Showing posts with label West Cork Pies. Show all posts
Showing posts with label West Cork Pies. Show all posts

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

The West’s Awake. Find it Fresh in Bradley’s

The  West’s Awake.

Find it Fresh in Bradley’s

Opening day in Bradley's
Fresh from West Cork is back in town and you’ll find it installed in Bradley’s, North Main Street. Walter, familiar to many of you from his stint last year in the English Market, fronts the operation and is as enthusiastic as ever.

And why wouldn't he be? He has some great produce in Bradley's; all the familiar names are there including Irish Atlantic Sea Salt, Rosscarbery Recipes, Gubbeen, Ummera, Glenilen, Sally Barnes (he especially recommends her smoked mackerel, “a big seller”), West Cork Pies, Culture Foods (the Sauerkraut people, who are now exporting) and more.

June Kingston’s Soda Wheaten loaf is a best seller and there are tasty apple tarts from the Walshes of Caheragh (near Drimoleague). And don't forget the Loughbeg Tea Brack and be sure to get some Glenilen clotted cream to go with that! Then you have yogurts and Lemon Labneh from McCarthy’s Dairy not to mention the many fish products from Union Hall including Smoked Mackerel Paté and Smoked Salmon Paté.

No shortage of honey and jam. The honey comes from Noel and Patricia Love of Knockeen (Skibbereen) while jams are supplied by Kathleen McCarthy of Drimoleague and Eithne McCarthy from Skibbereen. And watch out too for the Loughbeg chutneys, quite a few but the star is the Yellow Zucchini Relish which was adored by a bunch of “nine Michelin chefs from London when they sampled it at the English Market last year”.

And the good news is that you can get these six days a week, from 8.00am to 9.30pm! And more good news. If you like your vegetables fresh (and who doesn't?), Colm O’Regan of Horizon Farms will be making three deliveries a week to North Main Street.

And from next Friday, you'll be able to get raw pressed juice here: carrot, beetroot and a vegetable and fruit blend! “And the week after that, we'll have mini-meals,” he said. I looked puzzled! “Especially for toddlers,” he clarified. So there you are. Walter and Fresh from West Cork will feed you all, big and small.


Friday, May 16, 2014

Schull Country Market. Cornucopia in a Car Park

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 Market


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!
Paul Phillips, a man of many pies.
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
There are a few hot food stands as well, including the renowned WokAbout, busy long after the market closed. But I had already bought my snack from Liliane of Crêpe a la Francaise. She does Buckwheat galettes and French style Omelettes as well as Crêpes. Following in the footsteps of her mother and grandmother, Liliane is a Master Crêpiere and respects the traditional Breton recipe. We certainly enjoyed a couple of her crêpes, served in a chip cone! The cone may not be traditional but is very practical.



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. 

Bantry’s Maritime Hotel is an excellent base

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Taste of the Week

Taste of the Week
It has been a good week at the table but pride of place goes to this magnificent Beef and Potato Pie from West Cork Pies in Schull. A hungry three man jury gave this flavour packed pastry a unanimous thumbs up! They also produce Pork Pies, Steak and Kidney Pies and Scotch Eggs. They say: What you’ll get from me are good quality, very tasty, products full of substantial ingredients not just cheap gravy and the odd lump of something indistinguishable. Glad to agree. The pies are available at various outlets in West Cork, in various pubs around the city (check the link above) and also at the Fresh from West Cork stall in the English Market.

The verdict may have been unanimous but it was very close. Other top class contenders this week included the award winning Steak Rub from the Cornstore, the fantastic Amodeo salad dressing from Tuscany Bistro and also the gorgeous Wild Smoked Salmon Butter by Woodcock Smokery (Sally Barnes).

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