Showing posts with label The Cultured Food Company. Show all posts
Showing posts with label The Cultured Food Company. Show all posts

Monday, July 20, 2020

Dede brings a refined and exotic touch to amazing West Cork produce in his new Baltimore venue.

Dede brings a refined and exotic touch to amazing
 West Cork produce in his new Baltimore venue.
Beetroot, and peach

Often it is the simple things that make the meal. Local beetroot, his own bread, even the ice-cream, all stood out during a delicious lunch at Baltimore’s Customs House where top Chef Ahmet Dede may be found these days, just a few steps from The Mews where he helped win a Michelin star in 2018.
Baltimore sunshine

It is all much simpler here in the sunny courtyard with a scattering of rustic tables, a barbecue set up on one side, a young and friendly staff, the menu on a blackboard, the renowned chef himself in and out helping and with time for a chat as was partner Maria. The food for lunch is simple, and simply superb. The sky is blue, the sun high above. On a midday like today, the indoor rooms are redundant.
Chicken mains

Could this get any better? Believe or not, it did. In a gesture that underlines the admiration that Dede has for the people here and they for him, we (all the customers) were invited to taste one of the wines that the management had been trying out in the shade with Fionnuala of Wines Direct. 
Love that Pet' Nat!

Maria, Ahmet’s business partner, told me they do that here and that they want good wines that their customers can afford, particularly by the glass. Our sample was that bit different, a delicious, light and easy-drinking Pet’ Nat, not from France but from Greece! What a lovely bonus. A friendly touch in a friendly and cool place.

They are offering a set menu of three courses on a Thursday, Friday and a Saturday evening at a set price of €50 per person.  The ingredients are sourced locally from the finest, eco friendly and passionate growers, producers, farmers, cheesemongers, foragers, fishmongers and butchers. The menu will constantly change according to the seasons and availability of ingredients, and may change again when hopefully the Covid time-limit is lifted!
We read our simple lunch menu from the blackboard (brought to our table). We both thought it was a bit warm for the Spiced Lentil Soup with sourdough (6.00) so gave it a skip. 
Mega dessert!
There were three salad options on the mains and CL went for the Beetroot, Feta and Peach offering (4 to 6 euro depending on size). The beetroot is at its best right now and Ahmet enhanced that fresh flavour even further with a few slices of peach and also some thin apple slices that were disguised by the red juice but also played a part on the palate. Very enjoyable dish indeed was the verdict! My Blog Chef though would have a little more peach, a little more feta, and a little less beet.
I felt like something more substantial, so picked the quarter rotisserie chicken with bulgar wheat, salad, potatoes and sourdough bread (17.50). Ahmet himself delivered our mains and told me I was having rice instead of the bulgar. He also said they were getting on well here and were very busy overall. So I busied myself with this superb dish, fantastic flavours and textures, reminding me a bit of the (obviously) memorable Farmyard Chicken lunch I had at Café Lavinal in Pauillac a few years ago.
Having skipped the starter, we were up for the dessert: brown butter ice-cream with honey sauce. We weren’t quite prepared for the size of it though, about as big as a wheel of Gubbeen. A very generous round indeed and the sauce was delicious as well. It may have been big but it was finished!
From the deli
We paid up (40 euro including tip) and then took a look at his deli. That has loads of tempting produce, including his salads, his magnificent sourdough, lots of pastries too. Much of the produce is local, including Gloun Cross butter for instance. 
We got a few things here and a bit of advice from Maria. With a Smoked Fish Dip from Sally Barnes and their own Roasted Red Pepper and Garlic Dip in the bag, we were told all we needed for a super lunch with the dips was some sourdough. Going down to get that together as soon as I finish up here!
Baltimore was looking splendid when we arrived (and when we left). So we had a good look around, mainly at the boats coming and going from the islands. The little square above the harbour was quite busy too with customers dining in the sun.
But we couldn’t linger any longer and soon we were heading for Skibbereen, Drimoleague and Dunmanway on the way home via the R585. I’d normally prefer the R584 but, with so many interesting stops on that one, we’d have had to make an overnight somewhere, like Gougane. Next time.

Also on this trip:
Mizen Head Visit
Overnight and Dinner at Celtic Ross

Baltimore in the sun

Monday, March 31, 2014

Glorious Foods

Glorious Foods
Wildberry's Raspberry Cheesecake. Good from any angle!

There was a lot of oohing and aahing going on in the English Market last week, especially inside the Fresh from West Cork stall. And the happy sounds soon spread as Water Ryan-Purcell, the man in charge of the stall, handed out samples.

It was a tough morning as I tasted cake after cake. They were made in the main by Wildberry Bakery and by Caroline Weese ; they were all of a very high standard,  absolutely gorgeous and, believe it or not, gluten free (gf).

Orange Polenta (left) and Chocolate and Almond

I sampled three cakes from Ballineen based Wildberry, one better than the other, though perhaps the Cheese Cake is my favourite..
(1) Choc and Almond:
chocolate , Bandon butter,ground almonds,sugar, free range eggs, vanilla seeds and essence.
(2) Orange polenta:
Bandon butter, sugar, ground almonds, polenta, free range eggs, lemons,oranges,G/F baking powder,cloves , cinnamon quills, walnuts and toasted almonds,ginger.
(3) Baked raspberry cheesecake:
cream cheese, sugar, free range eggs,raspberries,ground almonds,rice flour,icing sugar,cornflour, vanilla essence and seeds.

Three from Caroline (from left): Lemon, Chocolate and Coffee

Caroline Weese is another busy West Cork baker and we started off with her magnificent Carrot Cake. The Lemon Drizzle is also brilliant, full of the citrussy flavours but so well balanced. The Coffee Cake looks and tastes divine and that Chocolate cake is so gorgeous, so lusciously moist. A big lip smacking yum all around for Caroline. These are all gluten free but you just wouldn't know it. Go in and treat yourself. You'll get a large slice for just two euro!

Oh, she also makes a Gogi Bar, very concentrated and packed with textures and flavours. Ingredients include the Gogi Berries, dates, cocoa nibs, almonds, cinnamon and green tea. A recent Dutch visitor to the stall sampled one and bought the whole stock. But don't worry, it has since been replenished!

Not just cakes!

Most of us know someone who is on the lookout for Gluten Free food. I certainly do and I'll be tipping him off about the selection of fantastic cakes here. But I’ll also be passing on more information about other gluten free products at this packed stall including Clonakilty Chocolates, the Gubbeen salamis, Rosscarbery GF Sausages and the three Sauerkrauts from the Cultured Food Company (Juniper Berry, Ruby Red along with Carrot and Fennel).

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Say Hello to Ruby Kraut

Say Hello to Hayley’s Ruby Kraut
The ancient art of food fermentation was highlighted at last year’s Ballymaloe Literary Festival when Sandor Katz was one of the stars of the event. Known as a “fermenation fethisihist” and also as “Sandorkraut” (for his love of Sauerkraut), he wrote the Wild Fermentation: The Flavor, Nutrition, and Craft of Live-Culture Foods (Chelsea Green, 2003) which Newsweek called "the fermenting bible".

Sandor talks the talk and walks the walk and in Skibbereen you’ll find another who is making a name for herself in the field. This is Hayley Milthorpe of The Cultured Food Company and I am loving her Ruby Red Raw Sauerkraut at the moment. Her aim is to make “Hand crafted raw fermented foods - reviving the ancient tradition of natural food preservation through fermentation. Real foods with real culture!!”. She makes the Ruby Red, available at the Fresh from West Cork stall in the English Market and other outlets in West Cork itself, with red cabbage, cumin seeds and sea salt.

I know, from experience, that Sauerkraut is not everyone’s cup of tea. Once, on a trip in Austria, I tried it in the restaurant in the monastery at Melk. It had enough vinegar to discourage. But a couple of days later, in a wine-tavern in the Vienna Woods, I tried it again and hit the jackpot. Indeed, the people with me thought I was mad but, in the end, they were looking for tasters! The lesson is to keep trying.

If you haven't tried it before, I recommended that you ease yourself into it. I did this today. Get a roll or better still some sourdough. I added a sausage and a rasher and just a little of the sauerkraut for a start. It was there, a background player.

Then I repeated (the rolls were small), adding a little more of the sauerkraut this time. Very nice and this time the sauerkraut played more of a role (forgive the pun), adding some lovely spice to the rasher and sausage.

You’ll find lots of articles on the internet, including on Hayley’s site here  about the benefits of fermented foods and saurkraut in particular. Indeed, I haven't found any article against. A few excerpts follow.

Red cabbage is rich in compounds called anthocyanins that give the vegetable its distinctive dark color. They are also powerful antioxidants which are believed to have anti inflammatory properties. Lacto fermentation naturally boosts the antioxidant content. So red sauerkraut has some serious antioxidant power!

Do you suffer from wind & bloating? Did you know that these are signs of inadequate digestion? Eating raw fermented foods such as sauerkraut with meals can help support your digestion to help you overcome these embarrassing symptoms! Tip: to stimulate digest eat a spoonful of sauerkraut 20 mins before meal.

On its own, the Skibbereen Ruby is a crunchy bite, full of tart flavours. Add to sandwiches and salads, use with grilled sausages or even a burger.  Kraut is served with roast turkey, fresh pork roast. Some like it on hot dogs; others with any pork product and mashed potatoes; also on spare ribs and with apple sauce. Perhaps Hayley will get a few pointers up on her Facebook page soon!