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

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





Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Taste of the Week. Rascals New England IPA Nine.


Taste of the Week
Rascals New England IPA Nine, 9% abv, 440cl can Bradley’s Cork €4.95

Rascals of Dublin are big fans of the New England IPA style and have three variations, each named based on the abv. The series is called 759 (why not 579, I wonder). The Limited Editions are unfiltered, unpasteurised. Cryo Amarillo and Cryo Mosaic are the hops used.

Exotic, juicy and Banger is how they describe this. Loads of hops and, just to be sure, no less than three separate dry hop additions. You, like me, might be wondering about the Cryo hops. Cryo is a relatively new concentrated hop powder. Fairly technical stuff but the end result means your beer has everything you like about hops but not the bitterness.

Rascals have a West Coast IPA called Good Vibrations. Vibrations from this New England libation are also pretty good. Our cool Taste of the Week.

If in Dublin why not visit the source, the Rascals Taproom.  I had hoped to call there on a recent Tuesday but no joy as it is not open on Mondays and Tuesdays.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Taste of the Week. Flahavan’s Flapjacks


Taste of the Week
Flahavan’s Flapjacks

Did you know that the Ardkeen Quality Food store has, very recently, opened an outlet in the Dove Hill Design centre near Carrick-on-Suir? I called there recently and, among other goodies, picked up these Flahavan’s Flapjacks, our current Taste of the Week.

I really enjoyed the crunch and flavours from my six pack of Cranberry and Orange; delicious and wholesome they are made with wholegrain oats and are a source of fibre. And, importantly. the oats is grown and milled locally, and the flapjacks themselves are baked in Kilmacthomas. 

I fully intend to make these a regular here and glad to see variety in the selection. They also produce the flapjacks in other versions: Multiseed, Fruit and Nut, Choc Chip, and Original.

Kilnagrange Mills,
Kilmacthomas,
Co. Waterford,
Ireland
+353 51 294107

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Taste of the Week. Big Red Kitchen’s Spiced Plum & Port Jam


Taste of the Week
Big Red Kitchen’s Spiced Plum & Port Jam

“We combine ripe plums with a hint of warming cinnamon and port in this wonderful seasonal preserve. Wonderful on bread and scones, but why not try serving it with pate or cheese?”

A big thanks to Margo Ann of the Roughty Foodie in the English Market for introducing me to this lovely jam. We had been thinking of trying it with seasonal items, such as the Christmas pudding but that wasn’t really an item!

In the meantime, Nicola (from Big Red Kitchen) had tweeted that it was a match with paté, cheese and duck. Plenty of opportunities over the Christmas to try it, although funnily enough no paté (though there is a small tin of Ostrich hanging around). Excellent with most cheeses, though I preferred a sweeter preserve (such as Fig Jam) with the blue cheeses.

But the outstanding match came when we had it with Skeaghanore Smoked Duck. Their richly flavoured smoked duck breast is a favourite here, even more so now that we have this delicious Big Red Kitchen jam - our Taste of the Week - to go with it. I’ll be in for more, Margo!

Tel: 01-6978092 
Mob: 086-1508462 
Email: nicola@bigredkitchen.ie 
Address: Simonstown Lane, Navan, Co. Meath, Ireland 

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Taste of the Week. Mella’s All Butter Rum & Raisin Fudge


Taste of the Week
Mella’s All Butter Rum & Raisin Fudge

No fudging about: I love Mella. I also love Miena but that’s a-nougat story. They can’t get away from me. They always hangout at the Simply Better section in Dunnes Stores.

And that’s exactly where I bought my little “bag” of All Butter Rum & Raisin Fudge, handmade with loads of Irish butter and tons of Mella magic in her kitchen in West Cork.

That potent amalgam of texture and flavour remains intact until you place a piece on your tongue. Then the melt-down begins. Everything else stops as the deliciousness spreads across the palate and spreads to other regions. A moment of paradise.

Sure it dissolves all too soon but the good news is that there is no less than one hundred and sixty grams of this superb mix of butter, raisins and Jamaican rum in the Simply Better pack. Put it on your resolution list for 2019!


Monday, December 31, 2018

Taste of the Season. Barnabrow Christmas Pudding


Taste of the Season
Barnabrow Christmas Pudding
Beautiful texture, amazing flavours

This year, Aberdeen born Chef Stuart Bowes gave the famous Barnabrow Christmas Pudding some added punch, packing it “with the locally distilled Jameson Whiskey and soaked with a double potion of Guinness”.

The pudding was dark, laden with fruit, bound with butter, laced with fresh spices, sprinkled with fairy dust, sweetened with local honey and carrot from their Victorian walled garden. The whisky and stout also helped moisten it.

For all that, there was a certain textural lightness about it, nothing like the heavy unappealing almost indigestible dark slabs served up in some establishments. It was a delight to dispatch and was our Taste of the Season.

Roughy Fruity had them on sale in the English Market. Perhaps they have some left! I suspect there may still be some on offer at Sunday lunch in Barnabrow! And I see that they have a Little Christmas event next Saturday afternoon.

Barnabrow
Cloyne, Co. Cork
021 - 465 2534

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Taste of the Week. Old Millbank Salmon Paté




Taste of the Week
Old Millbank Salmon Paté 


Geraldine Bass is a regular at the local farmers markets here in Cork and her Old Millbank Salmon Paté is our Taste of the Week. I bought it at her stall in the Farmer’s Market  in Mahon Point and if you want to get some of this deliciousness, you should head for Mahon tomorrow. Get there early.

The paté - you can get a nice little pot of it for four euro - comes two ways. The original is in a very tasty creamy paste, ideal for spreading on canapés or, if in  a hurry, spooning! I have a slight preference for a variation where she adds little chunks of her salmon to it, giving an extra twist to the texture and the flavour. Either way, it’s delicious. By the way, I first bought a pot in 2010 and it also cost four euro!

Her smoked salmon is also certainly well-priced and well regarded. You’ll note it on offer at local restaurants, including the likes of The Square Table in Blarney and the Farmgate in the English Market. Needless to say, I have some of that put aside for the Christmas.

Geraldine is a pleasure to deal with and treats all customers with great courtesy and, where required, great patience. She is very very helpful and will give you loads of hints. She also obviously gives the same care and attention to detail to her top-class produce. Treat yourself to some soon!


Old Mill Bank Smoke House, Willow Pond, Summer Park, Buttevant, Co. Cork.
It’s between Mallow and Buttevant, so sometimes you’ll see Mallow in the address.
Tel: +353 22 23299

Monday, December 10, 2018

Taste of the Week. Eight Degrees Blowhard Imperial Stout.


Eight Degrees Blowhard Imperial Stout 12%, 330ml bottle widely available

Long yarn on the label, rare deep-diving whales who go down to the darkest black and blow hard on their return. The Eight Degree brewers trawled to the furthest limits here and, barely decompressed,  came to tell their daring Christmas tale and they called this deep-dark and delicious creation Blowhard.

The smooth and flavour-packed beer, from regions hitherto unexplored, was quarantined for 30 days in Jameson barrels. Don’t worry, it is now safe in this Christmas season to open the little bottle but do pour slowly, sip slowly too. No point in going overboard when the hard work of the voyage is done. Enjoy the amazing flavours and do watch out for a nice hint of uisce beatha in the long aftertaste!

This is a classic Imperial Stout, with knobs on. They stuffed the mash tun to the gills, double mashed for extra flavour, used premium Irish malt, went overboard with toasted dark malts and extra roasted barley – all before committing the beer to a month long sentence in Jameson whiskey barrels, courtesy of their friends in Irish Distillers.

It is a spectacular seasonal special. Try it, they recommend, with steaks and cheese. Or at the end of the meal, pair with a dark and rich Christmas pudding or a decadent Belgian chocolate mousse. Didn’t have either in the house last Saturday night but did have some Mince Pies (made by Foods of Athenry). Got lucky with that pairing as it worked a treat. Pudding is next!

Availability: Very limited draught. 330ml bottles (RRP €4.20).

Monday, December 3, 2018

Taste of the Week. Longueville House Irish Apple Brandy


Taste of the Week 
Longueville House Irish Apple Brandy
Harvest time at Longueville

Thoughtlessly picked up a small bottle and poured, thinking it was Cognac. First sip disabused me of that notion. Now I was beginning to think properly as this smooth liquid with a different flavour to what I had expected spread across the palate. Then I remembered. I had acquired a couple of samples of Longueville House Irish Apple Brandy and everything fell into place, a very comfortable place indeed.

This regular Blas na hEireann winner is a favourite of mine. Normandy doesn’t want us to use the word Calvados here. And I wouldn’t want to do it either. I have from the start, maintained that Longueville is better, on a higher level, both in terms of flavour and smoothness, than the French drink.

And this inadvertent tasting again confirmed that for me and it is now my Taste of the Week. This is a small batch apple brandy from the 500 acre estate near Mallow. They grow the fruit and make their lovely cider.  This is then double distilled in very small stills and matured for four years in French Oak. And the result is this beauty with a lingering finish to savour and enjoy. Good time of the year to stock up on it!


Longueville has 25 acres of apples and the orchard is over 20 years old. “We don't spray Roundup here,” proprietor William said. “We try to stay away from them. No pesticides.” One way they counter the aphids, a tiny bug that can do enormous damage, is to encourage the hoverfly by planting the likes of Fennel, Angelica and Yarrow. These attract the hoverfly, a natural enemy of the aphid.  Sheep are normally kept in the orchards and they ensure a low level of grass. But they do have to be taken out immediately before and during the harvest. To read more about Longueville cider and brandy, please click here.


Mallow
Co. Cork

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Taste of the Week. Beara Ocean Gin


Taste of the Week 
Beara Ocean Gin

The sea plays a key role in the flavours of Beara Ocean Gin, not that juniper is that far behind. The new-ish gin, 12 months on the go and already making inroads in the export market, is infused with salt water and sugar kelp to “capture the nature of our maritime surroundings in the Beara Peninsula”. It is my Taste of the Week.

It is fresh and zesty for sure and that bit different - on the night I was comparing it with the Roku gin from Japan. Juniper is to the fore in the Japanese drink while the Beara has that hint of fresh citrus. It is also a touch sweeter perhaps but overall it boasts a delicious balance of flavours and aromas and a totally pleasant finish.

It made an immediate good impression and is now on my short list. It is perfectly enjoyable by itself  and as they say themselves “it mixes easily, just like the people in West Cork”. They recommend using Fever Tree Mediterranean tonic to “get the best result”.

Beara Distillery also produce a Pink Ocean Gin. The basic recipe is enhanced with Cranberry and Rosewater to give an enticing pink hue and added flavours.




Monday, November 19, 2018

Taste of the Week. Joe’s Farm Mixed Potato Crisps


Taste of the Week
Joe’s Farm Mixed Potato Crisps

Many of you will be familiar with the crunchy flavoursome delicious Joe’s Farm vegetable crisps that Sandra Burns has been making at the family farm near Killeagh over the past few years. We met Sandra and son Conor at the recent Cork Kerry Food Forum in the City Hall.

For the last year or so, Sandra has also been selling Mixed Potato Crisps, again grown and handmade at the Ballycurraginny Farm. Husband Joe is not the only one to have given this delicious mix of Potato (white, pink and purple) his enthusiastic seal of approval. They certainly caught the attention of the punters at the National Ploughing Championships this year.

Nothing much is added in the process, just Sunflower Oil and Irish Sea Salt. They come in a brown bag but it is lined with foil and is also resealable. Nothing but the best for our widely available (SuperValu included) Taste of the Week!

Joe’s Farm Crisps
Ballycurraginny
Killeagh
Co. Cork

Monday, November 12, 2018

Taste of the Week. James Whelan Rack of Roasting Bacon


Taste of the Week 
James Whelan Rack of Roasting Bacon
Three Star Bacon and Cabbage
(with orange, mustard and redcurrant sauce)

With the now well-established move to a more modern Irish cuisine, a few people were led to forget the past or at least to look down on it, and that meant putting the traditional bacon and cabbage well down the ranking as if it were something to boot out of the Irish kitchen.

Thankfully many, including a few leading chefs, knew that the past had many lessons for the future. Bacon and cabbage devotees meanwhile stuck with their favourite and are now reaping the rewards. Take the James Whelan Rack of Roasting Bacon for example.

Here's what the Great Taste judges had to say as they gave it a coveted 3 Star Award: "An impressive looking piece of bacon, with a good layer of fat, well caramelised. There is a good amount of juice when cut into, and it cut quite easily. The meat was succulent and soft, and there was a great piggy flavour and subtle smokiness. The flavours of the meat were superb and very well balanced through the curing. Clearly a quality piece of pork, and well looked after”

This Taste of the Week is all that and more. We tried it out recently. I’m a long time bacon and cabbage devotee and I have to say that this is the best bacon dish ever. Big thanks to three: James Whelan of course, Bord Bia for the fantastic recipe  (including that amazing orange, mustard and redcurrant sauce) and finally to the official Blog Chef herself.

A superb treat that could well make the turkey redundant this Christmas!

Monday, November 5, 2018

Taste of the Week. Velvet Cloud's Rockfield Sheeps Cheese

Taste of the Week
Velvet Cloud's Rockfield Sheeps Cheese
Aisling and Michael of Velvet Cloud

Mayo's Velvet Cloud are best known for their superb sheeps milk yogurts. It seemed that quite a few Irish chefs (including Martina Cronin at Blarney's Square) were just waiting for the product.

Gemma Murphy's use of it at Bellini's in the Maryborough Hotel was one delicious example. Her Warm Irish Carrot Salad with Charred Baby Gem, Velvet Cloud Sheep’s Yoghurt, Sesame, Lime and Honey Dressing was sublime and those carrots with that dressing were incredibly sweet. 

And now those same chefs are getting into Velvet Cloud's Rockfield cheese, also made from sheeps milk. It is a hard cheese. I was expecting something mild, a bit like the Basque cheeses. This Irish cheese though is different, a superb creaminess, a sweet nuttiness and then that sharp kick. So you can see why the chefs could get creative with it.

I met Michael and Aisling, the couple behind Velvet Cloud, in Cork a few weeks back and they are very happy about the way the cheese has been received. The cream coloured interior of this cheese becomes firmer and darker as the maturing period is extended and the flavour becomes nuttier. Supply of our Taste of the Week is fairly limited this year and Cork buyers can find it in On the Pigs Back. Should be more of it available next year and probably more stockists as well.

Had my few paragraphs above written when I saw this weekend Facebook post by Velvet Cloud:
This is unreal!! The first awards we have entered it into and Rockfield by Velvet Cloud semi hard sheep's milk cheese has won SILVER at the WORLD Cheese awards in Bergen Norway this weekend !!!. So proud of our senior shepherd and cheese maker Michael, very few know how hard he has worked and he so deserves this recognition.

Congratulations!!!!

Monday, October 29, 2018

Taste of the Week. Miena’s Handmade Nougat


Taste of the Week
Miena’s Handmade Nougat
Miena Facebook photo

Haven’t given Miena’s Handmade Nougat a shoutout since 2014 when I first came across the delicious bars in Bradley’s of Cork. And it was in the same shop that I got my latest selection, including the Almond and Pistachio, my Taste of the Week!

Made in small batches with locally sourced fresh ingredients, Miena has developed a recipe different from those used elsewhere. The result is a unique and uncompromising soft Irish Nougat.

There is a whole list of tempting nougat flavours coming from County Wicklow these days. You may have Almonds and Coconut, Almonds and Fig, Almonds and Mixed Berries, Roasted Almonds (I have one here as I write!), Chocolate Hazlenut and Cranberry, plus various selection boxes and tins. Christmas sorted!

And there’s more good news - these scrumptious prize-winning nougats are widely available, including in Dunnes Stores Simply Better and at Miena’s own online shop. For a list of stockists, please click here