   

TLC Fine Confectionery, from Mallow, will probably be known to you through the Auntie Nellie Sweetshops around the country. Here you’ll see the large range of Katie’s chocolates and, just recently, they have been joined by Wilkies Chocolates. Willies are a bean to bar producer and Shana Wilkie will continue, and probably expand, along those lines.

More sweet stuff at the Marshmallow Factory. I had already sampled the Strawberry one, it was taste of the week not too long ago (see here). I took advantage to stock up on the others, the Mint and Passionfruit. Melt in the mouth delicious.
Katie's + Wilkies = lots of chocolate

Munster Brewery are Youghal based and well known in the craft beer market. Now they have added another company producing a Kombucha called Hola. There is loads of info on this organic drink, a fermented tea and sugar drink, on their Holorganics website. The twins, Padraig and Adrian Hyde, are serious about their beer and about this, intending in the long run to establish a retreat to help people who are racing to stand still.
Holo!

Many of you will have heard of Gookies, a handmade wheat free, gluten free cookie dough roll in various flavours that is refrigerated and can be frozen.They are produced by Bia Gan Breise a company located in the heart of West Cork. Tasted some of the finished product at their stall. Impressive!

Monica of Rosscarbery’s Fish Deli (great supporters of these events) was in top form as always. They had some more good news recently when they won a national honour taking the Irish Quality Food Award for Best Prepared Fish and they had it on display in the City Hall. So well done to Monica and Peter and all the crew.

Jean-Baptise
Hegarty's Cheese
Another West Cork company, Milseán, was a popular stop. This chocolate company had no shortage of samples and they were just flying off the saucers!

After all that hard work sampling all the good things, it was time to move on over to the separate Craft Drinks section and first stop was the Cotton Ball who we had seen collecting their beers from the brewpub earlier in the morning. Alongside, were Youghal’s Munster Brewery, the other half of the Kombucha venture! 

Ballyvourney's 9 White Deer Brewery were highlighting their Gluten Free range and I was told they had a great time down in Cronin's Crosshaven the previous evening when they launched Ireland's first ever Gluten free draught stout.
Fish Deli

Blacks of Kinsale were all set up with special six packs available at a very good price indeed. Next door were the West Cork Brewery from Baltimore with their unusual oval shaped bottles (all the way from Italy, they told me).

Rupert, of Longueville House Drinks, is another terrific supporter of this kind of event and he had their ciders and apple brandy available for tasting. Indeed, I noticed a nicely packed trio of the two ciders and the brandy (the trilogy, Rupert called it) that would make a lovely Christmas present. Stonewell Cider were also displaying their range and neighbours Kinsale Mead, who have been getting their lovely product into more and more stores, were across the way with the newcomer Beara Ocean gin and Hyde Whiskey alongside.

Longuevilla Trilogy
I wasn't doing tastings myself - a bit too early I thought. But Justin of Bertha's Revenge “ambushed” me. Before I knew it, I had a sample in my hand. That wasn't going to waste so I tasted and was immediately reminded that this is a lovely “sipping” gin. So, if you’re out of tonic, don't worry. Just pour a drop of Bertha’s and sip it nice and easy. 

Time then to say goodbye to the event for another year, another tasty and flavoursome one ahead by the looks of it!


Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Taste of the Week. Mella’s Irish Butter Fudge

Taste of the Week

Mella’s Irish Butter Fudge
The sweetest fudge, the cream of Irish butter, the magic touch added by Mella, and you have our Taste of the Week in your mouth. Don't rush it. Allow it to soften and then gently take it across your welcoming palate, feel its melting thickness and velvety softness, the kiss of that creamy flavour. You don't want to swallow it but soon you must. It is irresistible. Indulge.

And why wouldn't you swallow it. There is, after all, plenty more where that came from. Different flavours too. I had vanilla but you can also have chocolate, walnut, rum and raisin. And I’ve just been checking her website and see she has Irish Cream Liqueur as her flavour of the month. And an on-line shop. Oh the temptation of it all.

And let us hear from the girl herself: And by old-fashioned, we mean crumbly, buttery, the flavour your grandmother might remember from the good old days! YUM! Luxurious and decadent, you know you want it, it is addictive to say the least!

Mella is based in West Cork so there are many stockists in the area. But there is quite a spread of stockists aorund the country and you may check them out here and she is a regular attender at food fairs and festivals.  I got my most recent bar in Bradley’s of Cork.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Bradley's Have The Country Covered

Bradley's Have Your Food and Drink

Michael has the country covered

Amazed at the selection of Irish foods now available in Bradley’s, North Main Street, Cork. The customers are obviously enjoying it all and so too is Michael Creedon, a Bradley himself. It is turning out to be quite an adventure and Michael loves meeting the small producers and seeing what they have to offer. New ones are being added all the time; Wilkie’s Chocolates and the Amodeo Salad Dressing are among the latest arrivals.


From the south
Bradley’s started out as a dairy in 1850 but, in more recent years, became well known as one of the best drinks specialists in Cork. Wine or Whiskey, Vodka or Gin, Bradleys was and is yer only man. Then along came the craft beer revolution and the small producers soon found they had a friend in Michael and his collection of beers just grew and grew. Now they all talk about the famous “wall of beer”.

And just as Michael extended a friendly hand to the local brewers, he was at the same time doing the very same with regard to food producers. “The small producers have time to talk, take the trouble to ring back. The contacts are personal and encouraging.” And the result is that he is well on his way to covering the whole country. And remember, you can shop online.
The eastern bloc!
I picked, more or less at random, a few baskets during a recent visit. These photos represent only a small part of the offering of beers and foods (and, by the way, are not meant to be matching suggestions!).

In the South selection, you’ll see bigger names such as Gubbeen and Atlantic Sea Salt along with that new Amodeo dressing. Mella’s Fudge is a personal favourite as is that fabulous Lisanley Honey from East Cork. Seymour’s Biscuits, Cookies of Character and Ballybrado’s Crisp Breads are all recommended. And for drinks, you're spoiled for choice and we had room for very few in the shot.
West by North West
Let’s now have a look at that packed basket from the East. Not much room for beer but we did squeeze in a couple from the packed shelves. Second Nature's Rapeseed OIl and the versatile and delicious Highbank Orchard Syrup are prominent and then you've got the tasty products of Big Red Kitchen, Dalkey Mustard and Just Delicious. Goodness from the grain by Ballybrado and Ballyminane and, after all that, you might like a cuppa from Niks Teas or maybe one of the beers!

No shortage of beers in the North West selection with an explosion of brewers in Galway, Roscommon and Donegal. The Foods of Athenry are well represented with their granolas and crackers and no shortage of seaweed products by Carraig Fhada. And, of course, that well known Donegal Rapeseed oil.

Quite a selection, I’m sure you'll agree. But there is much more in the shop, so do drop in and have a look.


Thirsty now after all that but what beer will I have? Such a choice!



Monday, February 10, 2014

Fresh from West Cork. In the heart of the city!


Fresh from West Cork
In the heart of the city!
A big welcome from Walter.
Have you visited the Fresh from West Cork stall in the English Market? With over thirty producers from the area participating (more joining all the time), it's like have a mini-farmers market every day in the heart of the city.
Walter Ryan-Purcell is the friendly face of the project and he'll guide you through the many tempting products on offer. You’ll be familiar with many of the names: Ummera Smoked Products, Milleens cheese, Durrus cheese, Irish Atlantic Sea Salt, Glenilen Butter, Milk and Clotted Cream!, Rosscarbery Recipes, Gubbeen...
You’ll almost certainly have heard of Sally Barnes and her Woodcock Smokery products but do you know of her gorgeous Salmon Butter? Or have you heard of the gluten free cakes  by Caroline Weese from the Oasis Bakery in Durrus?
Walter is very proud (but you have to drag it out of him!) of the products coming from Loughbeg Farm, run by himself and his wife. Watch out in particular for their Yellow Zucchini Relish and the Courgette and Ginger Jam. There are other breads, brown (with oats) and currant, and a marvellous Tea Brack, there as well.
No shortage of vegetables either with fresh stuff coming in regularly from Peter Ross in Drimoleague and Kathleen Hilliard in Goleen. And meat? Try Madeleine McKeever’s organic beef and the gluten free sausages by Rosscarbery. And fabulous pies (you must try the beef and potato) from West Cork Pies in Schull.
Don't stop now. Keep filling that bag. Try the marvellous organic apple juice by Lisheen Organics, the red cabbage Sauerkraut from Hayley Milthrope of the Cultured Food Company, Mr Pettersen’s Raspberry Extra (a perfect present for the gourmet in your life), the hand made cakes (love the brownies) by Yummy Tummy from Schull, and the Mung Bean Burgers by April Danann of Skibbereen.
And still you have more to choose from like Goat’s cheese, milk and yogurt from Orchard Cottage, McCarthy’s yogurts and more, Union Hall kippers, Mella’s Fudge, various dressings from Glebe Gardens, Clonakilty Chocolate, jams from Hillcrest, marmalade by Casey’s of Baltimore……….
It is a small stall but there is a something of a revolution going on here, a surging tide of top class foods, available six days a week. Fresh from West Cork is new to the market and the stall should soon be improved with better shelving and layout.
Delicious Tea Brack
The enthusiastic Walter also told me about some other new developments. They expect to have a website up and running soon and one of the items you'll be able to order online will be their BoscAbhaile. You may fill this box from the market products; packaging and delivery to any part of the 32 counties will cost ten euro. 
And the good news doesn't stop there. A new base is being prepared in Ballydehob, in the heart of the west, and here producers will be able to share facilities, advice and experiences, and you can be sure even more products will be flowing from the west to the stall in the market. Watch that space!


List of suppliers (more to come!)
1.Loughbeg Farm Foods Limited, Schull, Co. Cork, Josephine Ryan-Purcell (Goats milk, goats milk soft cheese, soft cream cheese with herbs, goats milk yogurt, strawberry, raspberry, chocolate, vanilla and banana goats milk ice cream, fresh herbs, chillies, dried herbs, tomato chutney, apple chutney, cucumber pickle, courgette & ginger jam, and vegetable soups).
2. Rossbrin Foods, Ballydehob (vegetables including melons, butternut squash, peppers, broad beans, french beans, runner beans, rainbow and Swiss chard, peas, carrots, nero di tuscana kale, red Russian kale, curly kale, asparagus kale, potatoes, beetroot, turnips, celery, asparagus, watercress, fresh salads, herbs, tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, Romanesque, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, courgettes, and fruit)
3. John Pettersen, Goleen (Raspberry Vinaigrette, Raspberry Extra, and mustards);
4. West Cork Cheeses. Gubbeen, Milleens, Durrus, Ardagh Castle goats cheese. Also Gubbeen cheese biscuits.
5. Smoked salmon, duck, game and chicken, and salmon butter and pates from Sally Barnes, Woodcock Smokery, Castletownshend, Ummera Salmon, Timoleague, Union Hall Smoked Fish Company, and more fish products from Clonakilty Cuisine, and John Kearney, Fastnet Catch, Skibbereen.
6. Salamis, pepperoni, bacon, and Chorizo, from Gubbeen Smokehouse, Schull;
7. Strawberries from Busby’s, Rosscarbery.
8. Mella's Fudge, Lissavaird;
9. Oat Bread and Fruit loaf from June Kingston, Skibbereen.
10. Home produced biscuits and some bakery products (including tea brack, apple tarts, quiches, and almond cake): Caroline Weese ‘Oasis Baking’, Durrus, Patricia Love, Knockeen, Skibbereen, Eithne McCarthy, Skibbereen.
11. Crepe Francais, crepes and buckwheat gallettes;
12. Jams, chutneys, and apple jelly, Jean Perry, Glebe Gardens, Baltimore.
13. Apple Cider Vinegar and spelt bread, Gary and Eleanor Murphy, Ballydehob;
14. Irish Atlantic Sea Salt, Cahermore, Beara Peninsula;
15. Hayley Milthorpe, The Cultured Food Company, Skibbereen, Fermented food products;
16. Hillcrest Jams, Drimoleague;
17. Breads: The Baking Emporium, Dunmanway, and another small baker in Ballineen.
18. Waterbuffalo and free range meat products: Beara Pigs: Leo and Erin O’Shea.
19. Tim York, Lisheen Organics – asparagus and tomatoes (in season) and a good range of organic vegetables. Apple Juice;
20. Honey: Knockeen Honey, Noel Love, Knockeen, Skibbereen.
21. Pork Pies, Steak and Kidney Pies, Scotch Eggs, West Cork Pies, Schull.
22. Thornhills Organics, Skibbereen, organic vegetables – mainly bags of fresh salads.
23. Yogurt, cheesecake, farmhouse butter, lemonade, Glen Ilen Food Products, Drimoleague.
24. Frozen organic beef, Madeline McKeever, Church Cross (very limited supply).
25. Free Range Chicken, David Louks, Shehymore Poultry, Dunmanway (very limited supply).
26. Rosscarbery Recipes. Rashers, sausages, black and white puddings.
27. ‘Gnosh’, Richard Gostyn, Goleen, hummus, salads, coleslaw, potato salad, tomato salsa, beet salsa.
28. West Cork Garlic Company;
29. Roaringwater Bay Seaweed products – sausages, puddings;
30 Yummy Tummy Cakes, Róisín McCarthy, Schull;
31. Barry and Joseph Desmond – goats milk, yogurt and cheese;
32. Rebel Foods, April Danann, Leap, Co. Cork. Apple butter, elderberry juice, nettle juice (in season), herbal teas, and sugar free baking;
33. Casey’s Hotel, Baltimore – jams and marmalade;
34 Vegetables from Peter Ross in Drimoleague and Kathleen Hilliard in Goleen








Monday, February 3, 2014

Fenn’s Quay Celtic Cook-off Celebration Dinner


Fenn’s Quay Celtic Cook-off Celebration Dinner
Kate Lawlor, with Sally and John McKenna
West Cork’s well established Celtic Cook-off came to the city last Friday night to celebrate. A team of Scotch chefs visited last week and Fenn’s Quay’s Kate Lawlor, a contestant in last year’s Skibbereen showpiece, decided to join forces with the visitors and host a dinner In Celebration of the Celtic Cook-off. And weren't we lucky that she did. Great too that the West Cork Hotel and Braehead Foods came on board and joined in the fun on the night.

It was a magical meal. A terrific mix of company and a stream of fantastic food from the little kitchen at the back of the well loved restaurant on Cork’s oldest terrace. The weather outside wasn't the best but we soon warmed up with a wee dram of Scotch thanks to Neil Grant and the West Cork Hotel and a taste of Avril Allshire-Howes’ renowned black pudding bread. And then we were up and running, the chefs on song and front of house also playing a blinder.
Salsify & sauce!
Amuse Bouche
Crispy Salsify with West Cork wild Alexander dipping sauce and bacon dust (Fenn’s Quay). The high standard was set here. When the Salsify was finished, people used all kind of tools and methods to get the rest of Alexander sauce out of the bottom of the little jar!

Starter
Seared Highland venison, roasted beetroot, piccalilli dressing (Joe Queen and Jim Hood, Braehead Foods) This came on a shared plate; the venison, sliced thin and enhanced by the beetroot and dressing, was a delight.

Fish Course
West Coast scallop baked in shell with Iasc Irish Shellfish Butter (Alan, Loch Fyne) A big shell that, once opened, revealed a memorable combined flavour of fish and that delicious butter.

Beef Course
Fillet of Scotch beef, truffle parfait, cured ham, stovie fondant tattie, medley of seasonal vegetables, Madeira, shallot and Arran Mustard Essence (Joe Queen and Jim Hood, Braehead Foods) This, the biggest plate of the evening,was also a highlight. The mouth-watering hunk of top notch beef came with a whole ensemble of supporting flavours, even the humble tattie more than holding its own.

The Beef
Dessert
Carrageen moss with blood orange and Brecon Gin Sorbet and poached rhubarb (Fenn’s Quay). Sometimes a big meal is followed by a big dessert, a step too much for many. But not here. This was light delight, a superb Carrigeen the highlight.

Petit Fours
Mella’s Fudge (award-winning West Cork fudge). I have long been a fan of Mella’s West Cork fudge and I reckon she made a few more friends last night. Maybe, in some cases a day or two later, as quite a few pieces of the fudge ended up in handbags along with the whiskey miniatures. All the better to relive the memory of a lovely night in Fenn’s Quay when we were all winners as Ireland and Scotland played out a friendly in the kitchen.





Monday, December 30, 2013

Flavours of Christmas (but may be tried at any time of the year!)

Flavours of Christmas

(but may be tried at any time of the year!)
Bubbles from the Loire
Ummera Smoked Chicken (served with a Cajun Potato Salad). Lovely contrast after days of turkey!

Rwandan Coffee, the Cup of Excellence award winning Maraba Sovu 2012 lot #14,  via Robert Roberts Connoisseur Club.

Organic Pink Bubbles (made from Cabernet Franc) from Chateau Miniere and Domaine du Clos d’Epinay Vouvray Brut. Souvenirs of the summer holidays in the Loire Valley.

Mella’s Rum & Raisin Handmade West Cork Fudge.

Ummera smoked chicken.
Cashel Blue mature and Warre’s LBV Port (2002).

The Cornstore’s Plum infused Whiskey.

Dungarvan Coffee and Oatmeal Stout, by now a Christmas standard.

Eight Degrees Zeus Black IPA, 7%. Looks like a rich dark porter but tastes like a pungent IPA.

Fleming's fantastic Orchard Chutney.
Fleming’s Orchard Chutney (Apples, Pears and Green Tomatoes from their own orchard).

Barrie Tyner’s Pates (from the local Farmers Markets, inc. Mahon).

Pandora Bell’s Honey Nougat with Almonds and Pistachios.

Cashel Blue


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

MELLA'S BUTTER FUDGE

MELLA’S FUDGE 


West Cork’s Mella McAuley had a very popular stand at the recent opening of LocalMarkets.ie. Mella, as you probably know, makes the most gorgeous fudge in a number of flavours and has built up quite a following in recent years.

She started making fudge as a schoolchild and it was good enough to be carried by a local shop. Eventually, after trying other types of work, she began selling her fudge in the Farmers Market in Bantry.

The news spread quickly and soon she outgrew the home kitchen and now operates out of a unit in the Lisavaird Co-op in Clonakilty.

Her sweet sweet fudge is available all over Cork City and County and at outlets in Dublin, Galway, Sligo, Waterford and also in London. See here for list of stockists.

Lisavaird Co-op, Clonakilty, Co. Cork.
Tel: 023 8821958

Check out my review of Mella's Fudge - I am cork - on Qype