Showing posts with label Fresh from West Cork. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Fresh from West Cork. Show all posts

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

The West’s Awake. Find it Fresh in Bradley’s

The  West’s Awake.

Find it Fresh in Bradley’s

Opening day in Bradley's
Fresh from West Cork is back in town and you’ll find it installed in Bradley’s, North Main Street. Walter, familiar to many of you from his stint last year in the English Market, fronts the operation and is as enthusiastic as ever.

And why wouldn't he be? He has some great produce in Bradley's; all the familiar names are there including Irish Atlantic Sea Salt, Rosscarbery Recipes, Gubbeen, Ummera, Glenilen, Sally Barnes (he especially recommends her smoked mackerel, “a big seller”), West Cork Pies, Culture Foods (the Sauerkraut people, who are now exporting) and more.

June Kingston’s Soda Wheaten loaf is a best seller and there are tasty apple tarts from the Walshes of Caheragh (near Drimoleague). And don't forget the Loughbeg Tea Brack and be sure to get some Glenilen clotted cream to go with that! Then you have yogurts and Lemon Labneh from McCarthy’s Dairy not to mention the many fish products from Union Hall including Smoked Mackerel Paté and Smoked Salmon Paté.

No shortage of honey and jam. The honey comes from Noel and Patricia Love of Knockeen (Skibbereen) while jams are supplied by Kathleen McCarthy of Drimoleague and Eithne McCarthy from Skibbereen. And watch out too for the Loughbeg chutneys, quite a few but the star is the Yellow Zucchini Relish which was adored by a bunch of “nine Michelin chefs from London when they sampled it at the English Market last year”.

And the good news is that you can get these six days a week, from 8.00am to 9.30pm! And more good news. If you like your vegetables fresh (and who doesn't?), Colm O’Regan of Horizon Farms will be making three deliveries a week to North Main Street.

And from next Friday, you'll be able to get raw pressed juice here: carrot, beetroot and a vegetable and fruit blend! “And the week after that, we'll have mini-meals,” he said. I looked puzzled! “Especially for toddlers,” he clarified. So there you are. Walter and Fresh from West Cork will feed you all, big and small.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Camus Farm and its Delicious Dexter Beef

Camus Farm and its Delicious Dexter Beef
Dexter rump steak

The Natural Way
In a small family farm in West Cork, the cattle remain in their family herd. They are not subjected to the stresses of dehorning or castration. They reproduce as nature intended.

The calves remain suckling their mother's milk until fully weaned. In contrast, intensively farmed calves are removed from their mothers and fed on ‘milk replacement’. The West Cork herd is raised organically and there is no risk from the uncertain effects of GM feeds and residues from pesticides and so on.

Even if there was no difference in the taste of the beef, I know I'd be picking from the West Cork farm. It is called Camus Farm and here Vic raises his herd of Dexter cattle, Ireland's native beef breed.

And there is a difference in the flavours and the Dexter comes out on top. Over the weekend we sampled both rump steak and stewing steak from the herd and they were superb. Vic dry ages his beef. In contrast, industrial beef is either not aged or wet-aged. You can check out all the details here.

Vic kills once a month and fresh meat will be available again in Clonakilty Farmers market on the weekend after next. In the meantime, you may buy it frozen (as we did) at his stall in Clon and at the farm-gate. You may also order via the Fresh from West Cork stall in the English Market. Well worth a try!

Interested in raising Dexters? Then Vic's your man, as he also sells cattle. Dexters may be relatively scare in Ireland but they can be found all over the world. The latest we heard is of a herd in the South African vineyard called the Elgin Ridge Winery. It is an organic operation and interestingly Dexter cattle help keep the vineyard clean! Owner Marian Smith grew up in Ballyjamesduff.

Facebook. /dexterbeef
Twitter. @irishdexterbeef
Tel: 023 886 9268

Our call to Vic at the Clonakilty Market was part of a quick trip west to sample the week long festival  called A Taste of West Cork. Read here about a fantastic multi-course meal featuring seaweed and here about a very enjoyable twenty fours that also included a tour of the West Cork Distillery in Skibbereen.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Taste of the Week

Taste of the Week
Skeaghanore Smoked Duck

Many of you will be familiar with the award winning Skeaghanore West Cork Duck, produced by Eugene and Helena Hickey near Ballydehob.  Recently, I spotted a pack of their Smoked Breast of Duck at the Fresh from West Cork stall in the English Market. I could see the duck through a "window" in the pack and couldn't resist. Traditionally smoked with oak, it is fully cooked and ready to eat. It is absolutely delicious, a really top notch product, tender and succulent and naturally plump but, in this case at least, with a lot less fat than you'll see on similar products. The 220 gram pack costs nine euro and is our Taste of the Week.

* A few weeks back, I highlighted a trio of quality ready to use dishes by Yumm! Since then, they have come up with another gem, called Lisheen Lasagne, also available at the Fresh from West Cork stall.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Taste of the Week. Your Pick!

Taste of the Week. Your Pick!

Trying to break the logjam in the Taste of the Week room. Four beauties to pick from here and, not surprisingly at this time of year, three of them are drinks, two non alcoholic by the way!
A superb ale from 9 White Deer, the new brewery in Ballyvourney.
This is their first beer and has great flavour and just the requisite amount of bitterness.
Well worth a try and I'll be on the lookout for their next beers, which will
include an oatmeal stout! Stag Ban is available at Bradley's, North Main Street, Cork. 
Not a new product but a welcome one these warm days.
This is a superb Lemonade cordial, one of the very best.
Just dilute to taste and take a few minutes out for yourself.
Bought this at the Fresh from West Cork stall in the English Market.

Eating and drinking in this Blueberry Yoghurt from
McCarthy's Natural Dairy. Just shake it up and drink it.
Enjoy. Two euro from The Rocketman in Prince's Street.
Eoin O'Mahony of O'Mahony's in the English Market is one of the
more innovative butchers in Cork, always worth a call. Picked up some of
these Toonsbridge Buffalo Burgers there at the weekend and they are
a treat, great meat enhanced by some herbal magic. Been buying lamb from
O'Mahony's over the past weeks and that too is top notch.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Delicious Hat Trick by Yumm!

Delicious Hat Trick by Yumm!

Is this Walter Ryan-Purcell, the face of the Fresh from West Cork stall in the English Market, something of a magician? Every time he pulls something out of his bag, a bit of food magic appears.

It wasn't just one this weekend. Nor two. No. But three of the best from YUMM! in Ballydehob. Let me take you through them, all suitable for vegetarians and all gluten free.

First up was the Skibbereen Spinach Pie, a rich, creamy and filling pie made with spinach, cream cheese, eggs, opinion, potatoes and seasoning. First bite and I knew I was on to a winner.

Completed the double with the Inchigeelagh Frittata, another gem. Again I’ll use their own words, as they ring true: A delicate Frittata made with fresh eggs, summer vegetables, mild goat’s cheese and new potatoes. Loved the veg in this one.

And the hat trick is completed with another outstanding dish called Parmigiano Kilmichael. Don't you love the names. You’ll love this too: A delicious dish made with tomato, aubergine, onion, garlic, cheese, olive oil and seasoning. A superb substitute for Ratatouille.

The dishes may be used as a substantial lunch for one, maybe for two if you add a salad. All may be used as part of a main dish with chicken, fish or salad. Try a pack or two and use your imagination!

The vegetables used here are fresh, grown locally and chemical free. Store yours in the fridge. They may be eaten cold and can be reheated. Packaging, by the way, may be composted. All good and all available from Walter in the English Market. YUMM! may be reached at

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Taste of the Week. Fresh from the Island

Fresh from the Island - Taste of the Week
As luck would have it, I arrived at the Fresh from West Cork stall in the English Market just as Mairtin O’Mealoid from Cape Clear Farm was making a delivery of his salads, picked early that morning. A couple of bites later - not the Chiellini type - and I was happy I had my Taste of the Week.

The huge bag of mixed salad leaves is great value and fantastic quality. Try it. But do try and get yours hands on some of his other leaves. You've often heard that Rocket is peppery and have often been disappointed when you tasted it. You won't be disappointed with the flavour of Mairtin’s island grown variety. And another one to watch out for is their Thai Basil - unbeatable flavours and aromas (top right in photo).

And it is not just salads. The farm also do flowers, tomatoes, asparagus and other vegetables, all grown using natural methods (earthworms play a major role!). Check the farm out on Facebook above or on their website here.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Schull Country Market. Cornucopia in a Car Park

Schull Country Market

Cornucopia in a Car Park
Dave from Shehymore Free Range Farm

Sunday morning and the car park near the pier in Schull in transformed into a cornucopia, a profusion of good things to eat and drink from the locality. And not just food as there are also stalls that feature high quality crafts, also from the local  area. The Schull Country Market, one of the first markets in the country to be approved under the new Bord Bia ‘Good Practice Standard’, is well worth a visit as I discovered last Sunday after a ninety minute drive from the city.

While I had met some of the stallholders before, including Gubbeen and West Cork Pies, Loughbeg's Walter Ryan-Purcell, who runs the Fresh from West Cork stall in the city's English Market, made sure I knew most of the others before I left.

Modest Walter introduced me to his wife Josephine (together they run Loughbeg Farm)  and son Jack. You can get their gorgeous chutneys here and in the English Market and we were lucky on Sunday to get a taste of some products that they’ll have on the market soon.

Watch out in particular for their Goats Milk Ice-creams. They have a range of flavours, including a beautiful banana one. These are highly recommended. Another likely hit is their Num Num range, for juniors over 12 months. Not sure I’m qualified (well, I suppose I am over 12 months) but I got a couple of samples to taste. These are the Ratatouille with Steline Pasta and the Three Cheese Macaroni; these are gluten free with no added salt or sugar. 
Tried both and they are full of flavour. Lucky juniors!
Enjoyed a chat too with Willie McCarthy who now sells fish rather than catching it. His fish is fresh! His man does no more than two casts at a time and then makes for the shore and Willie. McCarthy also has a stall in Togher (Clashduv Road) and it is is proving a popular draw every Thursday morning.

Local grower Tim York produces a variety of chemical-free summer vegetables - specialising in tomatoes, French beans and mixed leaves and asparagus - with other fresh vegetables in season. On Sunday his Lisheen Organics stall was full of veg, including in season asparagus. That was irresistible but the first of his vegetables that we tried was a super fresh bag of Pak Choi that went very well indeed with a piece of smoked bacon from Fingal Ferguson of Gubbeen.
As you probably know, Fingal and his family produce delicious smoked meats, cheeses, salami, sausage, pork and burgers from their own farm and smokehouse near Schull. Like us all they were enjoying the sunshine on Sunday and all are looking forward to a great weekend at the Ballymaloe LitFest. By the way, we had a little of the bacon left over on the Monday and CL put it to good use in an omelette, a great way of further enjoying the flavour and texture.
Fingal introduced me to a new product made in Skibbereen by Scratch my Pork. The main ingredient is Irish Pork Pig Rind and it comes in various flavours, including Smokey Bacon, Mexican and Cajun. Crispy and very tasty stuff indeed!
I have sung the praises of West Cork Pies on this blog before. They are very good indeed and they don't stand still, new flavours coming onstream all the time. And they are having some fun with the names. On Sunday, I bought one called The Dragon Pie (chilli included!). It was hot for sure. And of a very high quality, like all their previous pies I’ve tasted. The ethos of the company is excellent as you can see from the photo.

Had a talk too with Dave Loukes of Shehymore Free Range Farm selling his poultry and eggs. He had some tempting whole chickens for sale but we bought a couple of breasts. At present Shehymore are selling just the chickens and eggs but coming soon are Free Range Pork and Young Beef and they’ll also be doing Marinated Chicken Fillets.
Frank Krawczyk is well known in West Cork and beyond for the quality of his charcuterie and we were looking forward to having one of his high quality sandwiches at the end of our turn around the stalls. But we left it a little late and Frank had run out of bread. Still he cooked up some of his flavoursome sausages and served us lunch in a bowl. We thoroughly enjoyed the meat and the salad, complete with flowers and sauce. A superb lunch. Well a superb main course, as a tub of Walter’s brilliant banana ice-cream served as a delicious dessert!
Bought lots of other bits and pieces including honey, brown bread and Wild Garlic Pesto. Would have liked a crepe from Lillian but Frank and Walter had filled us but we did enjoy a quality coffee from Shane who uses coffee from Badger and Dodo and who we met a few weeks back in Bantry.

Great to meet Shiona James as we were very impressed with the work of husband Nigel James. He  creates beautiful and functional vases, jugs, dishes and bowls, finished in his own attractive glazes. All items are hand-thrown, from stoneware and porcelain clays and are intended for everyday use, being safe for oven and dishwashers.

Not all the regular crafts people were there on Sunday but there was some excellent wood products from Gary (he works mainly with bog oak, also does small “wish sticks” called Unicorn Wands!) and by Malcolm (who works with all kinds of wood).

Peppermint Farm is a busy place but Doris Hoffman was concentrating on her herbs and herb teas at Schull on Sunday. She has quite a selection, all made in West Cork. I came away with a bag of her relaxing tea. Just had a cuppa there a few minutes ago….zzzzzzzzz

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Taste of the Week: Orchard Cottage Goats Milk Cheese

Taste of the Week
Orchard Cottage Goats Milk Cheese

The Desmond family in Ballinhassig, (County Cork), make a fantastic soft goats cheese, under the Orchard Cottage label, and it is our Taste of the Week. Can't make out how I’ve haven't come across this one until now.

It is beautiful and comes in a jar. There are two different combinations: the round balls of cheese come in a  sunflower oil with sun dried tomatoes, basil and garlic and also in sunflower oil with thyme and garlic. This latter has won a silver medal at the world cheese awards and is the one I’ve tasted. The other one (pictured) is in the fridge - though not for long more!

The cheese flavour is mild and the texture is creamy, milder and creamier than usual, less of a tang. May have something to do with the fact that these goats feed mostly on good grass rather than on a rough hillside or bog. If you haven't liked goats cheese previously, this is worth a try and could well be the one that puts you on the way to liking it.

I got mine from the Fresh from West Cork stall in the English Market but the Orchard Cottage products are widely available including Thursday’s market in Mahon and Saturday’s in the Coal Quay. Read more about the Desmond’s farm here.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

English Market + 2 New Cookbooks

English Market + 2 New Cookbooks = 2 Excellent Meals

Been busy with two new cookbooks this weekend: The Buenvino Cookbook and Turkhead Culinary Delights. The former, recently launched in Ballymaloe Cookery School, is by Jeannie and Sam Chesterton, while the latter is by Alain and Edel Wille and is subtitled A West Cork Indulgence.

As it turns out, the West Cork one is the more international containing recipes from Indonesian, Japanese, French, Italian, Dutch, Belgian, British and Irish kitchens and the latter is based on recipes from a finca (farmhouse) in Spain, in Andalusia.  Luckily enough - and it is a sign of the times - most of the ingredients can be obtained locally.

Indeed, I got most of them in the English Market on Friday morning: Quails eggs from O’Sullivan Poultry, Arbutus Sourdough, Serrano (Iberico would have been better) and a chunk of Jack McCarthy’s French Style black pudding from On The Pig's Back, salmon and mussels from O'Connell's, Chicken fillets from The Chicken Inn, seaweed and organic salads (and the Turkhead book) from Fresh from West Cork, and so on.

Garlic Buttered Mussels from Turkhead (French Kitchen)

Quails Eggs on Black Pudding from Buenvino
Used Jack McCarthy's black pudding instead of the Burgos and Serrano instead of Iberico,
all on toasted Arbutus sourdough.

Romeria Chicken from Buenvino
Chicken breasts, turmeric, white sesame seeds, parsley or coriander.
May be served hot or cold.

Dutch Appleflappen from Turkhead.

Mussels with (Saffron and) Spinach by Buenvino.
Forgot the Saffron but this is one of the best mussel dishes I've ever had.

Edel's Salmon Oven Dish from Turkhead (Irish Kitchen)
Salmon, Dijon Mustard, Tomatoes, Olive Oil, Salt & Pepper, Cranberries, Raisins, Rice, Dried Seaweed.
A superb main course.

The Books

Turkhead Culinary Delights (A West Cork Indulgence) is by Alain Wille and Edel Wille. You can get all the details on this book here, even an APP that will help make out your shopping list for the recipes. I got my copy at the Fresh from West Cork stall in the English Market and you may also download a copy at iTunes Book Store for only €1.99 on this link.

The Buenvino Cookbook (Recipes from our farmhouse in Spain) by Jeannie and Sam Chesteron is a much larger book and has a more traditional layout. It was launched recently (details here) in the Ballymaloe Cookery School and is available in the shop there. It is also available on Amazon   for £20.00 and less.

Both are quite practical and it looks as we will be using them regularly, a sign that they have passed the first test! Highly Recommended.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Taste of the Week: Kimchi


Kimchi is a traditional fermented Korean side dish made of vegetables with a variety of seasonings. In traditional preparation kimchi is often allowed to ferment underground in jars for months at a time.
It is Korea's national dish, with hundreds of varieties made from napa cabbage, radish, scallion, or cucumber as a main ingredient. Kimchi also has many different kinds depends on the main ingredients.
You don't have to go to Korea to taste it Irene’s Kitchen in Schull has produced two versions as detailed below:

‘Kimchi Vegan’
Ingredients Chinese Cabbage, Shallots, Spring Onion, Garlic, Ginger, Chilli Powder, Cayenne pepper, kelp, chillies, sea salt. (in order of volume).
Ingredients Chinese Cabbage, Shallots, Spring Onion, Garlic, Ginger, Shrimp Paste, Fish sauce,  Chilli Powder, Cayenne pepper, kelp, chillies, sea salt. (in order of volume).
Both are stocked by the Fresh from West Cork Stall in the English Market. By the way, when you do taste it, do take just a little as it is hot!

If, like me, you don't know how to use Kimchi, then here are a few random tips from the internet.

...great on tuna sandwiches!!  …..put a little dish of it out with every meal.  
You could put kimchi on a hot dog, .. or maybe even grilled cheese!
-Spicy pork and kimchi: Sliced pork belly with kimchi stir fried together with some sliced green onions on top. You can add Gochujang for more spicy flavor but Kimchi already has so much flavor. Let pork and kimchi marinate overnight for more intense flavor!

-Ssahm: You can cook any ground meat (pork or beef would be better) or cubed tofu with shredded kimchi. All you need is some rice and boston lettuce and wrap them all together! yummy!

... kimchi and scrambled eggs.

...also add it to stir fries / fried rice.

maybe with mashed potatoes Click here for recipe

After doing that wee bit of research, I was in touch with Caroline Hennessy (Bibliocook on Twitter). She tells me that it is allied with Sauerkraut and she ”loved to eat it (drained) in sandwiches or with rice dishes, especially if the rice is topped with a fried egg. Fermented cabbage, some grain like rice, barley or wheat berries, some fried chorizo and a fried egg = that's a good dinner!”

Monday, March 31, 2014

Glorious Foods

Glorious Foods
Wildberry's Raspberry Cheesecake. Good from any angle!

There was a lot of oohing and aahing going on in the English Market last week, especially inside the Fresh from West Cork stall. And the happy sounds soon spread as Water Ryan-Purcell, the man in charge of the stall, handed out samples.

It was a tough morning as I tasted cake after cake. They were made in the main by Wildberry Bakery and by Caroline Weese ; they were all of a very high standard,  absolutely gorgeous and, believe it or not, gluten free (gf).

Orange Polenta (left) and Chocolate and Almond

I sampled three cakes from Ballineen based Wildberry, one better than the other, though perhaps the Cheese Cake is my favourite..
(1) Choc and Almond:
chocolate , Bandon butter,ground almonds,sugar, free range eggs, vanilla seeds and essence.
(2) Orange polenta:
Bandon butter, sugar, ground almonds, polenta, free range eggs, lemons,oranges,G/F baking powder,cloves , cinnamon quills, walnuts and toasted almonds,ginger.
(3) Baked raspberry cheesecake:
cream cheese, sugar, free range eggs,raspberries,ground almonds,rice flour,icing sugar,cornflour, vanilla essence and seeds.

Three from Caroline (from left): Lemon, Chocolate and Coffee

Caroline Weese is another busy West Cork baker and we started off with her magnificent Carrot Cake. The Lemon Drizzle is also brilliant, full of the citrussy flavours but so well balanced. The Coffee Cake looks and tastes divine and that Chocolate cake is so gorgeous, so lusciously moist. A big lip smacking yum all around for Caroline. These are all gluten free but you just wouldn't know it. Go in and treat yourself. You'll get a large slice for just two euro!

Oh, she also makes a Gogi Bar, very concentrated and packed with textures and flavours. Ingredients include the Gogi Berries, dates, cocoa nibs, almonds, cinnamon and green tea. A recent Dutch visitor to the stall sampled one and bought the whole stock. But don't worry, it has since been replenished!

Not just cakes!

Most of us know someone who is on the lookout for Gluten Free food. I certainly do and I'll be tipping him off about the selection of fantastic cakes here. But I’ll also be passing on more information about other gluten free products at this packed stall including Clonakilty Chocolates, the Gubbeen salamis, Rosscarbery GF Sausages and the three Sauerkrauts from the Cultured Food Company (Juniper Berry, Ruby Red along with Carrot and Fennel).