Award-winning Longueville House Cider
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Tuesday, June 18, 2019
Taste of the Week
Award-winning Longueville House Cider
Award-winning Longueville House Cider
Longueville House Cider 5.5%, widely available in 500ml bottle
The big thing you notice, aside from the golden colour of this medium-dry cider and the rich aromas of the autumn in the 24-year old orchard, is that the flavour is long and deep, like the mighty Blackwater that flows by the Longueville Estate near Mallow, Co. Cork.
The balance, between the estate grown fruit (25 acres) and the acidity, is remarkable, hinting that the production process is precise. But this is not measured, not weighed, at least not in any industrial sense. Remember this is all comes together in an old bare-walled farm shed, using “machinery”, for the apple brandy in particular, that is just as likely to be seen in a folk museum or come across in a secondhand sale.
Two varieties of apple, Michelin and Dabinett, are grown in Longueville. The amount of each variety is not measured. They are gathered up together and go into the old oak press together. Nothing is added. Irish Distillers ace cooper Ger Buckley told me recently that, when reassembling a barrel, he judges everything by eye. Cider making in Longueville is something similar: by eye, by smell, by touch, by intuition, the basic tools of an artisan honed by years of experience.
Put them all together as they have in this North Cork estate (a proud member of the Old Butter Roads Food Trails) and the result is this superb cider, yours to savour, the pleasing sensation of the orchard fruit, long and deep on the palate and its refeeshing finalé. With no artificial sweeteners, additives, colourings, preservatives or added sulphites, this is a true craft cider.
Do not spoil the effort of the land and the human hand with ice. Longueville’s Rubert Atkinson (pictured above) advises: “No ice! It waters down the flavours and kills the carbon. Enjoy this like a wine, in a wine glass.” Chill it well and pair with fish, meat (especially pork), cheese, charcuterie or simply on its own.
* Back in the mists of time, these Longueville lands were owned by a Daniel O’Callaghan but, after the collapse of the 1641 rebellion, O’Callaghan’s lands went to Cromwell. Amazingly, the wheel came full circle in 1938 when the present owner’s grandfather Senator William O’Callaghan bought the property, restoring it to the same family clan of O’Callaghans. You may read all about the centuries in between in a leaflet they hand out at the house and, on the back, is a map of the many and varied walks on the estate! Info also on the website here.
Monday, May 29, 2017
Richard's Little Farm Delivers
Richard’s Little Farm deliver their organic vegetables to top restaurants such as Greene’s and Elbow Lane. But you too can become a regular customer by signing up for the regular vegetable box scheme!
Richard Hooton has been growing his own food for many years and decided to set up Richard’s Little Farm after completing a Masters degree in Organic Horticulture at UCC.
The farm, established in 2015, is situated in Hazelwood, Mallow, Co. Cork where he produces over 20 different varieties of vegetables, salads, herbs and fruit. Everything produced on the farm is grown only as nature intended, without the use of artificial pesticides, herbicides or fertilisers.
All the crops are grown and harvested by hand and sold locally at the Mallow Farmers Market (Friday 9am- 1pm) and the Nano Nagle Centre in Killavullen (every second Saturday 10:30am- 1pm) and also in local shops and restaurants. And, as we all know, vegetables are always so much better when harvested fresh and used in season.
That Vegetable Box scheme is seasonal of course so will vary from time to time. You may receive updates each week via text, Facebook, email or Twitter. Then you pick what you want and, freshly harvested, it is delivered to your doorstep free of charge! You can sign up via the Facebook Page or by contacting Richard at 087 281 2054.
With just an acre to work from, this farmer sometimes has to think outside the box. Caught for space? Do what Richard did and start planting your salads in a length of gutter!
Richard is one of quite a few North Cork producers that I saw at The Taste Cork tent in the Mallow Home and Garden Festival at the weekend. One visitor asked him how he started, what did he need. “Oh, just a patch of land and a broad back,” he joked. A bit of get up (early) and go too, I reckon.
|Other local producers at the show included Ballyhoura Apples (above)|
and Longueville House cider and brandy.
Monday, April 10, 2017
Dine at the Crossroads of Munster
There is a lovely restaurant, serving top notch food, in historic Mallow. Near to the beautiful Clock House, yards from the statue of Thomas Davis and just across the road from the castle, you’ll find Peppers where they serve local and seasonal and serve it well. And you may wash it down with local beers and cider.
Called in there on a recent Friday night and were warmly welcomed by Diarmuid and his team. Soon we were studying the menu and the specials board and I was sipping from a glass of Eight Degrees Sunburnt Red Ale (€4.50). Indeed, quite a few of the Mitchelstown Brewery’s beers were available while the Cotton Ball (beer) and Longueville (cider) were also represented.
Hard enough to make your mind up here as they have a big selection of starters and mains, desserts too, on the regular menu and then add in the specials as well and you have a dilemma, a delicious one!
Soon though we were up and running. I really hit the jackpot with my starter: Croquette of confit of free range chicken, smoked ham, Jack McCarthy’s black pudding, Jerusalem artichoke cream and apricot (€7.50). What a dish, full of flavour and texture and so well cooked and presented.
CL didn't do too badly either. She had chosen one of the specials: In-house smoked salmon tartare, Castletownbere crab, dill and lemon mayonnaise and Mulcahy leaves (7.50). Another tasty winner, underlining the restaurant’s commitment to local and doing it well.
|Salmon & crab|
|Local food, local drink|
I had noted the duck from the outset. I could have it in the starters but picked this beauty: Breast of free range Carrigcleena duck, charred leek, beetroot and soy glaze, Oyster mushroom, date purée and rustic potato (23.00). Every little bit on the plate contributed; even those potatoes were something else.
We were both very happy at this point but still had the inclination for dessert and we shared one of the specials, the delightful Buttermilk and Brown Bread Parfait, rhubarb poached in Dingle Gin, and Rose Crumb (6.50).
And the service? Well that was excellent too, very friendly and helpful from start to finish. Go on. Give it a try. You'll feel right at home here.