Beware of Undercover Bacon

Truly Irish Country Foods 
Truly Irish have unveiled their latest marketing campaign with the addition of this clever billboard which is situated on the Dublin Road between Exit 14 and 15 close to Newbridge. 

Truly Irish were frustrated from all the mislabelling and confusing names on pork and bacon products as other brands were giving the impression they were Irish. As a result of this, a farmer co-op was formed with producers in every county coming together to make a stand. The Irish pig industry supports over 8,000 Irish jobs. 

The billboard was erected to highlight the importance of buying Irish and not what ‘appears’ to be Irish. The model is pictured pulling back her Irish flag to reveal she is in fact of Spanish and Dutch origin, something which occurs too often unknown to Irish consumers. 

“Choose Truly Irish, we guarantee you won’t get caught out” is the slogan used and which they stand by with 100% traceability on all Truly Irish products. Truly Irish will be one of the first companies in the world to offer DNA traceability continuing their fight against the mislabeling of pork and bacon products which is badly affecting the Irish pig industry. 

Truly Irish offers premium products which are 100% Irish, locally produced and traceable from the farm. Truly Irish are very thankful to all their retailers for their continued support to Irish farmers and The Truly Irish brand who have just announced the following new listings; Dunnes: Pork Goujons, Gammon steaks, Beechwood Smoked Back Bacon, Cocktail sausages and Gluten Free sausages and Tesco: Pork Goujons and Roasting Back Bacon Joint with 25% less salt. 

Truly Irish, the brand with its own quality mark, their logo, was featured on The Business Show with George Lee on RTE1 recently. George commended the brand for what was achieved in their three short years of business and announced their plans of entering the UK market.

The above is a press release from the Truly Irish Group . Just received the latest newsletter from Avril of Rosscarbery Recipes and Caherbeg Free Range Pork  and she too has much to say about labeling and also covers food events in West Cork.

The temptation to write something in December was almost too much, but I resisted. I don’t do New Year resolutions simply because they never last beyond the 2nd or 3rd of the month so I’ll just carry on talking about food and what’s been happening here at home – same as last year and since 1997!
Before writing anymore, please put ‘A Taste of West Cork’ in your diary – I’ve seen this festival go from strength to strength and love the fact that it is organised by locals & includes so many local businesses and the community at large. The Schools Competition, which doesn’t garner a huge amount of publicity but is, in my opinion, of immense importance - competitors have to source and use locally produced food to create a menu, and then they have to cook it as well! What an opportunity to create awareness of the wealth of food produced here in West Cork amongst the next generation. My other favourite has to be the Celtic Cook Off which began in 2011. This year the chefs are being invited for two days and confirmed so far are: Jack Stein from Padstow representing Cornwall; Nick Nairn from the Nick Nairn Cookery School in Scotland; Shaun Hill from Wales who owns the Michelin star restaurant, The Walnut Tree, Abergavenny; and our own Paul O’Flynn from The Tannery, Dungarvan. What fun it will be for our local producers to be able to show off our food quality and variety to these international chefs. It’s also a great chance for culinary students to get involved and see what they can learn from simple sharing of ideas. See for all details & updates, also on Facebook.
I’ve been so fortunate recently as I’ve attended a few interesting events, so in no particular order:
The Burns Supper in the West Cork Hotel. Make a date for 25th January, 2013, whether you have any Scottish links or not. I promise you’ll have a great time.
10th February signified the start of my season for tastings & cookery demos. Where better to start than On the Pig’s Back, English Market, Cork; 16th, saw me in Lisavaird Co-Op at the Agriculture Open Day; and 17th I was in S.V. Midleton. I was also honoured to be invited to a super dinner in the Hospitality Suite, C.I.T., where if you book, you can enjoy lunch any day you like. The piece de resistance has to be the lovely article written by Kate Lawlor, 5 Fenn’s Quay, Cork. I’ll scan the article & include it in the next newsletter.
Something that’s been on my mind recently is our LABELLING. Just out of interest, we are hopefully in the throes of updating our labels, but in general we hear so much about nutritional information, there is another small, but important, item of which you should be aware. Every meat producer in Ireland is given a unique identifier number, which is supposed to appear on the label if you wholesale more than 25% of your products over 100km from your unit. In other words, your local butcher who has this number doesn’t have to include it on the label if he’s wholesaling locally. But where it gets interesting is that essentially, you can register whatever company/area/personal name on a product and people can assume that you are making it, but, perfectly legally, you can get someone else to do the actual manufacturing and their number has to appear on the label. Let me give you an example: our unique number is 2303. It appears on all our labels: Caherbeg Free Range Pork and Rosscarbery Recipes because we make our own products in our own unit. However if we were to begin manufacturing Joe Bloggs Black Pudding, his name, address & telephone number would appear on the label, but our number would have to be there too. If you want to check any number, this is the link: Everyone is there and some of it makes for mighty interesting reading particularly when you compare it to the numbers on some of your favourite products. You’ll also see exactly what the manufacturers are licensed to do and with what meats! Willie & I, I think, are pretty straight with people; it’s either black or white, so at present, we continue with our policies:
  1. Caherbeg Free Range = meat from our own free range outdoor pigs; Rosscarbery Recipes = meat purchased from a local factory which has the Bord Bia Quality Mark.
  2. We don’t make anything for anyone else nor does anyone make anything for us!
If you have any queries, you can give me a call & I’ll do my best to answer them, but you can also ask your local county council veterinary office or the F.S.A.I. 1890 33 66 77.
This weekend, I’m in S.V. Clonakilty on Friday 9th; Wednesday, 14th, head to the Blackrock G.A.A. Club for a food evening organised by Scally’s of Skehard Road &  Friday, 16th, see you in Field’s S.V., Skibbereen. Later on this month, W.I.T. Culinary Arts Students will visit &, hopefully, one of these Wednesdays, we’ll have good weather and can welcome Agricultural Science Students from Schull Community College.
If you like to buy in a few pigs at this time of year so that they can be turned into pork etc for Christmas, let us  know as we have bonhams (piglets) for sale & they’re ready to go. We will not sell one on its own because pigs are sociable animals, and we do ask if you have adequate fencing, water source and shelter available. We’re always ready to help and advise if you want to know more. Tel. 023 -884 8474. See us on Facebook.
I’ve just received a text for the first U-14 G.A.A. Football match for the new season. I’m playing with some recipes, but this has to be one of my favourites for early in the year when you might want to use that leftover sausagemeat still in the freezer.  Let me know what you think. Oh yes, have you tried Simplee Salt or Thyme Out Lime & Basil Dressing. You’re in for a real treat!

 If you have any event you want me to pass on, the best thing is to send me an email. My new email address care. Avril