|Franco, the maestro, ready to rock 'n roll|
First the cubes are mechanically diced, then Franco gets his hands on it - the skilled hands of a fourth generation Italian cheesemaker who’s been making cheese since he was eleven - manipulating the curd in a steaming vat (hot water is being piped in), stretching it to almost unimaginable elastic proportions, then after a little draining off, he hands it on and soon from the little machine opposite emerge those gorgeous little balls.
|Awaiting their turn to get to market - Cacio Cavallo mainly.|
We are offered a taste. We chew the sample; it is like a milky “meat”! No salt yet. Brineing, a strong one for a short spell (an hour or so), and then it goes into its “transport brine”, the one you’ll see in the stalls the very next day. Toons Bridge Mozzarella is the freshest in Ireland,” says our guide Ronan. “Made today, on sale tomorrow.” Indeed, if you call to their cafe next door, you could well be eating your freshest ever! Some of the whey, by the way, is retained in the dairy and used as a starter for the next batch
|The curd, before it is diced into much smaller pieces|
The counter was lined with attractive colourful salads (quite a few in the shop for takeaway as well) including Pearled barley, harissa, carrot and dill; pesto, potato and pea; beetroot, quinoa and chickpea, with balsamic dressing; two potato and mint. You could pick any three plus salad leaves for nine euro. We each did just that and enjoyed them in the sun in the garden. Meat Boards and Tapas Plates were also available as were of course the pizzas. Lots of soft drinks too, including my Elderflower cordial, wines by the glass and local beers.
|The old stumps - there are 100s-|
in The Gearagh
|Looking into the cafe, from our table in the garden;|
we were early, the place would soon be full.
|Walk through The Gearagh|
|Take a break!|