Showing posts with label Glenilen Farm. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Glenilen Farm. Show all posts

Monday, February 19, 2024

Taste of the Week Glenilen Mango and Passionfruit Cheesecake

Taste of the Week

Glenilen Mango and Passionfruit Cheesecake

I've been enjoying the delicious products from Glenilen Farm in West Cork for quite a while now. Indeed, I had this cheesecake as Taste of the Week back in 2016 (though the Kingstons, Alan and Valerie, have been producing since long before that!).

Time to give it another airing as Taste of the Week. They add mango fruit and passion fruit pulp and its seeds for the ultimate tropical flavour! It is made on their farm in Drimoleague using fresh cream, Glenilen Farm's cream cheese and yoghurt. Not only is it delicious, it is also convenient! Forgot to get something for dessert? Well, this is your gorgeous creamy solution, well-priced too by the way and widely available.


The subtle flavour of the mango and the more intense passionfruit work so well together in the creamy topping. They had been using the fruits in their popular yogurts and just thought it would be a great idea to combine them in a cheesecake. They were spot on and “it's proved very popular”.

Using a few simple ingredients to bring simple, everyday goodness to those who value good food, thoughtfully prepared, has been their motto and mentality since the start and it has served them well.

Simple and good no doubt but also very convenient for the consumer. Take that pack for instance. It has a brilliant (simple) Push-up base for a clean first slice. No messing with the Kingstons. With it, you won't waste a crump of the 600 grammes. By the way, you are expected to share! Enjoy.

Tuesday, May 30, 2023


press release



Family-owned producer recognises impact of food inflation by absorbing rising costs

Pictured with Valerie Kingston are children Edward Sweetnam, Éabha Deane and Charlie Salter. Picture: Alison Miles / OSM PHOTO

Glenilen Farm has become the first Irish-owned company to introduce yoghurt pouches to the market. The family-owned West Cork food producer has launched a convenient and multifunctional range of yoghurt pouches for adults and children.

The brand carried out extensive research and found consumers were looking for nutritional yoghurts with multiple benefits. In response, Glenilen Farm developed a dual action range of products combining gut friendly kefir and 15g of protein in each 160g pouch.

Glenilen Farm Kefir Protein is available in strawberry and mango flavours. Its kefir is a fermented, spoonable yoghurt with 14 strains of live cultures. Consumers also have the option of choosing a larger 350g pot which contains 33g of protein. 

The kids yoghurt pouches are designed to take the mess out of enjoying yoghurts on the go. They’re packed with gut-friendly cultures and are available in vanilla and strawberry. The new products will be available in supermarkets across the island of Ireland.

Glenilen Farm began in the kitchen of Valerie and Alan Kingston’s home in Drimoleague in 1997. The husband and wife team made use of an abundant supply of milk creating cheesecakes and yoghurts for the local country market. The company now employs over 50 people, producing a wide variety of yoghurts using milk from neighbouring farms. 

Valerie Kingston says,  “We are really excited about our new kids yoghurt pouches. The pouch means it’s easier to enjoy on the go without the need for a spoon. It has a resealable cap which also helps to cut down on any unnecessary food waste. Our team is constantly looking at ways to innovate using simple, natural ingredients and our new range is backed up by research into what consumers want. We’ve also created pouches for adults and older teenagers, combining protein, an essential part of a healthy diet, with kefir.”

2023 marks the third year in a row in which Glenilen Farm has absorbed a large number of the rising costs facing its business, meaning its own price inflation has remained below 1% in that time. 

Valerie Kingston added, “Food inflation is now at 14% which is a huge worry for families. The rising cost of groceries is having such an impact on people that we made a conscious decision not to raise our prices. Instead we have absorbed the increasing commodity costs for the last three years. Many of the key yoghurt brands on the market continue to be imported from outside of Ireland, we hope that consumers will continue to buy local and support jobs.”

The dairy brand is looking forward to taking part in Bord Bia Bloom in Phoenix Park from June 1st to 5th where they will be showcasing their new products and launching the new range to consumers at the event.

Wednesday, April 6, 2022


press release

Glenilen Farm has joined forces with iconic Irish retail brand Eason to encourage children to learn about sustainability in a fun way. 


The partnership will see 12 new activities for children included on the inner sleeves of Glenilen Farm Kids Yoghurts and a weekly competition to win an Eason voucher. 

Glenilen Farm is a family-owned food producer, making fresh dairy products using local milk. It began in the kitchen of Valerie and Alan Kingston’s home in Drimoleague in 1997. It currently processes almost 100,000 litres of milk weekly, churning out a quarter of a million pots of yoghurt each week. 


Valerie Kingston says, “We’re delighted to be working with Eason. Every parent wants to see their children reading and learning about the environment. Our passion at Glenilen Farm is creating wholesome food that’s good for people in the most sustainable way possible. We only use local milk, have solar panels, rainwater collection systems and thousands of native trees on Glenilen Farm. We even keep pigs to eat any food waste from the factory.  We want to share our love of the environment with the next generation showing them that small changes can make a world of a difference.”

Eason is Ireland’s leading retailer of books, magazines and stationery. It has been in operation for 135 years and has a network of over 50 outlets in Ireland. 

Brendan Corbett is Group Head of Marketing with Eason, he added, “We’re thrilled at Eason to collaborate with Glenilen Farm on this inspiring initiative – it’s great to partner with an Irish company who shares our passion for engaging with families, and with children in particular.”

The partnership between Glenilen Farm and Eason will run until the end of the year. 


Glenilen Farm kids yoghurt is the ideal healthy snack packed full of live gut-friendly cultures. Available in three flavours, strawberry, vanilla, and banana, it’s made with real fruit and its smooth and creamy texture makes it suitable from weaning age upwards. 

Sunday, November 24, 2019

A Little Night Magic in English Market. The Farmgate Supper Special

A Little Night Magic in English Market
 The Farmgate Supper Special

“If they were on every Friday night, I’d be here every Friday night,’ declared a delighted customer at the end of last Friday’s Farmgate Supper. And she was roundly applauded by the long table.

Even before the day softly and slowly turns to night, the Farmgate has much going for it, including an amazing wide-ranging larder from the market underneath, and the expertise of the kitchen. Then, when darkness shuffles into the corners of the city, the magic of the upstairs venue is enhanced, especially on the run-up to Christmas. Add in next the conviviality of the communal table and you have a winning hand of four aces. 

It’s a relaxed start; a glass or two of bubbles and an amuse bouche or two on the balcony. Soon we are being led into the famous restaurant, this year celebrating its 25th anniversary. And indeed, this series of suppers is part celebration of the 25th. There are still three nights more to come, all with the winning formula. Take your pick from 29/11; 6/12; or 13/12. Just letting you know before the lady from the other evening and her friends book them all up!

We nibble on soda bread and butter as the staff fill all the drinks orders, everything from excellent European wines, Irish beers to their own Elderflower Cordial. The initial small plate of Organic Beetroot, Ardsallagh Goats Cheese, Hazelnuts, a classic combination of local ingredients, gets this part evening underway as people introduce themselves across the table.

Frank Hederman, whose fish stall is downstairs, was among the company and so it was entirely appropriate that his smoked salmon (mussels too) was on the next plate. In 2000, the New York Times said of Frank (as well as labelling him “droll”): “Mr. Hederman smokes fish, which is a little like saying Steinway makes pianos.” Not much one can add to that except perhaps to say that Frank (like his now veteran smokehouse which is increasingly more than a passive player in the process), has improved in the 21st century. By the way, another refreshing taste of the sea, in the form of a dressed oyster, came with the fish plate.

Back to Terra Firma and the next treat, from Chef Pam Kelly and her team in the kitchen, was Featherblade of Beef (from butcher Eoin O’Mahony downstairs) with Artichoke and Potato Dauphinoise. Featherblade has been a favourite around Cork over the last decade or so and this rendition, perfect in both quality and quantity, won’t have harmed its reputation in any way whatsoever.

Someone asked the following day if we had had music. We didn’t but the music of the animated conversations around the table was all that was needed. The next course was chocolate, a luscious Dark Chocolate Marquise, Brandy and Shortbread Biscuit. Actually that dessert did stop the conversation flow for a short spell. The finalé, a rather splendid (and local of course) one, soon followed: Milleens Cheese with fig compote.

Soon we were leaving in happy dribs and drabs. It’s cold outside, someone warned, but we were pretty well warmed at this point, happy too or happy out as we are inclined to say in these parts. In fact, we felt as if we were i gcorplár an tsamhraidh, the name of Cormac Mehegan’s 2012 painting reproduced on the cover of the menu card.

Inside the card, the producers and suppliers were acknowledged and here they are: Glenilen Farm, Kilbrack Farm, Ardsallagh Cheese, On the Pig’s Back, Hederman’s, O’Connell’s Fish, O’Mahony’s Butchers, Longueville House Apple Brandy, and Roughty Foodie.

Sunday, October 20, 2019

All Happening at the River Lee. Afternoon Tea, Harvest Carriage, Jazz Fest

All Happening at the River Lee
Afternoon Tea, Harvest Carriage, Jazz Fest
Petite pieces of finesse and elegance, crowned by this quartet of sweet sensations.
Congrats to the team here as their Afternoon Tea has been awarded best in Munster.

Always a buzz around the River Club in the River Lee. Even more so at present as the riverside hotel steps up another gear - no standing still around here. Latest highlights include a splendid Afternoon Tea and the Harvest Carriage. 

And, for the October Bank Holiday, between the Club and the River Room, there’s a score and more jazz slots, all free, a whole lot of fun from 5.00pm on Friday until 7.00pm on Monday. The excellent New York Brass Band will be here everyday. They are superbly entertaining and watch out too for the Art Crimes Band. But there is something for everyone. Check it all out here 

We were in for the Afternoon Tea last Friday but we also had a look at the Harvest Carriage. The what? Did you know that a three-foot narrow gauge train-line ran from Cork City to Blarney from the late 19th century until it finally ceased service in 1934.
The Harvest Carriage

The Cork and Muskerry Light Railway brought pleasure-seeking tourists from the city to the countryside and ran right through where the River Club now stands. This was the very site of the old Western Road station – in fact you can still see the remnants of the train tracks just under the terrace of the adjoining Grill Room restaurant and two stumps of supporting columns stand in the river outside!

These days, the riverside terrace has been decorated to evoke the good old days of train travel, not so much on the Cork and Muskerry, more like the luxury continental lines. The River Club, in partnership with Fever-Tree mixers, is offering a selection of cocktails to while away the “journey”.

And we started with one! Since we had been assigned to drive the express, the drink had to be non alcoholic. And our host, Pierce Lowney, General Manager, had just the ticket. A seasonal one, based on the refreshing and spiced Seed-Lip, with ginger beer and their own apple and pear cordial. Now, after that delicious Amuse Bouche, blow that whistle and check out the dining carriage for that superb tea.
River Club Bar

The menu follows the traditional three parts: savoury, scones and sweet, all tempting. Four finger sandwiches were Curry Spiced Coronation Chicken, Cucumber and Chive Glenilen Cream Cheese, Focaccia with sun-dried tomato and basil hummus and my favourite Dressed Ballycotton Crab on homemade Guinness brown bread.

The influence of Modern Botany was seen in the very tempting Bramley Apple and Flax Financier in the scone plate and in the sweets as well. There was Camomile and Honey Carrageen Moss pudding, Orange and Polenta Cake with calendula mousseline cream, Earl Grey Chocolate Choux Bun and a joint favourite Pineapple and Coriander Green Tea Tartlet.

We choose the House Tea here, Barry’s Gold Blend, to start with and when that pot was finished I switched to one of the Ronnefeldt Loose Leaf Teas, the delicious balanced Early Grey. And they had more to offer including an Irish Whiskey Cream tea! Coffees too of course.

Speaking of balance, I think that this was one of the best balanced Afternoon Tea menus I’ve enjoyed, not too heavy at all, even that green tea tartlet in the desserts is quite light. So, feeling nicely fed than overly so, off we headed on a leisurely walk downtown. No train going that way now.

Plants and flowers, both wild and cultivated, are at the heart of Modern Botany’s approach to skincare, using the best natural botanical ingredients to promote skin health, including flax, calendula, borage and chamomile. 

These same plants and herbs all feature in this Modern Botany Afternoon Tea at The River Lee. The company is based in Schull and draws on the botanical richness of the Wild Atlantic Way to create their products. And, if you are an Afternoon Tea customer, you’ll get a gift of a Modern Botany travel size gift.  

Western Road

Monday, September 30, 2019

Perryville House - Guesthouse of the Year Winner

Kinsale's Perryville House is Guesthouse of the Year
Honey in the morning

Beer at night
Congratulations to Perryville House in Kinsale. The splendidly situated house, with excellent views over the harbour, was named Guesthouse of the Year in the recently announced and highly coveted Georgina Campbell Ireland Guide Awards 2020.

By coincidence, I had stayed there a few days before the awards were announced. Most of the guests had travelled much further; this lovely waterside venue is very popular with American and European visitors.

Must say I was very happy indeed to see Perryville win, if only for their support of Irish produce. When we checked in, the first thing I noticed in my room, alongside the Espresso coffee machine, was a pack of shortbread biscuits. No, not those anonymous packs you get elsewhere but the delicious Seymour Biscuits that are made by Philip O'Connor in the neighbouring town of Bandon.

Later that night, much later, I called to the amazing comfortable in-house bar here. I knew they hadn’t draught beer so I enquired about bottles and again they came up trumps with the local Black's Brewery 1601 lager.

Before heading out to dinner that first evening, we were strongly advised not to miss the breakfast. "It would be foolish to do so!" Good advice indeed, not that we had any intention of skipping it in any case.

We weren't disappointed. The breakfast is indeed unmissable and served in a room to match. And the menu is based on local produce and includes Gubbeen cheese, Glenilen yogurt, Barrett butchers sausages and bacon, and Hederman smoked salmon.

The hot menu includes their creamy organic porridge served with cinnamon-infused soft brown sugar. Of course, they have the Full Irish and shorter versions. And they also do a Pan-fried fish of the day. French toast with poached berry compote is a favourite. Pancakes are a favourite of ours recently and theirs, packed with berries, come with maple syrup and few more berries for good measure, nicely presented too.

If you read the reviews, you’ll note nothing but praise for their Eggs Benedict. I tried it and gave it the thumbs up. Two fresh eggs (just delivered by Siobhan from her nearby farm) on toasted sourdough, crispy bacon too and all smothered in sauce. Delicious

The cold buffet is eye-catching and includes fresh orange juice, iced water, granola, boxes of other cereals, a mini-fridge with yogurts, home-made preserves (Lemon Curd, Raspberry, Marmalade), honeycomb from the owners’ bees, their own pastries (include pear/almond scones) and bites sized slice of cakes (eg blueberry).

A big bowl of mixed fruits and other tempting fruit dishes such as poached plums and poached rhubarb in honey. And then there’s all that well-known West Cork Cheese with grapes and chutney. No shortage of anything and great service as well in this friendly place. And lovely too to meet up with Emily at check-out. We used meet her regularly over Karwig Wines. She was helpful there and is just as helpful here, as was everyone one we met in Perryville. 

This is the full citation for the award:
More country house than townhouse, Andrew and Laura Corcoran’s Georgian harbour-front home is the prettiest in Kinsale. Renovated and furnished with style, it is immaculately maintained and offers plenty of relaxing space, including a handsome bar and garden room, as well as outstanding accommodation in generous and extremely comfortable rooms (with luxurious bathrooms). Ten new rooms were added this year - so seamlessly executed that the casual observer would never guess at any recent changes. And, masters of detail as always, they even created a stunning new garden to the side of the building so that rooms without a seaview would have an equally pleasing outlook. All this plus great service and, reflecting the Corcorans’ Slow Food philosophy, carefully considered food. An outstanding destination.

for a full list of the winners and citations please click here

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Farmgate Café 25 Years On. Still Going Strong

Farmgate Café 25 Years On
Still Going Strong
Old Millbank salmon

When the Farmgate Café advertise for staff, they stress “it's a busy fast paced environment”. And it is. I saw for myself last Wednesday week (Aug 7th). No shortage of spaces when we arrived at 12.30pm but it was such a different story thirty minutes later. By then, the Dining Room was full and there was a queue for the Balcony, even a little queue to exit! Twenty five years after its founding, the English Market restaurant's food is as much in demand as ever.

We got a table in the glassed off Dining Room and were soon studying the menu and the specials on the board (which included plaice and corn beef). Service is friendly and efficient here and water was quickly delivered to the table along with some of their complimentary breads (delicious, as always) and Glenilen Butter.
Chicken Livers

Something on the lighter side was our target, so we passed on the mains of fish, the beef, the free-range chicken and the Irish Lamb Stew, all tempting and most sourced from the English Market below.

We could have nibbled on olives and on the addictive House Spiced Nuts (we had those during the Walk the Long Table stop here). In the end, I picked the Seared Chicken Livers with Marsala on sourdough toast (8.50). There was a well-dressed salad on the plate as well and it was a superb combination of flavour, texture, even colour.

You can get Irish beers here and European wines but I regularly go for their sparkling elderflower drink and we shared a carafe (4.50). There’s a great loyalty between the Farmgate and their suppliers so it was no surprise to see the Old Millbank Organic Irish Smoked Salmon (12.50) on the menu here and CL gave that a run and confirmed the offering was as good as ever.

One of the advantages of the smaller plates was that dessert could be accommodated!  There was a Pannacotta Special with strawberries up on the board but it was the regular Champagne and Elderflower Sorbet with West Cork Strawberries that tempted me. Must say I hit dessert jackpot with that one, so delicious I was half inclined to lift the bowl to my lips and drain the last drop of the melting sorbet!
Champion Sorbet!

Actually, there is a quite a long dessert menu here. Our other one was also cool and colourful: Lemon Tart and Raspberry Sorbet.  Did a bit of sharing there and that too was excellent but I still gave mine the nod as the best! Each cost  €5.90.

You may reserve a table in the Dining Room (table service) but not in the Balcony (counter service). The menu available in the Dining Room is mostly available too across the way and, in addition, you’ll be able to choose from soups, salads, toasted and open sandwiches, and a daily roast or two.

English Market
Princes Street
local: 021 427 8134
international: 00 353 21 427 8134 
e: (general enquiries)

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Taste of the Week. Glenilen Farm Yogurts

Taste of the Week
Glenilen Farm Yogurts
The Glenilen Farm yogurts, the current Taste of the Week, have long been a long time favourite here. Creamy, delicious, with a good whack of fruit (18%), absolutely no additives, and a joy to dispatch. 

And the bits that I cannot recover from the jar are expertly extracted by the dog who is obviously an enthusiastic fan as well.

They are widely available and I got a half-dozen at the Mahon Point Farmers Market. They do quite a range of flavours: strawberry, raspberry, rhubarb, blueberry, a mango & passionfruit, and also a natural.

“Glenilen Farm is an idyllic location for dairy farming. The lush hills of Drimoleague, County Cork offer our cows a rich and plentiful supply of nutritious grass. And they in turn supply us with the rich tasty milk, which has become the core ingredient in all our delicious products.”
Other Glenilen products are: butter, lemonade cordial, clotted cream, crème fraiche, cream cheese and don’t forget their superb large cheesecakes and other desserts! The yogurts I bought were in 140g tubs but they are also available in 500g pots. More info here

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

A Taste of West Cork Guide. Kate Brings It All Together

A Taste of West Cork Guide

Kate Brings It All Together
Ross with Sally Barnes
In West Cork, there are scores of good food producers, one down every lane, up every boreen. But which road, which village? Where do you find them when you want them? The answer is now quite simple: buy a copy of the Artisan Food Guide, just published by A Taste of West Cork Food Festival. 

The 80-page guide, edited by Kate Ryan, was launched by Michelin chef Ross Lewis (Chapter One) in Vertigo, the top floor of the County Hall, last week. Ross said good cooking begins with good shopping and this guide will help you do some great shopping.

And indeed, guests arriving in Vertigo were able to sample some of the produce from the likes of Ummera, Rosscarberry Recipes, Durrus Cheese, Hungry Crow Chocolates, Sally Barnes (Woodcock Smokery), Glenilen, Skeaghanore, Gubbeen, West Cork Pies, and West Cork Olives.

Helen Collins, chairperson of the A Taste of West Cork Festival for the past four years, welcomed the guests and other speakers. She extended a big thanks you to Tim Lucey, Chief Executive Cork County Council for his unwavering support, to outgoing Mayor of Cork County Seamus McGrath, another great supporter.

And, of course, she had a huge welcome for Ross Lewis, the chef who grew up in the area around the County Hall itself. Ross has dined in some of the world's finest restaurants but that doesn't stop him from enjoying the best of local (he had earlier lunched on lamb stew and floury potatoes in The Farmgate). He repeated his high regard for artisan producers - they are not in for the money - and that regard is well documented in his book "Chapter One- An Irish Food Story”.

Helen told us that the guide author Kate Ryan is Bristol born but has been living in Clonakilty for the past ten years. She is well known on the food scene through her blog, through her Clonakilty Walking Food Tour  (Failte Ireland approved, by the way!) and her willingness to get involved in local endeavours.

Clockwise from top left: Mayor Seamus McGrath, Helen Collins,
Ross Lewis and Tim Lucey

Another Ummera product
The book could easily have been just a list of the producers but is much more than that. West Cork is a big place so Kate decided to use some natural divisions, eg The Beara Peninsula, as chapter headings. So yes, of course, the producers are listed with some detail (including contacts and if visits are possible). Listed also are specialist food shops and local farmers markets. And, importantly, from a tourist point of view, she suggests itineraries to follow.

Let us illustrate her “scheme” by using the Clonakilty section as an example. So, you're an English or French foodie and newly arrived. Where to start? Spend a fiver on this book and you’ll see Clonakilty and its neighbours Timoleague, Dunworley and Rosscarberry.
Hungry Crow Chocolates, the bigger ones have dates and figs inside!

There are no less than 21 local food producers here including well known ones such as Ummera and Rosscarberry Recipes, lesser known such as Clonakilty Homemade Ice-cream and Devoy’s Organic Farm.

You can read which places are open to visitors and plan your own food journey. Or perhaps you’d like to rely on Kate's suggestions which starts with Ummera in Timoleague and ends with Bushy’s Strawberries in Rosscarberry. In between, you’ll visit The Baking Emporium, Camus Farm and Clonakilty Chocolate and more, maybe even a tour with Kate herself. After all that, you may well make Dunworley Cottage your overnight stay. And that's just one section!

The book will be an ideal "guide" to the Festival itself which takes place this year from 8th-17th September, with over 180 culinary and adventure events taking place across the region’s 33 towns and villages and 9 islands.  Visitors will find a foodie’s paradise, with several national and international chefs preparing culinary-themed feasts in local restaurants, food tastings al fresco, foraging walks, open-air markets, seminars, cook-offs, masterclasses and intimate evenings with local artisan food producers imparting their culinary wisdom.

As I said, West Cork is a large area, so much to see and do, so much good stuff to eat and drink!

Monday, March 28, 2016

Taste of the Week. Glenilen Mango & Passionfruit Cheesecake

Taste of the Week

Glenilen Mango & Passionfruit Cheesecake
No major discovery this week as many of you will have come across this gem before. The Glenilen Farm Mango & Passionfruit Cheesecake is a winner and is our latest Taste of the Week. Not alone is it delicious, it is also convenient! Forgot something for dessert? Well this is your gorgeous creamy solution.

The subtle flavour of the mango and the more intense passionfruit work so well together with the creamy topping. They had been using the fruits in their popular yogurts and just thought it would be a great idea to make a cheesecake. They were spot on and “it's proved very popular”.

And like many Glenilen products - you may check them all out here - the secret is not so much the exotic ingredients but the rich creamy milk from the beautiful green green grass of their West Cork farm. Reckon there’s more than one Taste of the Week in Drimoleague. Indeed, I think we’ve featured one or two in the past, including their fabulous butter.

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.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Dinner From Just One Stall. Market Meal #7

One Stall Dinner
Market Meal #7
This is the latest in a series of Market Meals. The difference here is that the meal comes from just one stall and that is the relatively new Fresh from West Cork initiative in the English Market, just opposite the renowned Chicken Inn.

And another difference is that I’ve had a  bit of fun matching the four courses to beers. Since four beers is hardly enough for a growing boy, I’ve done it twice. Match One is with Cork beers while Match Two is with Porterhouse Beers.

Thanks to the ever patient Michael Creedon of Bradley's Off Licence for his knowledgeable help with selecting the beers but the final pick was mine! Don't want you  going into North Main Street and blaming Michael if your local favourite is not on the list.

Back now to Fresh from West Cork. Walter Ryan-Purcell is the face behind this “cooperative” effort from the west and close to forty producers are represented so it wasn't that difficult to get enough for a four course dinner. Indeed there were many options.

It just illustrates that you can do all your food shopping in the English Market. Maybe not all at Fresh from West Cork - they don't do fresh fish, for example - but you’ll be spoilt for choice if you wander around the wider market

Starter: Union Hall Smoked Salmon with Lemon Labneh by McCarthy’s Natural Dairies.
Cork Beer: Green Bullet Ale (Mountain Man).
Porterhouse: Hersbrucker Pilsner.

The smoked salmon, served with a little salad, was quite rich and the creamy Labneh added to the texture. Might have been better served on a Ryvita cracker or similar. Both beers worked well though in different ways. The Ale added more flavour while the Pilsner, not lacking in flavour, provided a nice cutting edge, a contrast against all the creaminess. One up to the Porterhouse team!
Mains: Gubben Traditional Dry Cured Smoked Bacon with vegetables from Peter Ross.
Cork Beer: Blacks Black IPA (Blacks, Kinsale).
Porterhouse: An Brain Blásta Strong Ale.

The Gubbeen bacon, smoked and lightly peppered, was sensational, the star of the night. With its fantastic texture and flavour, it was out on its own. The beers were both good matches; the Black perhaps best taken with bacon on the palate, the PH between bites! An Brain Blásta (even at 7%abv) doesn't mean brain blaster. It is Irish for The Tasty Drop.

Cheese: Loughbeg Farm hard Goat Cheese with Yellow Zucchini Relish also by Loughbeg.
Cork Beer: Friar Weisse (Franciscan Well).
Porterhouse: Red Ale.

The gorgeous crumbly cheese didn't seem to be getting on too well with the spiced up relish. Until the Friar Weisse was introduced. The local wheat beer transformed the potential discord into a very edible treat. A terrific match. Porterhouse don't make a wheat beer and through no fault of its own their Red Ale couldn't quite replicate the feat of the Friar here. Still, it was a nice way to pass the longish interval to dessert. That makes it 1.5 each for the beer teams.

Dessert: Yummy Tummy’s Brownies with Glenilen Clotted Cream.
Cork Beer: Knockmedown Porter (Eight Degrees).
Porterhouse: Oyster Stout.

Let me get this straight. Yummy Tummy’s Brownies are ace. Glenilen Clotted Cream is ace. You're on a winner. Now, add Knockmedown Porter (Eight Degrees) and you have a jackpot combination! Irresistible! That gave the edge to the Cork beer team, 2.5 to 1.5. The Oyster Stout, a gem in its own right, didn't have quite the same impact in the sweet finale to a smashing West Cork dinner.