Showing posts with label Cork Kerry Food Forum. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Cork Kerry Food Forum. Show all posts

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Positivity in the Cork Kerry Air at Annual Food Forum

Positivity in the Cork Kerry Air at Annual Food Forum
Peter, Beara Gin

It may have been wet and windy outside the City Hall last Friday evening but inside there was a sunny positivity around the stalls. Beara Gin are exporting to the continent; Joe’s Farm’s new Potato Crisps are going very well; Longueville House ciders have had an excellent year; Kinsale Mead and Stonewell Cider also speak well of their 2018 experiences.

Beara Gin are relative newcomers, just over 12 months in existence. But they are making their mark in the competitive Irish market and Brand Manager Peter White told me they are already exporting to Germany, Poland and Denmark. A pallet has just been dispatched to France and they are now working on Italy. 
Rupert, Longueville

Apple Wine
Getting into a new export market takes patience and time so best of luck to Peter and all at Beara Gin whose gins are infused with salt water and sugar kelp. They have two gins on the market, the original Ocean Gin and their Pink Ocean Gin (here the addition of Cranberry and Rosewater adds the pink hue).

Rupert Atkinson, the smiling face of Longueville Beverages, reported an excellent year, particularly the last six months. “The hot weather sent cider sales flying and the fact that it is available in O’Brien’s was also a big factor.” Longueville normally have lots of apples for sale but not this time as stocks of cider and apple brandy have to be replenished.

Stonewell are another top local cider-maker and they are known for their innovation, both summer and winter. Their winter offering this year made its debut in the City Hall. It is a Nohoval Irish Apple Oak Wine, the finest Irish apples raised in traditional French casks. Superlative is mentioned on the label. I couldn’t argue with that!
Mead trio

And speaking of innovation, Denis and Kate of Kinsale Mead were right alongside. Kate showed me their gorgeous gift pack of three miniatures, a wee bottle each of Hazy Summer Mead, Wild Red Mead and Atlantic Dry Mead. Not just a package; it is delightfully illustrated with the story of mead. Worth a look. By the way, if you want some of that Hazy Summer, you’ll need to act fast. “That went very well for us,” Kate said and stocks are fast running down.

Sandra Burns of Killeagh, whose Joe’s Farm vegetable crisps have become a favourite over the past couple of years, was delighted with the reception the new Potato Crips have received over the past year and said they flew out the door during the Ploughing Championships. Husband Joe is a big fan of the new crisps (a mix of colours), all made at the family farm in Ballycurraginny. Both the vegetable and potato crips are widely available, including SuperValu.

Recently, they had a pumpkin picking day on the farm and were inundated when they put out a call for pickers, individuals and schools among the volunteers. Sandra was delighted with the schools as it turned the day into an easy going food education event. See more about it here on their Facebook page.

I think I’ll have a few Tastes of the Week from that lot in future posts on the blog.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Taste of the Week. Bó Rua Farm Cheese

Taste of the Week
Bó Rua Farm Cheese

In Ballynoe, in a corner of North East Cork, you’ll find Bó Rua Farm where Norma and Tom Dinneen make excellent cheese. I first came across the cheese - it came on the market early this year - in Sage where chef Kevin Aherne has it on his 12 Mile Menu. If it’s good enough for Kevin, it’s good enough for me.

But I must admit I forgot about it for a few weeks until I met Tom at the Cork Kerry Food Forum in the City Hall. Had a few samples there and bought a wedge or two of this handmade and handsome cheese with great quality and flavour and already a winner at the CÁIS Awards.

One of the secrets is that the milk comes from their Montbéliere cows, also known as red cows (hence the Bó Rua). The breed is known for the exceptional quality of the milk, a quality enhanced by the rich local grass.

It is basically a cheddar style cheese, semi-hard. They make a natural version and then two flavoured varieties, Cumin Seeds and Tomato with Oregano, Basil and Garlic. The Tomato and Herb was the one I enjoyed at leisure at home and is Taste of the Week.

Careful nurturing of the cheese is needed during maturation, with regular turning and grading. It takes a minimum of six months for the cheese to mature, before it can be sent out for customers to enjoy. The rind is inedible, so remove before eating the cheese.

Bó Rua Farm
Ballyknock, Ballynoe, Fermoy, Co. Cork, Ireland. P51HYH6.
Tel: +353 (0) 86 8385547
Twitter: @boruafarm

Monday, July 11, 2016

Taste of the Week. Seaweed Salad

Taste of the Week
Seaweed Salad

 Seaweed is all around us. All around the coast, obviously.

For a long time, it just grew there, except for the odd picker, acting out of a folk memory, of dillisk and carrageen moss. And then came the odd purposeful forager. Some became authors, spreading the knowledge, among them Prannie Rhatigan, Marie Power and Sally McKenna.

And then the seaweed and plants from the shore began to find their way onto restaurants plates, in all kinds of dishes, from starters to mains to desserts. Food producers too, including bakers such as Arbutus, took it up. Indeed, I enjoyed a gorgeous Nori bread in O’Dowd’s of Roundstone (Connemara) recently.

It looks like the march of plants from the sea and the shore is very much on. Next step is to get it from the plate on the restaurant to the plate in the kitchen at home. And that step will surely be aided by a product I came across at the recent Cork Kerry Food Forum in the Cork City Hall, seaweed salad that is our Taste of the Week.

The company based at the Rubicon Centre, on the CIT Campus, is called Healthy You and the products seem to be aimed at “busy people on the go, the elderly, teenage school children or sports enthusiasts”. At present, they have two products available: Ginger Seaweed Salad and Sesame Seaweed Salad.

For three euro, I bought one of the 100g packs of Sesame Seaweed, after a little tasting of course. These salads may be enjoyed on their own or as a component in a meal with other elements and, helpfully, Healthy You have recipes  on their website.

Indeed, if you use the term seaweed salad recipes, you’ll get a great catch from all over the world. Basically though, we used a salad with big prawns and couscous, cucumber, red onion and roasted red peppers, not exactly the stir-fry on the site. It worked very well indeed, lovely flavours and textures and, especially, a lovely crunch and taste from the seaweed.

For more info, contact Dermot Twomey, see below.

Healthy You
The Rubicon Centre
CIT Campus
Tel: (353) 21 4892726
Mob: (353) 87 9600775

Monday, July 7, 2014

Food Award for Ballineen's Wildberry Bakery

Press release:

Food Award for Wildberry Bakery

Minister for Agriculture, Marine and Food, Simon Coveney T.D. last week presented Wildberry Glutenfree Products with the inaugural Food Sensory Experience Award sponsored by Sensory Research Ltd (SRL).

The award, which was presented at the Cork and Kerry Food Forum and includes a €500 bursary with SRL consultancy, pushed the boundaries of the food sensory experience and tested products incorporating as all five senses of sight, sound, smell, taste and touch.

“At Sensory Research Ltd, we specialise in product understanding through the application of sensory and consumer research, providing industry with business and technical solutions for confident decision-making. Our judges have many years’ experience in food tasting and have gained a vast store of knowledge assessing food products for both national and international clients,” said Margaret Shine, Founder and Managing Director of SRL Research.

“This award will assure consumers that they have found something exceptionally delicious with Wildberry Glutenfree Products, which delivers great quality and value, an overall ‘Excellent Food Sensory Experience’,” she added

Yawl Bay Cooked Irish Crab Claws and Harty’s Preserves were also presented with certificates for food excellence.

“The Cork and Kerry Food Forum, in partner with SRL Consultancy,  awarded the first ever Food Sensory Experience Award in Ireland to Wildberry Glutenfree Products, which is something that we are very proud of. These awards celebrate the kind of food we all love to eat: interesting, authentic, great quality and value, and above all delicious. I would like to thank SRL for their professional consultation and help in this endeavour,” said Joe Burke, LEO South Cork.

“We are delighted to have been awarded the Food Sensory Experience Award and are looking forward to working with SRL to develop our brand further,” said Susan Robbins-Fehily, Wildberry Bakery.

The Cork and Kerry Food Forum –the largest artisan farmers market in the region- was attended by four thousand people on 30 June in City Hall, Cork where more than 60 artisan producers from across Cork and Kerry showcased their produce.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Packed Aisles at Cork Kerry Food Fair

Packed Aisles at Cork Kerry Food Fair
Left to right: Sam of Cloudberry Bakery, Crisp makers Sandra and John,
Just Food's Deirdre,and Maurice of Ballyhoura Apple.

Fish seemed to be the main theme as I worked my way through the packed aisles of Monday's Cork Kerry Food Fair, that followed the morning’s forum, in the City Hall. Not surprising that the seas featured so much considering that the two counties have such a long coastline between them.

Let’s start in the east, in Youghal where Yawl Bay Seafoods have set a high standard. They are well known for their smoked fish products, especially smoked salmon, but the one I tasted at the City Hall was their Cooked Irish Crab Claws. Very good indeed. Worth watching out for in their distinctive packages, the map of Ireland prominent in the design.

Just across the aisle I met the family behind Beara Seafoods. Their tasty Mussel Bites were going down well with the punters.
Those of you who eat out every now and then will probably have noticed Irish Shellfish Butter in your dish, maybe in the likes of Fenns Quay or The Weir (at the River Lee Hotel) And not just at home. This amazing product is now being used by top chefs abroad, including one that pairs it with snails. Director James Grimes tells me the ingredients are Organic Shellfish, foraged Dillisk and pure Irish grass-fed creamery butter, all 100% natural. Get your hands on some of this amazing and very versatile product.

The well established Ummera Smokery also had a stand where Anthony Cresswell was under pressure trying to keep up with the demands for his products which include smoked fish (such as salmon) and poultry (duck and chicken).

James Grimes of IASC

The fish theme continued even into the cheese stalls, of which there were quite a few. You know, from a previous post, that I’m partial to Carrigaline Cheese and that was convincly confirmed again when I tasted their Dillisk Cheese. Gorgeous stuff. Other top cheeses on show included Coolea, Durrus and Ardsallagh. The region is amazingly blessed with the quantity and quality of its cheesemakers.

And if Munster people love their fish and cheese, they also adore their sweet things. There were cookies with delicious toppings from Sam and her Cloudberry Bakery. You’ll be able to order online soon but in the meantime, their sweet things are available at the Food Emporium in Brown Thomas. Check out their Facebook page for up to date news and other outlets.

Gorgeous offerings too from Midleton's Bite Size (loved their Portuguese Custard Tart), from O’Conaill’s Chocolate of Carrigaline (can recommend that big creamy bar with cranberries!) and also from Killarney Toffee (much more than plain toffee!).

It wouldn't be Ireland without a bag of crisps. Meant to get a pack of Joe’s Farm Crisps in Midleton last Saturday but drove home without them. No forgetting this time and I have a big brown bag of Beetroot, Parsnip and Carrot crisps on the desk alongside me right now. The crisps are grown and cooked by Sandra Burns at Ballycurraginny Farm in Killeagh and the farm has a regular stand in markets such as Mahon and Midleton.

There was a nod also to the healthy side of eating with Bio Salt prominent. This salt, infused with Irish Kelp (can’t get away from the sea!), is said to have 68 per cent less sodium than regular salt. But you’ll have to wait for it as it won't be on sale until September. Had a few tasters in the City Hall and it certainly seems to have much of the flavour of regular salt.

Clockwise from top left: Coolea, Wicked Desserts, Durrus, Bite Size.

And then there was McCarthy’s Natural Dairy and their well known Lemon Labneh. Now, in conjunction with the Rocket Man, they have some different flavours. I particularly enjoyed the pistachio. Check out these and their other nautural products on their Facebook link.

While it was great to see newcomers making their mark, it was a delight also to meet some of the more established producers such as McCarthy Butchers of Kanturk. Timmy proudly told me they are exporting their Biroldo to Germany. Next it will be Italy! McCarthy's were close to On the Pig’s Back and the ever courteous Isabelle Sheridan, one of the ladies of which local food can be so proud.

Another is Deirdre Hilliard, the founder of Just Food in Cobh in 2004. Check out the site to read all about her widely available soups, made from organic produce. The company, with its kitchens in Rushbrooke, is a shining example for many of the newcomers.

I didn't get to all the stands, sometimes the crowds were just too much. Sorry if I didn't reach you but I’m sure we’ll meet up again at a local farmers market or at another fair like this.

After all the talking and walking, it was time for lunch and I found that just across the road in L’Atitude 51 where a hearty smoked salmon sandwich and a bowl of soup (spinach and potato from Horizon Farms) cost a very reasonable seven euro.

Read, in the press release below, how your local food producers is creating jobs, lots of them!

300 New Jobs To Be Created As A Result Of Irish Food Startups Getting Listings In Their Local SuperValu Stores Through Food Academy Start Programme
·      More than 300 jobs are being created in food business startups as a result of the Food Academy Start programme,  a collaborative initiative between the Local Enterprise Offices,  Bord Bia and SuperValu;

read more..