Showing posts with label Taste of the Week. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Taste of the Week. Show all posts

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Taste of the Week. Burren Smokehouse Hot Smoked Salmon

Taste of the Week.
Burren Smokehouse Hot Smoked Salmon

Visited Lisdoonvarna earlier this year and called to the Burren Smokehouse. Always do when I'm in the area. Among my purchases was this hot smoked Irish organic salmon, smoked over oak with honey, lemon and pepper, by Birgitta Curtin. By the way, all visitors have the chance to see a short video on how they produce their famous smoked salmon and you also get a tasting or two!

Got our Hot Smoked out of the fridge the other day and enjoyed it, our current Taste of the Week, with a simple garden salad. Superb.

The farmed salmon comes from the clear turbulent waters off the west coast of Ireland, from locations such as Clare Island (Westport). Here, "lean muscular fish are naturally high in Omega 3 & 6 oil".  The smokery adds "only the purest natural ingredients, sea salt, natural oak smoke, locally grown herbs, and wild seaweed foraged in West Clare".

Burren Smokehouse  
Lisdoonvarna
Co. Clare 
Tel: 065 7074432
Email: info@burrensmokehouse.ie

Also in Clare recently:
Bunratty Castle & Folk Park
Hazel Mountain Chocolate
The Burren Brewery
A Tour of Clare
St Tola Goats Cheese visit
Henry's Bistro & Wine Bar Ennis
Burren Gold Cheese
Red Cliff Lodge Restaurant Spanish Point
Oar Doolin
Noel's Restaurant at Bunratty Manor

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Taste of the Week. Mixed Berry Compote with Tullamore Dew


Taste of the Week
Mixed Berry Compote with Tullamore Dew

Picked up this Mixed Berry Compote by The Scullery during a visit some time ago to Tullamore Dew. Didn’t get around to using it until recently and now this Tipperary produced compote is our Taste of the Week.

It is handmade in Nenagh by Florrie of The Scullery and the berries include cranberries, blackberries, strawberries and blackcurrant. Sugar, apples, orange juice, and spices are added along with an infusion of the famous Tullamore Dew!

It is terrific stuff, delicious with porridge, natural yogurts and smoothies. They also suggest using it with cold meats and cheese. I thought to myself that it would be good with Rice Pudding. And it is. A divine match - Taste of the Week.

Check out the visit to Tullamore Dew here.
Info on The Scullery products can be found on their webpage or email florrie@thescullery.ie

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Taste of the Week. Folláin Flame Grilled Pepper Relish

Blas na Seachtaine
Folláin Flame Grilled Pepper Relish


So there we were with a lovely pork burger (with chorizo and mozzarella) from Davidson's, our local butcher, for Saturday lunch. The bun was no problem and neither were the leaves (the garden is a salad jungle at present!). 

But no relish? Oh yes, we had. We bought a couple of jars from the Folláin stand at the Old Butter Road Food Trail Festival in Watergrasshill recently and decided to put the Flame Grilled Pepper Relish to the test. It passed with flying colours and is our Taste of the Week.

It is indeed delicious (no added sugar or salt), made from a favourite family recipe. The flame grilling enhances the sweetness of the peppers and that, along with its "zingy goodness", enhanced the already flavoursome burger. Nice little lunch, I must say. 

This relish is quite versatile and may be used for sandwiches, all bbq dishes, cheese dishes and especially goat's cheese and will keep in the fridge for at least three weeks after opening. The other Folláin relish we got in Watergrasshill was their Exotic Fruit Relish. Must give that a bit of a spin soon!

Cúil Aodha
Maighchromtha
Co. Chorcai 
T: 026 45288
Email: info@follain.ie 


Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Taste of the Week. Award-winning Longueville House Cider


Taste of the Week
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.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Taste of the Week. Hazel Mountain Cuban Bean and Irish Milk Chocolate


Taste of the Week
Hazel Mountain Cuban Bean and Irish Milk Chocolate

This latest Taste of the Week is quite a mouthful, a delicious mouthful!

On a bare Burren hill, Hazel Mountain make a range of tempting chocolates, lots of dark ones included. They are a bean to bar company and take their chocolate seriously.

Lots of us Irish still love the milk element in our chocolate and Hazel Mountain recognise that grá with a range of milk chocolate bars and our favourite from this group is their Cuban Bean and Irish Milk Chocolate bar, our Taste of the Week.

Stoneground in the Burren, the Cuban bean is from a single estate. Milk (in powdered form comes from Mallow) is added, toasted almonds and a pinch of salt top it off and it all comes together beautifully as it melts on a grateful palate.


Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Taste of the Week. Seagull Bakery Seaweed Sourdough


Taste of the Week
Seagull Bakery Seaweed Sourdough

While dining in the Copper Hen in Tramore, I overheard the server praising one of their suppliers, the nearby Seagull Bakery and mentioning that the premises were new. I had come across the Seagull breads before in Dungarvan and Kilkenny and the backstory was good.

The Seagull Bakery is a small artisan bakery which specialise in naturally fermented sourdough breads. Sarah Richards, who trained in Ballymaloe and later with Declan Ryan (Arbutus), is the owner and sole baker. All breads are handcrafted using unbleached additive free flours, and quality local ingredients.
You may also sit and enjoy a cup of coffee and a pastry here

Sarah makes a limited range of sourdough and one that caught my eye when I eventually strolled up from the Copper Hen was the Seaweed Sourdough. A little bit more expensive, I thought to myself when I handed over four euro.

But it was worth it. There are quite a few sourdoughs around these days, coming from many sources, and I’m not sure they all deserve the sourdough title. But this Seagull loaf was extra special, that slight sourness in the crust delightfully confirming it as the genuine article; certainly, with its super taste and texture, one of the very best sourdoughs I’ve come across and, to borrow a phrase from the nearby racecourse, a shoo-in for Taste of the Week.

4 Broad Street
(The Cross on Main Street)
Tramore
Co. Waterford.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Taste of the Week. St Tola Hard Goat Cheese


Taste of the Week
St Tola Hard Goat Cheese


You’d better get a move on if you’d like to enjoy out superb Taste of the Week: St Tola Hard Goat Cheese.

This is only made when there is a surplus, as there was last year - there was no hard cheese for a few years before that. It is tasting very well at present but stocks at the Inagh farm are beginning to run down! And running down even faster now that it is available in SuperValu.

This rare and delicious cheese is made in a Gouda style, pale, fine and smooth, boasting a distinctive tangy flavour. As there is no overpowering goat taste many people are amazed that it is made with goat milk. This makes a super addition to any cheeseboard; try pairing it with the Killahora ice wine or apple port. And take it easy - a small wedge goes a long way such is its outstanding flavour and texture!


Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Taste of the Week. Clogherhead Sea Salt & White Wine Vinegar Crisps


Taste of the Week
Clogherhead Sea Salt & White Wine Vinegar Crisps

This Taste of the Week comes from Glens of Antrim Potatoes with no little help from Oriel Sea Salt in County Louth. I got a tip off on this one from a friend in Clogherhead and he was spot-on.

The Antrim company have been making crisps since 2015, cooking the thickly cut, skin-on slices in small batches for maximum flavour. And that Louth salt is seen to great effect here, its hit pure and precise. Add in the lasting tang of the White Wine Vinegar and you have a melange of texture and flavours from first bite until last.

Our Taste of the Week is one of four flavours available in the series, exclusive to Simply Better at Dunnes Stores. Also available are Clogherhead Sea Salt and Sweet Potato; Spiracha Chili; and Vintage Irish Cheddar and Red Onion, all available in 125 gram bags.

Monday, May 6, 2019

Taste of the Week. Izz Café Labneh


Taste of the Week
Izz Café Labneh

Labneh, with zaatar and olive oil

Labneh is a cheese made from salted strained yoghurt. Then Cafe Izz get to work on it, roll it in a spice mix and pack it into a container with olive oil. The spice used in my jar (it comes in a proper Kilner jar) was zaatar (tarty, herby, citrusy).   The zaatar certainly livens up the Labneh and our Taste of the Week was a refreshing addition to a salad, indeed the main player. Do try and get some flatbread as well.

Izz Cafe is a project that aims to provide genuine Palestinian foods and drinks in Ireland. “We have a unique approach of serving and satisfying our customers. At this stage, we are selling a selection of our foods in Douglas and Mahon Point farmers markets… ” They have lots of other interesting foods on their stalls; don’t be afraid to try. And, since last week, they have a café on George's Quay - will visit soon.

Tel: 0851495625

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Taste of the Week. Amazing no-hops beer from the Burren

Taste of the Week
Euphoria. No-Hops Beer by Burren Brewery

All you beer-heads out there, get on down to Lisdoonvarna this weekend and try out this amazing hop-less beer by Peter Curtin of the Burren Brewery. Read all about it on the poster.

I got a wee taste earlier in the week when Birgitta Curtin squeezed a few centilitres from the bottom of the barrel. This tastes close to a sour. I felt good. Reckon another few centilitres and I'd be euphoric.

That barrel may well be refilled by Friday, though it may be delayed until Saturday. Check before you go to the Roadside Tavern. And do let me know how you enjoyed our amazing Taste of the Week.

Also in Clare recently:
Bunratty Castle & Folk Park
Hazel Mountain Chocolate
The Burren Brewery
A Tour of Clare
St Tola Goats Cheese visit
Burren Gold Cheese
Henry's Bistro & Wine Bar Ennis
Oar Doolin
Noel's at Bunratty Manor
Coast of Clare

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Taste of the Week. Burren Gold Cheese


Taste of the Week
Burren Gold Cheese
Dave, our host at Burren Gold

There’s a bunch of Holstein Friesians grazing on the tough fields around the Caherconnell Stone Fort in the heart of the Burren in County Clare. Not easy to get a decent biteful here; grass is not plentiful, far from it, but the cows also eat some of the famous herbs and exotic plants that grow in the crevices in the great pavement of the Burren rock. And that hard-earned mix of flavours goes to make Burren Gold, a Gouda style cheese and our Taste of the Week.

We have visited the famous Ailwee Caves in the area on a few occasions and head there again. But this time, instead of the caves, we are going to the Farm Shop, in the same complex. Here they sell lots of good things from the area, including honey, and indeed other cheeses and we also get a taste of the fantastic Cratloe Hills, a sheep milk cheese from the south of the county (and a previous Taste of the Week).

The milk from the Holstein Friesians of Caherconnell is brought here and you can see the cheese being made. Today though, the cheesemaker has a day off. Just by pure chance, we get talking to manager Dave and he talks us through the process.

They have been making the cheese here since 1985. So why haven’t we heard about it? The main reason is that over 90 per cent of it is sold right here in the Farm Shop and the rest locally. We actually found it on the breakfast menu at our B&B, the Fergus View near Corofin where the Kellehers, Mary and Declan, support all things local.

Burren Gold is a firm textured Gouda style cheese with a rich creamy taste. It comes in a variety of flavours:- Plain, Smoked, Cumin, Garlic & Nettle, Black Pepper and for something a little more exotic—Piri Piri. 

You can taste all the variations here - we did - and Dave was particularly proud of the Piri Piri and even more so of the Black Pepper which won a Gold Medal Award at the prestigious Bath and West Show in 2018.

They also age some of the cheese. You can see the racks of wheels in a glassed off section of the shop, one for 12 months, another for 24.  Those mature cheeses are splendid and we bought ourselves a piece that was just over 12 months. It is disappearing rapidly.

Actually, there is quite a lot to do here. You may of course visit the famous caves, all part of the Burren Geo-Park; you may buy a combined ticket that will enable you see the Birds of Prey.  And if you want to interact with one of nature's top predators, then sign up for the Hawk Walk (you’ll need to do this in advance). This walk also includes admission to the cave and the Birds of Prey.

Other attractions not too far away are the Burren Perfumery and the Poulnabrone dolmen, both amazing.

Ballyvaughan
Co. Clare
Tel: +353 (0)657077036

Also on this trip:
St Tola Goats Cheese


Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Taste of the Week. “Windvane” Irish Cider


Taste of the Week
The Cider Mill “Windvane” Irish Cider Farmhouse Draught

Another revival (and celebration) of the Irish cider heritage by Mark Jenkinson, the man who brought us the outstanding Cockagee. This Windvane, named after a wind indicator once seen working on many Irish farmhouses, is smooth and rounded, crisp with “the right balance of tannins”. 

The pleasing mid-gold colour draws you in. The rich juiciness of the ripe fruit keeps you sipping and the luscious mellow finish tastes like more. A definite Taste of the Week as was his Cockagee  three years back.

ABV is  5% and, like most Irish craft drinks, is available in Bradley’s of Cork. It comes in a 500ml bottle and costs €4.50. Bradley’s also have the Cockagee.


The Cider Mill
Cornanstown House
Stackallan
Slane
Co.Meath

The web address on the bottle is given as www.thecidermill.ie but it was broken when I tried it at the time of writing.

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Taste of the Week. Killenure Castle Dexter Beef Salami


Taste of the Week
Killenure Castle Dexter Beef Salami

Taste of the Week is a gem: Killenure Castle Dexter Beef Single Estate Salami, to give it its full title. The cattle are raised in Dundrum, Co. Tipperary.

It is salami and you may eat it in much the same way as you’d enjoy any other salami. But this is not just another salami as it has got its own amazing texture and flavour thanks to the heritage beef and “a heritage curing process”.

Killenure have returned the native Irish breed to its “original birthplace in Dundrum”. The salami is not the only product. Watch out for their “Boutique Beef” and “Dexter Dripping”. Nothing is wasted: they also do leather and bone crafts. Must see if I can visit!

Glad I recently ordered the #IrishFood hamper to raise awareness & funds for #RearingtoGo @TeacTom via @gingerbreadmiss , as that’s where I came across the salami. Not too sure about stockists but you may purchase direct from the castle.

Knockavilla,
Dundrum,
County Tipperary.


Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Taste of the Week. Rosscarbery Irish Biltong


Taste of the Week
Rosscarbery Irish Biltong


You’re a person on the go. Playing stamina sapping games. Surfing. Climbing. Hill Climbing. Farming. Maybe you’re just hovering the stairs carpet. And you need a quick snack to boost those energy levels. Well, our latest Taste of the Week might interest you. The Irish Biltong by Rosscarbery Recipes is naturally high in protein, a great on the go snack made from 100% Angus beef. Just sea salt, organic raw cane sugar, toasted coriander, ground black pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, and dried Irish seaweed have been added to the beef.

The Allshires, the family behind Rosscarbery and Caherbeg Pork, are well known in West Cork and beyond and it was one of the younger members, son Maurice, who developed this product. Initially is was for himself. 

An active young man, he was unimpressed with the snacks available, certainly with those long lists of strange ingredients. “I needed something tasty, something that I could rely on with an ingredient list that a toddler could read.” And so he developed Rosscarbery Biltong around his own lifestyle. It took a while though but now it is widely available.

The beef has been cured and air dried and cut into small strips and the product comes ready to eat in a pocketable pack. Just put a piece on your tongue and allow the juices in your mouth to work their magic. The beef softens and you can chew away to your heart’s content. Another  strip or two and you’re ready to move that mountain, well climb that hill!

Caherbeg
Rosscarbery
Co. Cork

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Taste of the Week. Cohiba “Atmosphere” Cuban Coffee


Taste of the Week
Cohiba “Atmosphere” Cuban Coffee

I keep an eye on the offerings at Dublin’s FIXX coffee and glad that I do when I can get my hands on a coffee as good as this Cohiba “Atmosphere”.

The beans are sourced from The Isabelica Plantation of Gran Piedra, a UNESCO World Heritage Site (one of only two coffee plantations in the world to receive this accolade).

At over 1,000 meters above sea level and surrounded by hardwood trees, the coffee plants develop under the shade of the leafy trees. A natural refuge for rare birds making the almost inaccessible region into a Biosphere Reserve. The exceptional conditions found in this small area ensure that we are getting something very rare with these bird-friendly gourmet coffees.


This is a superb coffee, intense rather than strong, excellent body with the hint of cocoa undertones. A knockout premium coffee, something of a fist in a velvet glove. It is 100% Arabica and is expensive but quite a treat.

Fixx 
Unit 9, Naas Road Business Park, Muirfield Drive, Naas Road , Dublin, D12 X3H7

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Taste of the Week. Ballinrostig Gold Cheese


Taste of the Week
Ballinrostig Gold Cheese
Pic from Ballinrostig Facebook
Just finished a piece of Ballinrostig Organic Gold cheese, a Gouda style cheese mainly made from Jersey Milk, and it’s a beauty! Hand-crafted and packed full of flavour, this high-quality creamy cheese with a rich colour from the Jersey milk is a gem from East Cork and is our Taste of the Week.

Ballinrostig Cheese is owned and run by husband and wife team, Stephen Bender and Michele Cashman, in the small village of the same name.

They’ve been making cheese since 2015. Last year they converted their entire range to organic.  Their basic product is a Gouda style cheese.  The signature cheese is the Gold and our Taste of the Week is a beauty! The Gouda style herb cheese range includes Nettle, Cumin and Red Pepper and Garlic.  In addition they produce an Organic Cream Cheese with Nettle and Garlic, and a Halloumi and a Bán (Feta) cheese.  
I got my Jersey gold in Bradley’s Cork (€4.95 for a good sized wedge) and other outlets are listed here.  

Ballinrostig Cheese
Ballinrostig
Whitegate
Co. Cork
Tel: 087 2773141
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/corkcheese/

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Taste of the Week. Silver Spear Gin


Taste of the Week
Silver Spear Gin

So many gins on the market nowadays. Some are very good. But others have little to distinguish themselves from the crowd. Not so with Silver Spear from Ballydarton House in Carlow. Came across this at a recent function, enjoyed the fragrant aromas and the classic characteristics in the glass and thought to myself that I had a Taste of the Week in my hands. 

So I did some further research, that is to say, I had another glass of their perfect serve.
The ingredients are: 
Silver Spear Gin 35ml
Premium tonic 150ml.
Stir and serve on ice, garnished with strawberry (sliced and slight muddled) and one wedge of lime (with a slight squeeze.

That research worked out quite well and the Silver Spear is our current Taste of the Week. Lots of other ways of serving it also. Check out a list of cocktails here
Perfect!

Silver Spear gin is an award winning contemporary Irish Gin produced in small batches by Smyth & O’Reilly. Taking over 14 months to develop and produced with absolute consistency, it’s is a marriage of 13 different ingredients, including fresh juniper berries, spices, herbs and citrus.

The name was inspired by an iconic piece of Irish and British military history. The ‘Silver Spear’ was awarded to John Henry Watson of Ballydarton House in 1876 for his ‘skill and horsemanship’ whilst he was in service in Colonial India, the home of Gin and Tonic.

The company is owned and managed by husband and wife team, Dawn and Charles Smyth. Dawn, well experienced in the food and drink business, is the only person who knows the secret recipe and blends. They were  awarded “Best Irish Contemporary Gin” in Ireland during blind taste tests at the World Gin Awards 2018. More info here





Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Taste of the Week from The Proper Chocolate Co.


Taste of the Week
from The Proper Chocolate Co.
Glad I recently ordered the #IrishFood hamper to raise awareness & funds for #RearingtoGo @TeacTom via @gingerbreadmiss recently. There were some very tasty bits and pieces there including a Dark Chocolate with Toasted Coconut, now our Taste of the Week. I’ll undoubtedly have another TofW out of that hamper as well as the weeks go by.

The Proper Chocolate Company is a bean to bar producer based in Dublin and they get their beans in many countries and so have quite a variety of flavours. They also do drinking chocolate.

My bar is made from organic cocoa beans and is a delight. They sum it up pretty well themselves: “a delicate fragrance of coconut followed by a gentle dark chocolate marked with fruitiness”.  The coconut also adds a nice bit of texture and the whole effect is excellent. Quite a treat!

The Proper Chocolate Company H2G
136a Slaney Close, Dublin 11
Tel: 01 555 4490
Facebook: Properchocolate
Twitter: @proper_choc
Insta: proper chocolate

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Taste of the Week. Dundon Lemon Curd


Taste of theWeek
Dundon Lemon Curd

Called into Dunbrody House while we were in the area in December and found the Christmas Market in full swing, with chef Kevin Dundon chatting with the visitors. 

He had quite a few jars, including Apple Jelly, Irish Whiskey Marmalade, and Mincemeat on offer and told us he was very happy with his Brandy Butter. We bought a bunch. All good but the one that really stood for us was his Lemon Curd (Limited Edition).

Lots of lemon curds on sale these days, some of them not too good. But this is superbly balanced and our Taste of the Week.

Dunbrody Country House Hotel & Restaurant,
Arthurstown,
New Ross,
Co. Wexford
Y34 R597

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Taste of the Week. Milk Chocolate Apple Crisp Thins by The Lismore Food Company


Taste of the Week
Milk Chocolate Apple Crisp Thins
The Lismore Food Company

Came across the Dark Chocolate Apple Crisp Thins by the Lismore Food Company about a year ago and immediately made it Taste of the Week. Now they have a Milk Chocolate version and, yes, it is the current Taste of the Week. 

Divine apple thins (air dried) are wrapped in the finest milk chocolate and are hard to resist. I just don’t bother. Best enjoyed alone – or for sharing if one must!

The three people driving Lismore Foods are Beth-Ann Smith and the Madden brothers Owen and Ken. Beth-Ann Smith’s family history in food stretches back to Smith’s Stores, a fine food delicatessen and bakery on Cork’s Patrick Street. Having trained at Ballymaloe Cookery School she is now the head chef at Lismore Castle. 

The Madden’s family opened a bakery and public house on Lismore’s Main Street in the early 1800’s. Now called ‘The Summerhouse’ and home to The Lismore Food Company, they continue this rich tradition of baking in the same historic location.

The three came together in 2014 and their distinctively packed goodies are now seen on all the best shelves. Their sweet biscuits are perfect with tea, coffee or with dessert while the savoury are ideal with cheese and a glass of wine.


The Summerhouse
Main Street
Lismore
Co. Waterford.
+353 86 171 2813