Showing posts with label Real Olive Co. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Real Olive Co. Show all posts

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Taste of the Week

Taste of the Week
Aged veal steak from O'Mahony Butchers, English Market
The English Market was the source of these gorgeous Aherla Farm veal steaks. O'Mahony Butchers had aged it for 28 days and it was absolutely superb, served with rösti and stir-fried vegetables.  Starter, by the way, was halloumi (below), made with buffalo milk from the Toonsbridge Dairy and bought at the Real Olive Stall. And just to make it a market hat trick, the apples for the dessert (Cinnamon flavoured Apple and Sultana Clafoutis) came from the Midleton Farmers Market. Buy local, fresh and fair. And enjoy!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Culture Night Food

Culture Night Food
Some food stops on the Culture trail in Cork's English Market last evening.
Bottom: Chocolate Soup and Belgian Waffle with salted caramel,
 both by Lilly Higgins at the ABC stall. Above: O'Connell's Crab Cake with
Smoked Mackerel and Salmon by Hederman.
Top: Plate from the Olive Stall.
Main pic shows people queuing at Hedermans.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Buying local. Market Meal #5

Buying local. Market Meal #5

Simple salad with Marinated Butter Beans from the Real Olive Company
Haven’t posted a Buying Local post in a while. Just took a break from preaching about buying Irish (only stopped talking about it, mind you, I was still buying) and supporting local producers. This latest post was inspired by some delightful Lamb Merguez Sausages, new from Eoin O’Mahony in the English Market, and by last week’s visit to the makers of Cashel Blue.
Domini Kemp's Cashel Blue Cheese, recipe link below.
Let us start with those chunky sausages. Despite the Merguez name and also a few dollops of harissa, they won’t blow the head off you. We wanted to try the sausage flavour as pure as possible and tried them with a little mashed potato. Really tasty, moderately spiced and full of flavour and a great texture. I’m sure you’ll find lots of use for them, maybe with lentils, maybe with white beans, perhaps sliced lengthways and packed into a roll with salad, maybe in a Spanish Rice recipe such as this one

Moved up a few stalls in the market after that and called to the Real Olive Company for some sun dried tomatoes and also a scoop of their marinated butter beans. Got more of the slightly spicy beans than we bargained for so, for a quick lunch, used them with a straightforward salad and a few slices of the Country Baguette by Tom’s Bakery which is sold at ABC in the Market. Easy peasy! And tasty!
Lamb Merguez sausages from O'Mahony's in the English Market

 The sun dried tomatoes had been bought to be part of a terrific Cashel Blue cheese recipe from Domini Kemp and available on the Cashel Blue website The other main ingredients are Puy lentils (from Len’s Cereals in Mahon Point Farmers Market) and red onions. And keep a few slices of that Country Baguette handy.

Tom's Country Baguette from the ABC Stall in the Market.

On the following day, we had a collection of left-overs and added the butter beans to the Cashel Blue recipe and that gave us quite a plateful at lunch today. Looks like being a good day foodwise as the aromas of garlic and rosemary are now wafting around the house as a shoulder of lamb from Eoin O’Mahony is slow cooking for the Sunday dinner.

Buy local and everyone’s a winner, producers, suppliers and customers. 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Rural Cafe serves Europe on a Plate

Rural Cafe serves Europe on a Plate
Mozarella to Manzanilla

There is a little red shop and cafe in the countryside on the R584, a fascinating winding road  between Macroom and Bantry. Nothing special here, you might think. You’d be a long ways wrong. For in this little treasure house, you may buy Olives, Olive Oil, Sundried Tomatoes, Dried Fruit and other Mediterranean goodies.

And you will also see Mozzarella and Ricotta on sale here. More from the Med? No, because these gorgeous cheeses are made with milk from the local buffalo, introduced here a couple of years ago by Toby Simmonds (of the Real Olive Co) and local farmer Johnny Lynch.

Was on my way to Killarney last week and decided to make a detour to the shop which is just past the famous Gearagh and on the right immediately after crossing the Toon River. As it turned out, Toby and Jenny Rose were in the café. Delighted to see them.

Toby said they had been “blown away” by the reaction to the recent opening of the cafe, thrilled with the huge local support. Already there are plans for expansion and the Toons Bridge Dairy Shop/Cafe could become a must call stop on the way west. Maybe a full stop!

Jenny Rose: "We sell our buffalo milk produce (mozzarella, ricotta, butter, raw milk, aged cheese, cream cheese and yoghourt) and our Mediterranean foods (olives, oils, Iberico meats etc.). We also provide an outlet for other local artisan producers (De Roiste puddings, Coola cheese, jams etc.). Attached to the old creamery there is a pretty garden, where we grow lots of the herbs and edible flowers used on the olive stalls."

In the cafe, they serve simple food made from the abundant ingredients on site as well as good coffee, organic wine and sherry and scrumptious homemade desserts. We didn’t time it all that well. Would have loved to have had a bigger meal but settled for a small one.

But that small one was unbelievable: mozzarella (so so fresh), tomato and basil. Best ever! And CL was also thrilled with her Toasted Sandwich of Mozzarella, Tomatoes, and a basil pesto, served with a tomato relish. Top class and so too was the coffee. Sadly, we had to leave the collection of cakes and desserts behind us but I’m sure they found good homes.

Jenny Rose and Toby then took time out to show us around the adjoining dairy where the cheese is made, soft cheese and hard cheese. Sean Ferry is the cheesemaker, an experienced operator, previously involved with Gabriel cheese. 

While there is a quick turnaround for the soft cheese, the hard cheese (both buffalo and cow) has to be held for much longer, about eight months for the buffalo and maybe up to three times that for the cow. Sean then took us to the Cheese room where the big rounds mature under ideal conditions.

Back out into the yard then where the vans come and go to the English Market and to the many farmer’s markets that this little dairy serves. 

Time to say goodbye and thanks to Sean and head down a nearby side road to see the buffalo in the fields. Directions were precise and we found them without a bother, thinking all the time that the few people behind this thriving enterprise deserve fantastic credit for the way they have put it all together. And there is more to come! Watch this space.

For us though, the focus was now on the road. Toby obviously loves the countryside around here and strongly recommended we take the route. And it was well worthwhile, even if there was grass growing in the middle. Loved the autumn colours and the views as we headed up through Reenaree and then down into the back of Ballyvourney. 

Hard cheese, buffalo (on top) and cow.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Bavette Steak and Graffiti Aubergines

Must say I enjoy my trips around the EnglishMarket . So much to see. Just a selection from a weekend visit in the collage above. Some strange ones, such as the Graffiti Aubergines (top left) and familiar ones such as the Swedes (bottom left).

And while it is fun to look, it is much more satisfying to bring your bags and buy. One man I called to was Eoin at O’MahonyButchers. Have taken a shine to his Italian sausages but also like his bavette steak, now “the most popular cut in the shop, though it was a hard sell at the start”. Tasty, and economical!

The Real Olive Company is a regular stop and there was no exception this time. A wee bag of olives was the number one call but also stocked up with semi-dried tomatoes, a couple of packs of Iberico ham (the pigs feed on acorns) and I also chanced a tin of Portuguese Sardines. Next time, I’ll be going for those Feta Stuffed Sweet Peppers (Bottom right). 

The ABC bread stall is a must visit and quite often, the pick is the Country Baguette by Tom’s Bakery in Kinsale. Quite a healthy choice as it is Sugar Free and Dairy Free. Obviously, I like the texture and taste of it; it keeps longer than most sourdoughs and like most sourdoughs, it toasts up very well (useful to know if it starts to stale!).

Speaking of sourdough, I think Arbutus make the very best around, though some come close, and that and so much more is available at On the Pig’s Back. 

Another foodie treasure trove is the nearby Good Food Shop. They stock the excellent Ummera smoked products and I treated myself to a pack of Smoked Back Rashers. Looking forward to working my way through those!

So, lots to see in the English Market. But don’t forget to bring a couple of sturdy bags! I never do.

Friday, September 2, 2011


Click to enlarge

Many of you will know the Old Millbank   stall at the Mahon Point Farmers Market .  It is a regular stop of mine, usually for the fine Irish Organic smoked salmon, sometimes for the salmon fishcakes and also for the delicious salmon pâté.

Yesterday I noticed a different product there: hummus. There were two types, one with chilli. I had a taste of both and went for the regular type. They had a chart (pictured) on the stall detailing the benefits of Hummus. Looks a good bet!

Moved on a few yards and what did I see but more hummus, this at the Real Olive stall . They also had two varieties. Bought some semi-dried tomatoes here and also a scoop of olives.

Also called to the Natural Food Bakery stall and bought one of their white yeast loaves. A lovely bread and absolutely ideal for use with good quality jams, such as those from Follain  in West Cork.

Barry Tyner was in great form as usual. Never a shortage of tasty pâté samples here and delighted to get myself a big chunk of that chicken and brandy one, a lively starter to any meal! No shortage of vegetables in Mahon. Called to the Ballycurraginny Farm this time and a fiver bought a bunch of carrots, a bunch of parsnips and a turnip
Iain O’Flynn has quite an array of food on his stall; soups, pates, jams and prepared dishes. On this occasion, I was tempted most by the Lamb Tagine. Had this before and it is terrific.

Queues at the fish stalls but I was on the lookout for meat on this occasion and stopped at Martin Conroy’s Woodside Farm ( @Woodside_Farm ) for a great looking pork steak and a good chat. Another chat at the Glenilen  stand before we went off with one of their gorgeous cheesecakes.

Reckon that lot will keep us going for a day or two. Maybe three!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


Rice growing near Arles
Last Thursday wasn't the best of of days and the Mahon Point Farmers Market  had moved indoors (into the covered car park) to avoid the forecasted wind and rain. Still, I enjoyed the visit and called to some regulars (such as Woodside and Arbutus) and also met one or two new folks.

Back at the ranch, we put the purchases to good use. You’ll probably know that the mozzarella from Toonsbridge Dairy in Macroom was in the presentation made to the Queen on her recent visit to the city market.

But did you know they also make a Philadelphia type cheese with the same buffalo milk and it is called Buffadelphia . Picked up a packet at the Real Olive Company  stall in Mahon (they probably have it in the English Market also) and used it in a salad that included some beetroot from Lolo’s stall, where a three head bunch cost just €2.50. The salads came from the back garden and all in all it was very tasty.

At the market, I had bought some potatoes and vegetables from Ballycurraginny Farm and also from Ballintubber Farm but none of these was required for that night’s dinner.

The centrepiece here was Lamb Tagine from Flynn’s Kitchen. Iain Flynn’s stall isn't the biggest but he has quite an excellent range including soups, pates, jams and prepared dishes.

Brought some rice back from the recent visit to Provence and decided it to use it with the Tagine. Had visions of a nice photo as we added red and black rice to the white. But the colours all ran and so no photo as we spooned out the purple mix!

Still it tasted very well indeed and proved an excellent accompaniment to the Tagine which, as usual for Flynn’s Kitchen, was spot-on, the ingredients top class.