Took a refreshing stroll along the Mahon Estuary Walk yesterday morning and called up to the Blackrock Farmers Market before going home. A queue for coffee and hot chocolate at O’Connaill’s and some fresh vegetables in another stall from Ballycotton but no sign of the
bread seller I was looking for.
So that put me thinking of our quest for the daily bread and then the jam, the breakfast cereals, the teas and the coffees. We often talk about eating out and haute cuisine and sometimes forget the more mundane, though with the improvement in local food, mundane is probably the wrong word.
I’m going to run though a few of my favourites and would love to hear from you with your suggestions as there are so many good things round nowadays.
My favourite breads are the Sourdough from Arbutus, the Yeast Loaf from the Natural Food Company, the Country Baguette from Tom’s (usually on sale at ABC in the English Market) and the Spelt and Honey loaf from the Baker’s Oven in Kinsale.
There are some terrific jams around at the moment and the favourites here are Plum from the Apple Farm and Blackberry from the terrific Follain range. No shortage of excellent cheeses in Cork and the current tops in this house are the Cranberry Roulade from Ardsallagh along with two from the Old Irish Creamery: Garlic and Herb Cheddar and their Oak Smoked Irish Cheddar.
No scarcity either of excellent patés. My favourite is the Chicken Liver by On the Pig’s Back and her favourite is the Chicken and Cognac from Barry Tyner (a regular at Mahon Point). Both Hederman in Cobh and Buttevant’s Old Millbank made a delicious creamy salmon paste.
Most of us start the day with a cereal. The once dreaded Porridge has made a comeback and is a regular here. Variety is the spice of life though and I also use the Toasted Organic Muesli by Cobh’s Just Food and the mildly spiced Breakfast Granola from Green Saffron.
Tea and coffee are an integral part of the day for most folks. I joined the Robert Roberts Coffee Connoisseur Club at the start of the year and have been supplied with marvelled coffees including two favourites: Malawi Mzuzu AAA and the Organic Peruvian Cecovesa.
Quite a few teas pass through here and my favourite is Pu-erh (either in bags from Barry’s or Roberts) or in loose form from Little Buddha in McCurtain Street.
And where would we be without soup, especially now that the darker days are starting to come in? Must be quite a few good ones around but I generally go for something by Just Food or Flynn’s Kitchen.
When it comes to yoghurts, I won't pass a Glenilen display. Not just the yoghurts, as I’ll also grab some of their delicious Panacotta and Cheesecake.
For devilishly sweet things, I’d treat myself to a pastry, or two, from Amandine’s in the mall at Mahon and also Dungarvan, top notch French creations with a local twist. To tempt you into the mortal sin, I’ll call in that smiling chocalatier from Bonane in the Kingdom, Monsieur Benoit Lorge, whose irresistible beauties are to be found in all shapes and size in fine food shops.
Of course, you might like a drink at some stage. Lots of good apple juice around at the moment including Ballyhoura and Karmine. For that special treat, try the Tipperary Sparkling Apple Juice form the Apple Farm. For something a little bit stronger, then go and get a bottle of that delicious Stonewell Cider, produced in Nohoval and available at Bradley’s, North Main Street, who stock quite a few artisan products including Baldwin’s ice-cream, another treat for me and for you!.