In a rural setting, between Kenmare and Glengarriff, in a Kerry village called Bonane, a French chef called Benoit Lorge makes exquisite chocolates that end up in all corners of the world.
This success story started back in 1995 and goes on and on. They ship worldwide via their website  while local stockists here in Cork are Nash 19 (Princes Street) and the Sugar Cafe (Washington Street).
Lorge had a stand at last weekend’s Taste Fest and I sampled the chocolate and will return to that. But just now, I have a bunch of Nougat from Provence (where Montelimar is regarded as the world capital of Nougat) and thought I’d compare the holiday purchases against the nougat of Lorge.
I bought two award winning pieces in Fitzgerald’s Park, each at 3 euro: the first was Oak Honey (a one star winner at the Great Taste Awards 08) and the other was Rosemary Honey (a two star winner).
This was something of a no contest, perhaps not a fair one as the French bought ones were of the seaside resort shop variety. They weren't that bad but much drier and less sweet then the Lorge Rosemary and Honey representative. The Kerry product was softer and moister and really really sweet. I’ll be keeping an eye for it in Nash 19 and also for his chocolates.
Had a sweet drink to go with the nougat, a bottle of Muscat Beaumes de Venise 2009 fortified white from Provence.  Wouldn't be anywhere near as sweet, nor as lasting in the finish, as a Tokaji but nonetheless proved quite a pleasant drink and packs a hefty 15 per cent punch. Pas mal at all and I’m sure I’ll find a use of it (you didn't think I brought just the one bottle home!).