Left to right: Martin Shanrahan, Isabel Sheridan, Tim McCarthy and Avril Allshire

La Confrérie des Chevaliers du Goûte Boudin - one of the world’s greatest authorities on black pudding – are in Ireland this week. Over three days from today (September 20),  thirty  Knights of the fraternity will visit McCarthy’s of Kanturk, Caherbeg Free Range Pork Rosscarbery and Mayo’s Seán Kelly to award gold, silver and bronze medals.  Street festivities are planned and this promises to be a great  three day celebration of all that is exciting and special about Irish black pudding and telling that story to an international market.

European Pudding Champions
Three Irish Butchers to be Knighted

The Brotherhood of the Knights of the Black Pudding, based in Normandy France, is one of the worlds greatest authorities on Black pudding.  At the 2010 international awards three Irish Butchers were awarded medals.  So impressed were the French by the quality of the puddings presented by the Irish entries that they decided to visit Ireland to bestow the awards in person and welcome McCarthys of Kanturk, Rosscarbery Recipes and Kelly's of Newport to the Fraternity.

La Confrérie des Chevaliers du Goûte Boudin, was established in 1963 at Mortagne-au-Perche in the heart of the Perche region of France by a group of foodies to promote traditional black pudding (Boudin noir). Black pudding has a history dating back over 2000 years and there are variations in many countries, so that the annual pudding festival hosted by the fraternity has become a major international event with over 600 entries in 2010.

At the launch announcing the visit Martin Shanrahan of Kinsale’s Fishy Fishy, celebrity chef and champion of Irish food, said, “It is great to see Ireland's food appreciated and loved internationally.  As I've said before, no skin, no bone, no fear. Black pudding ticks all the boxes for me.”

The Pudding Parades

In recognition of the wonderful puddings created by the winning Irish entrants, Kanturk, Rosscarbery and Mayo are to be honoured by a parade of the French Pudding Fraternity in their colourful regalia.

Jack and Tim McCarthy, a father and son team, produced an incredible whiskey and cream pudding and received  a Gold Medal.  The pudding is big in both size and flavour. McCarthy's Butchers were established in 1892 and Tim is the fifth generation of the family to wield a cleaver.  Kanturk welcomes the French Fraternity on the 21st September.  At the launch Tim McCarthy said, “My Great Great Grandfather would be proud that the butchers he began are to be honoured with a visit from the black pudding connoisseurs. It is always great to receive recognition of our high quality products.”

Willie Allshire in Rosscarbery  was the first Irish person to enter this competition in March 2007, where he became the first Irish person to receive a Gold Medal. Avril Allshire said, “We are obsessed with quality. When we travelled to France to receive our first award in 2007 many of the French were unaware of traditional Irish pudding so it is fantastic that three years later the Fraternity are honouring Ireland in this way.”

Rosscarbery Recipes received a silver medal in 2010.  All meat used in Rosscarbery Recipes products is sourced locally. Willie Allshire also produces free range outdoor pigs under the Caherbeg Free Range Pork label. Rosscarbery welcomes the French Fraternity on the 22nd September.

Sean Kelly's “Putog” is made in a traditional way to a secret recipe and has received great acclaim.  This pudding was awarded a Bronze Medal at the French competition.  Kelly's artisan butchers began 75 years ago, it has remained in the family for three generations and 70% of the livestock comes from their own farm. Newport welcomes the French Fraternity on the 20th September.

The Irish appreciate French food too
The Fraternity are opening the French Food Festival in Douglas, Cork on 22nd September.  Organised by the acclaimed delicatessen Isabel Sheridan, proprietor of On the Pigs Back, the food fair promises everything from the finest French cheese and wines to some more unusual delicacies, such as Isabel's Pork and Plum pate with Cognac.  This is the perfect opportunity to get hold of some fantastic food. Isabel is from the Loire Valley in the heart of France she said, “Although I have been promoting Irish food for 20 years this is the first time I have held a French Food Festival and it has had a wonderful reception from Cork.”

Photograph attached shows: Martin Shanahan, Isabel Sheridan, Tim McCarthy and Avril Allshire

Schedule for the Parades

20th September 11am – Newport, Mayo

21st September 5:30pm – Kanturk, North Cork – from Strand Street to Main Street. Followed by speeches, the presentation of the medal and a Hog Roast and entertainment on Main Street

22nd September 11am – Rosscarbery, West Cork -  from St Fachtna's Cathedral to the Square.  Followed by Speeches, the presentation of the medal, and a selection of West Cork food.

22nd September 7pm Launch of the French Food Festival in On the Pigs Back, Douglas, Cork city and runs 23rd, 24th and 25th September see for more information.

for more information contact:

Tim McCarthy 087 6347289
Avril Allshire 087 9140811
Sean Kelly  098 41149
Isabel Sheridan 021 4270232