Sunday, January 2, 2011

TOP IRISH CHEESES

HAPPY NEW CHEESE

So many Irish cheeses around these days, you could buy a different one for each and every day of 2011.

Started on the local track, not that I ever strayed too far off it, at our New
Year’s Day family party.

The main platter included smoked salmon from Buttevant's Old Millbank, Spiced Beef from Durcan's in the English Market, Smoked Chicken from Ummera of Timoleague and much more including ham and salamis from On the Pig's Back, all Irish except for a Horgan’s Salami (with cheese rim) that I later noticed was made in Germany (I suppose we have to start paying back for the bailout in some fashion).

One could preach on and on about buying local but I don’t want to confine anyone (myself included). By all means, try the great food products from the continent and further afield but we should all keep the local producers in mind on a regular basis.

The cheeseboard was full on Irish, all from On the Pig’s Back.
1: A moderately hard white goat's cheese with the fenugreek seeds is made in Co Galway by Killeen Farmhouse Cheese.
2: A semi-hard white cow's cheese with a yellow rind is made in Clogheen, Tipperary, by Bay Lough Traditional Farmhouse Cheese
3: A rich soft cheese called Maighean is made by Cooleeney Cheese of Moyne near Thurles.

Durrus
A few days earlier, I had enjoyed a round of Durrus (I did share it!). This is a rich tangy flavoured cheese, creamy and semi-soft and made by Jeffa Gill in Durrus (West Cork) from a single local herd.

Had some decent relishes on hand to go with the cheeses. One was the Cheese Board Chutney from Tastefully Yours, a just announced Bridgestone Best of Ireland winner 2011, and the other was a Redcurrant Jelly with Port from Lakeshore Foods in Drogheda.

CAIS is the organisation to which many of the Irish Cheesemakers belong and you can find out much more about them and their products here

Thanks to Jonathan (@JLM_cork), we have this link to a fantastic looking cheese recipe by Cafe ParadisoAsparagus and Gabriel Cheese Gratin

2 comments:

Jonathan said...

Hey Billy,
Great list and well done for keeping it Irish! You missed out on the chance to sample the amazing Gabriel, made just outside Schull by Bill & Sean. An amazing hard cheese, by some of the most interesting people I have ever met. Also Crozier, made by the wonderful Cashel Blue people, but with sheeps milk. Creamy, blue and often too nice to make it back from the market in Blackrock to Douglas cos we eat it all in the car.

Gubeen cant be left off a cheeseboard either in my opinion, a little rubbery, but with a superb nuttieness to it. Finally, Milleen's or Hegarty's cheddar are both wonderful. Mark from the market in Blackrock and I think Mahon Point has most of the above, most of the time.
All the best,
Jonathan
@JLM_cork

Billy Lyons said...

Thanks for that - the Irish list is huge and growing. I call to Mark's stall in both Mahon and Midleton and think I've sampled most on your list, except for the Gabriel. West Cork's Manning's Emporium, who also run a stall in the Blarney Farmer's Market, also have a good, selection, including Coolea, and then you have St Gall and a whole basketful of others from the Fermoy Natural Cheese Co. The list goes on - just as well there is 365 days in the year.