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Tuesday, January 30, 2018
Taste of the Week
St Tola Ash Roll
I know this has been mentioned here before but it is such a superb product that I just couldn't resist putting it up again. Bought half a roll recently in Iago (Princes Street, Cork) and enjoyed it no end.
It is an amazingly creamy cheese from the tough fields of St Tola in County Clare. The cheese has been rolled in traditional food grade ash when fresh. The ash slows down the development and maturation of the cheese and after a few weeks of careful handling, an elegant, smooth textured and full flavoured cheese emerges.
Take your time as you savour the special flavour and that smooth creamy texture; you might even notice the slightly grittier texture of the ash. Enjoy it on its own or pair it with either of these two delicious Irish products: Killahora Orchards Rare Apple Ice Wine or the Hot Crabapple Pot (if you don’t fancy the heat - it is mild - then try their Elderflower and Crabapple Pot) by Wild Irish Foragers and Preserves.
Ireland V95 XA9C.
GPS: 52.903140300 -9.178353600
Sunday, November 26, 2017
Good Food Features at Cork Craft Fair
Brett and Pamela of Wicklow Way Wines
Over 100 of “Ireland’s best makers, designers and artisan food producers” were on show at the Cork City Hall Craft Fair over the weekend. I took an opportunity to call in there on Friday and, surprise, surprise, I spent most of my time at the food section where I met some old friends and some new.
The gorgeous packaging of the Lismore Food Company was certainly an eye-catcher but the biscuits inside proved they had substance as well as style. They come in both savoury and sweet, an Irish Digestive with Wild Atlantic Sea Salt and Caraway with Irish Seaweed among the savoury, Hazelnut, Cinnamon and Raisin along with an all Butter Irish Shortbread among the latter.
All in colourful round boxes, ideal as gifts. But do watch out for the larger blue rectangular box. Inside you'll find “divine crisp apple thins wrapped in the finest dark Belgian chocolate...an epicurean delight”. We tasted those Dark Chocolate and Apple Crisp Thins and they became an immediate favourite. You could take these anywhere! Think I’ll keep mine at home though.
They’re widely available and you can purchase at their online shop as well.
There was a warm welcome from Julie of Highbank Orchards at the Kilkenny corner. She had her full range of organic drinks here, both non alcoholic (syrup, treacle) and alcoholic (gins, vodka, cider and a delicious Highbank Organic Sack).
Our favourite on the day was perhaps the Organic Apple Cider Vinegar with the Mother*. Bought a bottle so we’ll be giving that a longer test! Julie suggested serving it with warm water at breakfast or as a wonderful addition to a salad dressing. Meant to get back here to have a chat with Helen of Mooncoin Beetroot but slipped up. Next time!
|Preserves by Wild Irish Foragers & Preservers|
More drinks then and a very pleasant surprise at the Wicklow Way Wines stand. They produce Móinéir Wines from Irish fruit. Móinéir is the Irish word for meadows.
Their flagship Strawberry Wine is created from hand-picked Irish strawberries, with around one hundred and fifty small strawberries in each bottle. We had a wee taste of this alluring wine. You expect the slight sweetness of the fruit but not the dry finalé. The Blackberry wine (some elderberry in there too) had a deeper flavour, another excellent drop from nature’s bounty. Both have an ABV of 11.00%.
Kate and Denis Dempsey are really working hard at getting the mead message across and they too were in the City Hall, showing their Wild Red and Atlantic Dry White meads. Find out more about this ancient drink, now being given a new lease of life in Kinsale, here.
You may drink it like wine (abv of 12%) or use it in a cocktail. Here is a recipe for their Wild Red Sour from their Facebook page: This tasty tipple consists of our Wild Red Mead, Blacks Brewery Gin, Orange Blossom Honey Syrup, Lemon, Egg White, Cherry Bitters and is garnished with shavings of Skelligs Chocolates Irish Sea Salt Dark Chocolate and an orange twist.
|Fran from Newgrange Gold|
And next we were on to a product based on an ancient seed called Camelina Sativa, better known in English as Wild Flax. Newgrange Gold from County Meath grow it. When grown it is cold pressed and bottled in the Boyne Valley. We did buy a bottle of this Camelina Oil. It is, we’re told, very high in Omega 3 “and has a much desired 2:1 balance of Omega 3 to Omega 6. Low in saturated fat and high in essential fatty acids, Camelina is a very healthy oil.” Try a teaspoon a day! Can also be used for stir frying, baking, salads.
At this point, we had gathered a nice selection of food and drink and the bags were getting a little heavy so time to head off and begin to enjoy. The biscuits will probably the first to go!
* Read more about the mother here .
Monday, October 5, 2015
QUINLAN'S FISH WINS 2015 BLAS NA hÉIREANN’S SUPREME CHAMPION AWARD
|Just slide your little finger under the central loop |
and take this four pack away. You don't have to be
as strong as the legendary Tom Crean.
- Cork-based Bainne Codladh take Best Artisan Producer for its Lullaby Milk -
A family-run seafood business based in Caherciveen, Co. Kerry, Quinlan’s Fish, has won the prestigious Supreme Champion Award at this year’s Blas na hÉireann, The Irish Food Awards. The company’s winning entry is its fresh crabmeat. The entry won over the judges’ taste-buds because of its fabulous flavour, freshness and delicate texture.
There were more than 2000 entries for this year’s Awards from all over Ireland, making it the biggest competition of Irish produce on the island of Ireland. Adjudication involved over 400 independent judges over a period of three weeks. The winners were announced on Saturday night, 3rd October in Dingle, Co. Kerry - Ireland's foodiest town.
The highly acclaimed Blas na hÉireann awards have been setting the standards for Irish food producers for eight years and the number of entries this year broke all records, proving the value and vitality of the Irish food and drinks sector. For the winners, these awards are known to open doors to new markets at home and abroad
‘We are absolutely thrilled,’ said Liam Quinlan of Quinlan’s Fish. ‘We have four premium fish shops as well as three seafood bars supplying our produce direct from tide to table. My father, Michael, started the business 52 years ago and it has been 52 years of hard work since then. This is the biggest award and honour we have ever received and I hope it shows that quality always shines through,’ said Liam.
The Best Artisan Award, also sponsord by An Bord Bia, was won by Bainne Codhladh of Kanturk Co Cork, who won with its Lullaby milk. By taking the milk from the cows during the night it contains naturally high levels of melatonin which helps with sleep. It is particularly effective for babies with sleeping difficulties.
Also announced as prize-winners were:
Best New Product (Sponsored by Invest NI): Wild Irish Foragers of Birr, Co. Offaly for their Honeysuckle Shrub
Best Artisan Award (Sponsored by An Bord Bia): Bainne Codhladh Ltd of Kanturk, Co. Cork for their Lullaby Milk
Best Export Opportunity Award (Sponsored by Pan Euro Foods): Hannan Meats of Moira, Co. Armagh
Best Start-Up (Sponsored by AIB): Cornude Popcorn: Cornude Artisan Popcorn is a range of yummy gourmet popcorn flavours freshly made in the Liberties in Dublin.
Best Seafood Innovation (Sponsored by Bord Iascaigh Mhara): Kinsale Fare Limited, Co. Cork for Hake in a Mild Yellow Curry
Rogha na Gaeltachta / Best Emerging Producer in Gaeltacht area: Macroom Buffalo Mozzarella, which is produced from a herd of over 150 buffaloes on a farm at Cill na Martra.
Best Packaging Innovation Award (UCC School Food Nutritional Sciences): Dingle Brewing Company, Dingle, Co. Kerry which hand crafts Tom Crean’s Irish lager.
Producers’ Champion 2015: Minister for Agriculture and Food, Simon Coveney. Following a survey of over 2,000 producers, Minister Simon Coveney was selected by the producers themselves as their Champion for 2015, in recognition of his efforts to promote Irish food producers and their products at home and abroad.
See the full list of the 2015 winners here.
See the full list of the 2015 winners here.
This year’s Blas na hEireann Irish Food Awards attracted over 2,000 entries, making it the biggest competition of Irish produce on the island of Ireland. Every county in the country is represented. The final judging took place on Thursday last, 1 October at the Dingle Skellig Hotel. The winners were announced at an Awards Presentation at the Phoenix Cinema in Dingle on Saturday, 3 October as part of the annual Dingle Peninsula Food Festival. Prizes were awarded in some 100 categories.
Wednesday, February 25, 2015
Taste of the Week
Elderberry Syrup from Wild Irish Foragers
Wild Irish Foragers are a farm based family business in Shinrone, Birr, Co Offaly, and frequently seen at food fairs and festivals; their products are also available in the English Market and the Village Greengrocer in Castlemartyr. They will have a stall at the big Shed for the 2015 Ballymaloe LitFest. There is a full list of stockists here.
I always enjoy products from the elderberry tree, even though I often get a headache if I handle the wood itself! So it was on the cards that I’d like this Elderberry Syrup. I sure did, particularly drizzled over the morning porridge. Very flavoursome and my Taste of the Week. The following paragraph is from their own Facebook page.
Elderberry Syrup (Silver Award Winner - Blas na hEireann 2013)
A powerful antioxidant, black elderberries have been used to traditionally combat illness since ancient times and have twice the natural antioxidant capacity of blueberries and almost twice that of cranberries. Rich in Vitamin C. Excellent for boosting the immune system & helps to lower cholesterol.A great preventative against flus etc For health benefits take one 5ml teaspoon per day (a months supply per bottle). Can be taken neat off the spoon or added as a topping to breakfast porridge/ natural yogurt etc or drizzle a teaspoon over a fruit salad.Can also be taken in warm water or added to a black or green tea to make a fruit tea
Also excellent mixed with still / sparkling water (dilute to taste) or as a mixer with white wine or spirits
Both Syrups are a great tonic for both children & adults alike
Check here for a full list of the products from Wild Irish Foragers, including other syrups, Wild Shrubs (drinking vinegars), preserves, sauces and much more.