- HAVE YOUR TASTE BUDS TANTALISED IN CORK!
- Cork Airport’s Food & Beverage Outlets undergoing ...
- Brand Storytelling: The Foundation of Your Growth ...
- Food Tourism Workshop in Longueville
- Restaurant Reviews. Up-to-date. Cork & Ireland
- Top Wines. With Reviews & Irish Stockists.
- Ireland's Great Producers, Great Tastes
- Clonakilty - Ireland’s Premier Foodie Town
- Coming Up Soon at L’Atitude 51
- Kitchen Dialogues. Invite from Mugaritz, Euro-Toqu...
- Top Posts, last 12 months
- Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day at Cork's Hayfield Man...
- Come to the Castle with Kate & Caitlin
- Annam's Indian Cooking Classes
- Food Markets, Festivals, Visits, Events. Cork & Ireland
- Jamie Goode features in Beaujolais 2017 Irish cam...
- Blog Policy
Thursday, December 1, 2016
Stonewell Cider Cheers!
Win yourself a hamper.
Stonewell Irish Craft Cider have enjoyed “an astonishing year” and are spreading the cheer on Social Media.
In 2016, the Nohoval (Cork) cidery were crowned the Supreme Champion at the National Irish Food Awards (Blas na hEireann) and also won accolades at international events. “None of which would have been possible without the support and encouragement from you, our customers."
So, for Christmas, they are running a competition on all their social media. It starts today 1st December and the winner will be announced on 15th December. The prize is a Stonewell Christmas hamper containing a selection of Stonewell Cider products along with produce from local businesses such as Hassett's Bakery and Carrigaline Farmhouse Cheese.
It is easy to enter. Simply ‘like’ the Stonewell Facebook page and post a photograph of a Stonewell Cider (drinking, cooking, wrapping presents etc) using #stonewellchristmas on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. Good luck!
And, speaking of cooking, watch out for the Cinnamon Apple Cake video which will be up on the 5th December.
Monday, October 10, 2016
Dingle Diary. Blas and the Festival
|The Supreme Champion|
Massive crowds attended the Dingle Food Festival (1st and 2nd ofOctober) but it was much quieter in the town when I arrived on the previous Thursday morning, just one of the dozens of judges gathering in the Skellig Dingle for the Blas 2016 judging. A record 2,500 products were entered and these had been whittled down to manageable numbers.
Still there was a lot of tasting to do - from about 11.30 until around 8.30 pm in my case. We finished up in Dick Mack’s pub in Green Street for the alcohol tastings. The pub is well worth a visit in its own right, just to see the huge whiskey selection alone!
|One of Dingle's little cafes|
Then it was down to O’Flaherty’s Pub for a proper drink and a proper bite. There was a great buzz here, particularly when the music started. Dingle Gin and Tom Crean lager was flying but I delayed turning to those until myself and my new buddy Johnny had cleaned out the Beal Bán from the West Kerry Brewery!
|On the Taste Trail|
The next day, Friday, was more or less at leisure and we did a trip around the peninsula (post to follow). That evening though, the Blas judges assembled in the Oceanworld Aquarium where candles lit the scene as the various fish, the shark and the turtle swam around and we gathered for more Dingle Gin and more Tom Crean and, yes, fish and chips!
|A Gold winner. For a full list of winners,|
please click here
And then Blas chairman and founder Artie Clifford introduced local adventurer Mike O’Shea who gave us an illustrated talk on his life, concentrating mainly on last year’s trip to South Georgia to retrace part of Tom Crean’s footsteps. Very interesting indeed, even the penguins behind seemed to stay still, though there were some strange noises off stage! Check out more of Mike’s amazing adventures here.
Saturday was the first full day of the Dingle Food Festival and the town was transformed as thousands of visitors arrived, sauntering through the closed streets to sample the food and drink on offer at every step. A huge market covered a few of the streets and then there was the Taste Trail with close to 80 offerings, some very inventive bites indeed. Besides there were craft workshops, demonstrations by top chefs, a farmers forum, special lunches and dinners and so much more, even a visit to the distillery for us.
|Pesto winners: Gold (left) and Bronze|
Time too for the Blas judges to visit the producers and see the products (now in their packaging). It was an anxious time for the Blas entrants as the awards were announced throughout the day. I had a lot of sympathy for the entrants in Spirits and Liqueurs, Beers, Ales, Lagers, Stouts and Cider as these were last on the list, scheduled for 5.00pm. A long wait!
At least they could relax on the Sunday as Blas had been put to bed for another year and the sun shone as the Food Festival, again mightily well supported, continued for another day. Well done Dingle! Again.
|Lots of talk about this Gold winner!|
|Sampling at the street market|
Driving the Dingle peninsula
Monday, October 3, 2016
STONEWELL RÓS CIDER IS CROWNED SUPREME CHAMPION IN A GREAT YEAR FOR CIDERS AT THE 2016 BLAS NA hEIREANN IRISH FOOD AWARDS
Ciders win big at this year’s Awards…
Stonewell Rós Cider from Cork has beaten off stiff competition from food and drink producers all over the island of Ireland to be awarded the coveted Supreme Champion title of the 2016 Blas na hEireann, the Irish Food Awards, sponsored by Bord Bia.
Geraldine Emerson from Stonewell Cider said “We use all natural ingredients. The Rós cider has a very pure, clean taste. This award is great because it is recognition for all the work that goes into making it. We’re delighted.”
Ciders also made it to the top of the pile in the Best Artisan Category, proudly supported by Bord Bia. In a first for Blas na hEireann there was a tie for the prize which was won jointly by Tempted? Elderflower Cider and MacIvors Plum and Ginger Cider.
Tempted? cider is made by Davy and Janet Uprichard near Lisburn. MacIvors cider is made by the MacNeice family in Armagh.
“Ciders have done really well this year. We have had to expand the number of categories in this area. With the growth of the cider sector on the island, the producers are reacting to customer demand by developing new flavour combinations such Stonewell which is made with rhubarb juice. It’s a stunning drink” said Awards Chairperson, Artie Clifford.
“This has been such a strong year for so many of our producers. The bar gets raised year on year pushing the producers react accordingly and to constantly improve their offerings. This can only mean that the quality of Irish food and drink is world-class.”
Other key award winners included:
Best New Product which was won by The Purple Pantry for Teeling Small Batch and Ginger Marmalade. Best Start-Up was Dublin City Gin. Best Seafood Innovation went to Kilmore Quay in Wexford for their Breaded Haddock Goujons.
The Best UCC Packaging Innovation Award went to Cracked Black Pepper Beef Bites made by the Monaghan-based company, Rucksnacks. Best Packaging Design, also sponsored by UCC, went to Amodeo Salad Dressing by Tuscany Bistro from Annacotty in Limerick. Rogha na Gaeltachta, proudly supported by Udarás na Gaeltachta went to Folláin Preserves, Cork.
Chef’s Larder awards were given to Cavanagh Free Range Eggs, Co. Fermanagh, Fancy Fungi Mushrooms from Wexford for their Umami Paste, Dexter Beef Dripping from Killenure Dexter in Tipperary, Shellfish Pearls from IASC, Cork and Bog Oak Bitters, also from Cork.
Best in Farmers Market Awards included Antrim; North Coast Smokehouse, Armagh; Burren Balsamics for their Armagh Bramley Apple Infused Balsamic Vinegar, Cavan; Ciste Milis for their Raspberry Bakewell, Clare; Anam Coffee for their Burren Seasonal Espresso Blend, Cork; Freebirds Bakery for their Raspberry Brownie, Donegal; Bidlims Moods for their Mint Jelly, Dublin; Hawthorn Lane Piccalilli, Galway; Mocha Beans, Kerry; Pauline’s Pantry, Kildare; Gibney's Garden Preserves, Kilkenny; Cakeface Pastry, Laois; Jenny's Little Kitchen, Limerick; The Green Apron, Louth; Daisy’s Pantry, Mayo; Clew Bay Cookies, Meath; Tullyard Farm, Offaly; Wild Irish Foragers, Tipperary ; Ayle Foods, Waterford; Pure Food Company, Westmeath; An Olivia Chocolate, Wexford; Wild About, and Wicklow for Daisy Cottage Farm.
Best in County Awards were given to Antrim; Tempted? Elderflower Cider, Armagh; Mac Ivors Plum and Ginger Cider, Carlow; The Village Dairy for their The Village Dairy Fresh Jersey Milk, Cavan; Lakelands Dairy for their Tesco Salted Caramel Ice-cream, Clare; Carrygerry House for their Creamy Seafood Chowder, Cork; Stonewell for their Stonewell Ros Cider, Derry; Morelli’s Frozen Yoghurt with Cherry, Donegal; Green Pastures for their Low Fat Creme Fraiche , Down; Clandeboye Estate Greek Style Yoghurt, Dublin; Dublin City Gin, Fermanagh; Erin Grove preserves for their Sour Cherry and Cracked Black Pepper Fruits for Cheese, Galway; Kylemore Abbey, Kerry; Quinlan’s, Kildare; Rye River Brewing, Kilkenny; Mileeven Fine Foods, Laois; Abbey Farm Foods, Limerick; The Green Apron, Longford; Goodness Grains, Louth ;Hilton Foods, Mayo; Carr and Sons, Meath; What’s for Pudding, Monaghan; IGWT, Offaly; Wild Irish Foragers, Roscommon; Gilligan Meats, Sligo; Aurivo, Tipperary; Ayle Foods, Tyrone; Quinn’s Homemade Gelato, Waterford; Pure Food Company, Westmeath; An Olivia Chocolate, Wexford; Irish Country Meats and Wicklow for Gino’s Italian ice-cream.
The winners were announced at an event during the annual Dingle Food Festival on Saturday 1st October, 2016. More than 2500 products were entered in a total of 120 categories. Finalist judging took place at the Dingle Skellig Hotel on Thursday 29th September, 2016. Preliminary judging took place at UCC. Baking was judged at the Baking Academy of Ireland, Dublin.
The Blas na hEireann awards are the biggest blind tasting of produce in the country. The criteria on which the product is judged as well as the judging system itself, which was developed by Blas na hEireann with the Food Sciences Department of UCC, are now recognised as an international industry standard.
Monday, June 13, 2016
LANDMARK FRENCH DEAL FOR CRAFT IRISH CIDER PRODUCER STONEWELL
|Daniel Emerson (right) of Finnbarra Cider/Nohoval Drinks Company|
and Arthur Lenormand, Marketing Director of House of Beer (France)
· Cork’s Nohoval Drinks Company secures 5 year contract for supply ofFinnbarra Irish Craft Cider to ‘House of Beer’ (France)
· Finnbarra Irish Craft Cider (aka Stonewell Cider) to be distributed and sold nationwide across France.
· Order for first 3 years alone equivalent to the entire 2015 output of Finnbarra/Stonewell Cider.
· House of Beer identifies Finnbarra Irish Craft Cider’s 100% pure apple juice composition as key factor for selection as it targets market dominated by mass-produced cider brands.
Nohoval, County Cork, Ireland & Boulogne Billancourt, Paris, France –: Carlsberg subsidiary, House of Beer (France) and the Nohoval Drinks Company (owned and run by husband and wife team, Daniel and Geraldine Emerson, since 2010), have agreed a five year contract for the supply of Nohoval Drinks’ premium Finnbarra Dry Irish Craft Cider to France. House of Beer, which specialises in premium international, craft and world beers, will sell and distributeFinnbarra Cider (known as Stonewell Cider in Ireland) nationally in France. The total volume ordered by House of Beer in the first three years of the deal alone equates to the entire 2015 output ofFinnbarra by the West Cork-based, family business. Finnbarra Dry Irish Craft Cider will be sold across France in both bottle and draught formats.
House of Beer has identified a growing demand for natural craft cider in a market currently dominated by mass-produced cider brands. The Emerson’s Finnbarra Dry Irish Craft Cider is made from 100% pure apple juice. The result is both an improved taste profile and a healthier drink that is lower in calories, devoid of any sugar or preservatives and both coeliac and vegan friendly.
Finnbarra Irish Craft Cider will be distributed nationally in France to both on and off-trade outlets by House of Beer across the company’s eight operational regions. In the early phase of the five year contract, demand for Finnbarra Irish Craft Cider is expected to come from the core summer holiday market and also the many Irish-themed on-trade premises throughout France. Demand is expected to broaden beyond these core markets over time.
Finnbarra Irish Craft Cider becomes the first cider to be added to the House of Beer portfolio which includes premium beer brands such as Amarcord (Italy), La Bête (French), Brooklyn (US), Guinness Project Beers (Ireland), Kilkenny (Ireland), Mythos (Greece), Moussy (Switzerland), Poretti (Italy), San Miguel (Spain), Smithwicks (Ireland), Staropramen (Czech Republic) and Tuborg (Denmark).
Commenting on the announcement Arthur Lenormand, House of Beer’s Marketing Director said:
“The French market is cornered between Brittany farmhouse and overseas industrial ciders. As with the micro beer sector, wherein lies our established expertise, we are convinced that there is a latent demand amongst French consumers for a new taste experience which will change their patterns of consumption. As a result we are delighted to be able to introduce Finnbarra to them. To enlighten and delight the French consumer with a different style of cider is an exciting challenge and we’re aiming to achieve that with a product of outstanding quality”
The contract is the largest to date for the Nohoval Drinks Company, which was founded by Daniel and Geraldine Emerson at their Nohoval home in West-Cork in 2010. Commenting on the contract, Daniel Emerson said: “This is a landmark deal for us on several levels. A large five year contract for a six year old company allows us to plan our business with greater confidence. That this contract is for a market of 63 million people and with a subsidiary of Carlsberg is a significant endorsement of both our business and our cider.”
Monday, May 23, 2016
Irish Craft CiderA Litfest16 Event
Pete Brown, author of the World’s Best Cider, said the Irish craft cider scene is one of the most exciting right now. The ciders have “high juice content” and the makers “love their apples”. One of the most exciting yes, despite rankling under a very unfair tax regime that would seem to be designed to stifle innovation rather than encourage it.
Take Longueville House Cider Mór as an example. Because producer William O’Callaghan has added a wee spoon of brandy to his basic cider, the tax on Mór is five times the normal. Leslie Williams has raised the general issue many times, saying the current rebate system, which is very good for craft beer makes, is unfair on cider makers. The producers of an excellent wholly Irish product are being punished.
So that's the sour notes out of the way. The rest of this panel discussion, the opening one in the Drinks Theatre at this year’s Ballymaloe Litfest, was focussed on five delicious ciders, five quite different examples, none of which would have been available just a few short years ago.
Pete Brown was joined on the panel by Leslie and by Caroline Hennessy, author of Slainte.
They and the audience were welcomed to the “tractor shed” by Ballymaloe’s Colm McCan as we gathered to hail cider, the drink of the common people for perhaps 2,000 years, according to Pete.
Producer Simon Tyrrell introduced his Craigies 2013 Dalliance. Simon, well known for his wine background, says with Dalliance “we try to express the vinous side of cider”. He mentioned the terroir (Cappoquin Estate, sandstone). The apple blend is fifty fifty between Ekstar and Falstaff, both eating apples, and it spends 15 months on its lees.
Bright fresh fruit with extra creaminess here and you’ll note some cloudiness from the yeasts. Pete Brown said Dalliance proves you can make cider out of eating apples. And this is a good one.
“We use no chemicals at any point” said Rod Calder-Potts as he introduced his organic Highbank Proper Cider 2014. “We encourage microbial activity to counter any malign organisms...Cider makes itself..no sulphites...we put it in a barrell..local yeasts do the rest.”
This was bottled just last week by Con Traas, is 100 per cent apple and naturally dry. Pete loved the contrast between the first two ciders and confessed to being obsessed by yeast, at least with how the yeast converts sugar to alcohol! Leslie reminded us that, compared to beer makers, cider makers get just one chance per year.
And now Leslie introduced yet another type of Irish cider, Cockagee from County Meath. He did mention that there was “devilment” in the name but didn't go into the details. It is keeved, a process common in Brittany and Normandy and explained here on the Cockagee website.
Pete said you can only shake your head with wonder that a process from the 14th or 15th century can still produce a “beautiful natural cider. In a blind tasting, I would class this as Breton and it would be a perfect match with crepes”. Caroline agreed but their hints for crepes went unheeded!
William O’Callaghan, as he introduced his Longueville Mór, disclosed that the first apples in their orchard, planted 25 years ago, were intended for apple brandy rather than cider and that their micro-distillery was the first such in ireland. William, a chef who trained in Normandy, started the move to cider there about two years ago.
The Mór is their regular cider with a drop of apple brandy that “gives it a nice little kick”. It fermented naturally with local yeasts and produced with no sulphite. It went down very well indeed and William is proud of it, quite rightly, “but that tax is a pain!”. Caroline asked him what food would pair with it. On its own or maybe with cheese was the answer. I had it a week or two ago at a cider evening in Electric with fish and chips. Caroline herself was thinking Lemon tart!
|The Ballymaloe five. Dead men.|
We finished with the limited edition (6,000 bottles) Stonewell Tawny 2014. Daniel Emerson told us all about it: “it is a chapitalised dry hop cider..the natural sugar is supplemented with additional sugar and this raises the ABV… minimum aging is 12 months and there is an extraordinary range of flavours over the 12 months”. Lots of tasting, no doubt!
At the end of the process, the cider is “very sweet, like an apple ice-cider”. They decided to counteract this by passing it through Eldorado dry hops. The result was very good and the Tawny has “proved remarkably successful.” And we could all see why. Pete was delighted with it saying it reminded him of a Canadian Ice Cider, “beautiful’.
Overall, it was a great reminder of how far Irish Cider has come in a few years. Perhaps next a tasting of these five might be arranged for the Dail bar and a few home truths delivered at the same time, in the nicest possible way of course!
See also: Hops and Glory. Seven IPAs before breakfast. Only at LITFEST16
Irish Atmospherics at John Wilson Tasting. Mediterranean Island Wines in Spotlight. LITFEST16
See also: Hops and Glory. Seven IPAs before breakfast. Only at LITFEST16
Irish Atmospherics at John Wilson Tasting. Mediterranean Island Wines in Spotlight. LITFEST16
Thursday, April 7, 2016
Good View. Good Food. Mornings To Inspire.
|The view, to the left.|
When Paul O’Brien opens up Bunnyconnellan, early every morning, he looks out over the ocean and counts his blessings. That view on a sunny morning inspires positivity and it’s not too shabby on a poor day either.
The O’Brien family are celebrating forty years at the iconic Cork venue. In 1976, Paul’s parents, Paddy (who passed in 2010) and Sheila, took over the premises from Neill (known to all as Jock) and Mary Porteous, the only other family to have run Bunnys as a bar and restaurant.
“Amazing people come in here and recount their childhood memories, “ said Paul. The Crosshaven area in general was, in the 50s and 60s, a summer resort area for many city people. A few years back, I attended a 60th party there for a man long resident in the USA but he had such happy memories of Myrtleville that he insisted on marking his big birthday with a party in Bunnys.
“Some great characters have been in and out of here. And they keep coming, men like Donie Bermingham from Carrigaline; he claims to be our longest-serving customer!”
Aside from the smashing views - you can see the mouth of Cork Harbour as well, see the big cruise liners and the large Brittany Ferries Pont Aven come and go, see Roche’s Point across the way - Bunny’s has always been known for its good food. And that strand of the story continues too. “There is a great little team here,” enthuses Paul. “It is headed up by Head Chef Chris O’Sullivan and Pastry Chef Bobbie O’Donovan, but they are all great.”
I put it to Paul that because they are on the coast that Fish ‘n Chips is always on the menu. It is. But they did take it off once and put it on the specials. There were “ructions” and it was quickly restored to its rightful permanent spot! “We can’t please everyone but we do listen to the bad things as well as the good!”
“Fish is plentiful and varied here. Only last week, we had specials of black sole and brill for example. Could be something different next week. Another big seller for us is roast duck, supplied by Silver Hill.”
Specials are an “essential” part of the menus here, though for events like Sunday lunch, you'll find more traditional dishes as part of the offering. There is also a Kids Menu, with half portions of the adult menu available.
And, with a full bar, there is no shortage of beers to go with the meals, indoors or out. Craft beers are already featured, plus the local Stonewell cider. More craft beers are soon to appear and there are local spirits too - I spotted the Dingle gin. And if you fancy a cocktail? Well, they have a list for you. They tend to be more popular at or approaching the weekend.
Dinner service brings a hard night’s work to a close but Paul is back early in the morning, checking out that fantastic view. And, down on the beach, he spots a group of people that he admires: the Myrtleville swimmers. “Rain, hail or snow, there are about twenty out there every morning, some with wet-suits, some without”. People make the world go round just as the O'Brien's make Bunny’s an enjoyable place to come to, every day of the week. Every week of the year. For forty years!
We enjoyed that view (though not the early morning one!) when we called for lunch. That Specials Board came in for scrutiny and our two mains came from that source. The starters are on the regular menu and I must say my Poached Pear and Blue Cheese Tart topped with walnuts was a delicious opener. And there were compliments too from CL as she tucked into her Goats Cheese, pineapple and walnut salad.
Our mains, served with a side of well cooked vegetables, were really special. Baked fillet of Cod with a pesto crumb and a saffron and chardonnay sauce was CL’s choice and I didn't hear a word from her until it was finished. My Oven-baked Ham Hock, with a creamy parsley sauce, was full of great flavour and outstanding overall, and kept me quiet! No room for dessert after the two courses! Sorry Bobbie - next time!
|Local drinks: Black's Kinsale ale & Stonewell cider. Cheers!|
Myrtleville, Co. Cork.
Tel: +353 (0)21 483 1213
Sunday, February 28, 2016
Tropical On A Cold Night!
But back to my mango. My main course choice was Baked Salmon Teriyaki with steamed rice and wok fried vegetables. No mention of mango here but one of the highlights was a little dish of mango salsa which really added an extra dimension. All perfectly cooked otherwise, the salmon, the rice and I loved the crunch of the veg from the wok.
Tropical On A Cold Night!
|Golden tasty wings with super dip|
Sitting in Cork Cornstore on a cold February night and wondering if the mango was among the fruits sold here in the market in the heyday of the Coal Quay. I doubt it. But the mango featured in the €28.00 set menu during the past week, both in my main course and in the dessert.
It might have been cold outside but there was a warm welcome inside and, as there always is, time for a smile and a little exchange. And there is always a buzz here too, maybe not so much this Tuesday night, though a couple of big groups - they do big groups well here - did keep it up!
|Salmon Teriyaki and an unheralded bowl of Mango Salsa!|
I had started with quite a large one! And quite a nice one too: their spicy chicken wings with a superb Cashel blue cheese dip and celery. The golden wings were a delight to dispatch. Must have been about seven of them on the plate. Massive! Took my time with them, washing them down with generous sips of Stonewell Cider - they have a decent selection of craft beer here too, not to mention whiskey galore and pages of cocktails!
And then time for the dessert. You have a choice of four on this menu and I picked the Mango Cheesecake with mango and passionfruit sorbet. The cheesecake itself was fine but that sorbet was the star as far as I was concerned!
You can check out all the menus here, including set, A La Carte, lunch and so on.
|CL's Thai Green Curry.|
Cornmarket Street, Cork
Thursday, February 4, 2016
Munster Wine & Dine Launch.
|Anthony (right) and Daniel (3rd right) at the launch.|
The Munster Wine & Dine Circle is up and rolling. A full house at Jacques saw the 2016 launch in midweek. Lots of chat and information for the year ahead while Ummera Smoked and Stonewell Cider were the opening night stars. And of course, the kitchen at Jacques also played a blinder.
Munster Wine & Dine is a bunch of like-minded people, eager to taste the best the region has to offer and also to see how food and drink is produced. Last year, breweries, cider-makers, cheese-makers, gin producers, a smokery, and various restaurants (including Farmgate, The Tannery and Longueville House) were visited. And the coming twelve months should see something similar in the programme.
Last Wednesday though was the first step and here, Anthony Cresswell of Ummera and his brother-in-law Daniel Emerson of Stonewell told us about their enterprises. And they had some surprises in store.
|Smoked duck, with its cider jelly!|
We were each handed a glass of bubbles as we arrived and who doesn't love Prosecco! And some of us were fooled. This wasn't Prosecco at all but a sparkling cider called Esterre. Made exclusively from the beautiful Elstar Apple (grown in Tipperary and Waterford), Esterre is a sparkling cider "with reflections of a sparkling wine". This is dry, really dry, is clean and crisp in the mouth with tart elements of the orchard and citrus notes and a smooth finish.
The first of our five courses soon appeared: Ummera Smoked Salmon with horseradish cream and beetroot relish. Delicious. Ummera is the only Irish smokery licenced to do both fish and meat. Smoked Chicken is always a favourite in this house and it was outstanding in Jacques with baby gem, pickled fennel and orange and was accompanied by Stonewell Dry Cider (the one that bites back, according to Daniel).
Then it was the turn of the Medium Dry Cider in a dual role. It accompanied the marvellous smoked duck served with a Kale crisp, a hazelnut salsa and a jelly made from the cider! Great match.
The same cider also accompanied the next dish: Smoked bacon potato cake, crispy bacon, mustard cream and glazed apple. These Ummera rashers are amazing, perhaps the best around. And appreciated not just in Ireland. Anthony told us that a restaurant near the Spanish Steps in Rome is a regular customer. So if you get a great smell of rashers next time you visit the fountain there, then you know where it originally came from.
And the brothers-in-law had another surprise for us at the end. At least Daniel had. The cheese plate, with Knocklara and Durrus, was accompanied by a classy Tawny made by Stonewell from the fermented juice of Michelin and Dabinett apples and “elaborated with El Dorado dry hops”. It keeps well and has an abv of 15%. It is described as “an opulent complex cider with chewy tannins and hints of fruit. Delightful as a slightly chilled aperitif but equally as a cheese or dessert accompaniment”. No arguing with that in Jacques last night.
Many of those present joined Munster Wine & Dine on the night and we are all looking forward to the events ahead. If you’d like to join, please contact the secretary at email@example.com. Below you’ll find a leaflet that was handed out at the launch and it gives a good idea of what you’ll be getting into!
We usually have something in the Spring. Last year we had a Beer versus Wine fight in L’Atitude. Don’t worry, no bottles or blows thrown. This year the plan is to get one or more of the new distilleries in to give a tasting. That will probably be in March or April.
Once the extra daylight comes in, we usually do a short evening trip to a local producer. Last year, we had a great time at Frank Hederman. This year, we’re talking to a local coffee roaster Golden Bean and hoping to get a local bean to bar chocolatier visit the roastery at the same time.
In the summer, we usually have a field trip. Away for the day and much of the night too. Last year was outstanding with a call to the Fermoy Natural Cheese farm, a visit to Dungarvan Brewing, a gin tasting and a fantastic meal at The Tannery. The likely one this time is being set up to include a visit to Cashel Blue cheese, the Apple Farm in Cahir, hopefully with the fruit trees in blossom and cider available, and a wine-tasting and dinner at Ballinwillin House.
We usually have two events in the Autumn. The highlight last time was a visit to Longueville House. A tour of the orchards (harvesting was in progress), then we saw the cidrerie and the distillery and there was lots of tasting, back then to the house to be greeted with mugs of mulled cider before settling into a great lunch, with wine and more apple brandy. And then a long snoozy session in front of the open fire before the bus came to bring us back. We’ll have to work hard to replicate that one! But we are working on a few ideas.
We also had an Italian night in the Farmgate. We may do something like that again as there are quite a few international chefs now working in the Cork area. It also depends a bit on how many new members we can attract. And we’re hoping to attract more as word of the massive reduction in the annual fee gets around.
You can see there is something in the provisional list for everyone. And we are open to suggestions. You can also see that there is plenty of variety each year. If you like good food, good drink, good company and a good time, you've come to the right place.