Showing posts with label pizza. Show all posts
Showing posts with label pizza. Show all posts

Monday, October 12, 2020

Nduja in Newcestown. On the West Cork Pizza Trail with The Curly Stu

Nduja in Newcestown. 

On the West Cork Pizza Trail with The Curly Stu


The Curly Stu is bringing a touch of Naples to a trio of mid and west Cork villages. We called to Newcestown last Friday evening to see what all the fuss is all about. Stuart Bowes is the man behind The Curly Stu and, we know, from his many years as Head Chef at Barnabrow House, that the Scot is a good one.

He told me: "I left Barnabrow at the end of August so I’m doing the pizzas Wednesdays in Castletownkenneigh (small country pub, Cookies, near my home beside Coppeen). Friday nights I'm in Newcestown in O’Mahony's Bar car park and Sunday evenings in Cloughduv in the Spreading Chestnut pub car park, all from 5-8.''  He keeps Saturdays free for all kinds of private parties and gigs.

He has a regular menu posted up on the side of his converted horse-box and every session he has at least one special and they can indeed be very special. The regulars include Margherita and Pepperoni, both very popular with the younger generation. Also in Newcestown, his Nduja (spicy salami on a Margherita base with fresh chilli, red onion and chilli oil) and his  Smoked Scamorza cheese (again on a Margherita base with roast piquillo peppers and West Cork Garlic scape pesto).

O'Mahony's and the horsebox

We were early and got ourselves one of the picnic tables by the pub. A week earlier, we'd have been able to take our pizzas inside. Still the sun was out as we sat down with the Nduja. We had enjoyed one of those in Barnabrow months ago and this lived up to the memory, absolutely top class with the occasional delicious hits from the Nduja itself.


On then to the Scamorza. Another gem with the Italian cheese a star with the peppers and that garlic scape pesto also playing leading roles. Of course in all his pizzas, that base is out of this world, great for the taste buds and, as you can read below and in his social media, for the digestion. 

At the end of the second pizza, the rain started to come down and as the evening was also rather cold, we decided that discretion was the better part of valour and made a run for it. But not before Stuart boxed a third, the special, for us. We were wondering how it would survive the 40 minute spin home. 

But not a bother.  Just a few minutes in the oven and the Ardsallagh goats cheese on a Margherita base with artichokes and caramelised onion ketchup came up tasty trumps. Another beauty from the Scotsman. That super base, the artichokes adding juice and texture and their unique modest flavour to the pie and the ketchup also pitching in. 

Busy boys

So three pizzas on a Friday night and all three of the highest standard, a standard that you won't find in too many places on these islands. Skill, and attention to detail pays off, quality in quality out. Some very lucky villagers in West Cork.

Stuart confessed: "I’m a man obsessed with the Neapolitan way. Since the lockdown I’ve been doing them Wednesdays, Fridays, Sundays and they were very busy! Since everywhere opened up I’ve managed to keep a lot of regulars and there’s new customers coming so it’s still going very well!"

Goats cheese, artichoke

"The dough is made in the traditional Neapolitan way, so mixed the day before and is generally always kept at room temperature, normally for 24-30 hours. They have a really nice airy puffy crust, a little soft in the middle and are cooked for 60-90 seconds at 420-450 degrees c."

"I’m playing around with the actual fermentation, I was using a sourdough culture before but I’ve been using a (pre ferment) called poolish for the last few weeks and that has given great results. I’m going to try biga next, which is similar to the poolish method, but with half the amount of hydration in the pre ferment."

"I have an Italian supplier that is really passionate about his produce! The flour I’m using is Molino Spadoni PZ4. This flour mill is very well known for their quality in pasta flour, I would have used this in London. The mill is in Ravenna, northern Italy, and only uses Italian grains that are quality controlled and checked."

"The best thing is my supplier organises for me to get the flour straight from the mill now so it is super fresh. You can actually smell and see the difference when mixing the dough!!"

"I have a Sunmix mixer on order. This mixer is known for being one of the best you can buy. It can make and close the dough in 15 minutes so you are not overheating the dough with the friction. These are made to order in Italy. Fifteen long weeks I’ve been waiting so far but it is going to be well worth the wait!!"

The 400 year old village has some food history!

"The Fior Di Latte mozzarella is made in the Campania region - "The mother land of mozzarella" my supplier calls it. There are no chemicals in this cheese and the difference compared with most of the other mozzarellas I’ve tried is very noticeable. The cheese melts nicely and goes stringy when cooked in the high heat and doesn’t colour and go crispy!"

"The tomatoes are certified organic from a company down south of Italy called Manfuso; they have good ethics and all tomatoes are canned on the same day as harvest with no added salt."

"I also get organic extra virgin olive oil, so straight from the first press of organic olives and with no heat."

"Nduja and smoked Scamorza are both becoming well known with the folks here in West Cork and both are really good quality products."

"And then I have Ardsallagh goats cheese, I use West Cork garlic scapes for pesto, I got a load of scapes from him at the end of the season. I have Gubbeen chorizo on the options for weddings. I used Toonsbridge Stracciatella last week for a special, I got Asparagus from Drummond House for a few weeks on special so I’m just trying to work my way around the suppliers around the general area.

Toonsbridge stracciatella special

"The ovens I use are Gozney Roccbox. They are easily portable and a great product that are exceptionally good at keeping the high temperature inside the oven consistent at between 420-450c to get that Neapolitan crust. Especially when I’m busy!"

You'll see those little ovens mounted on the counter, that is if you can take your eyes off the busy chef as he assembles and cooks and talks all at the one time. As we were quite early, we were kind of wondering what all the action was about. But it turned out he gets quite a few advance orders for collections. 

Do watch out for those specials. I'll give you just two examples here.

1 - Braised Ham hock with smoked Scamorza cheese and portobello mushrooms and then finished with a honey mustard mayonnaise.

2 - Toonsbridge stracciatella with roccbox roasted tenderstem broccoli, gremolata and toasted almonds. "Really nice veggie pizza that packs a punch and full of flavour."

And you can check out others on his Insta page thecurlystu

And another thing to watch out for is his offer. All the pizzas are keenly priced but best of all is the standing offer of three for €22.00, terrific value for a family meal on a Friday, a Sunday, or a Wednesday!

The Curly Stu

085 196 0706

Thursday, May 7, 2020

Crawford & Co Host Pop-Up Pizzeria. The Prodigal Sons Return From Rita's Of Ranelagh

press release

Crawford & Co Host Pop-Up Pizzeria

The Prodigal Sons Return From Rita's Of Ranelagh

Strict order and collection system in place 

Three years after moving to Dublin to set-up foodies’ favourite Rita’s of Ranelagh, Corkonians Ciarán O’Regan and Diarmuid Connolly are bringing their famous dough back home to Cork! During these uncertain times Covid19 saw many Irish people travel home to isolate with parents or other family members. One reunion that the people of Cork are savouring is that of Rita’s of Ranelagh and Crawford & Co., as they announce their mouth-watering pop-up.

After establishing their successful restaurant in Dublin, high on Ciarán’s to-do list was to bring his flavour back to his home city. The arrival of the Coronavirus brought with it the temporary closing of this Ranelagh based pizzeria, and while others would see this as a huge set-back, Ciarán saw it as an opportunity. Picking up the phone to long-time friend and owner of popular gastro bar Crawford & Co, Michael Droney, this entrepreneurial pair quickly cooked up a plan to get Ciarán home to Cork with his Rita’s recipes, while business partner held down the fort at Rita’s Ranelagh branch which opened back up for business at the start of May for collection.

With Michael providing the space, the rustic open-air courtyard at Crawford & Co, and the Cork food community coming together offering lots of help and support, the Rita’s of Crawford & Co pop-up was born. Now at a time when the Cork community really need a tasty pick-me-up, pizza lovers can indulge in Rita’s favourites such as The Vincent Van Goat, N’Duja Think You Are or The La Di Da, all using freshly sourced ingredients to create taste sensations.

Commenting on the new Rita’s pop-up at Crawford & Co. owner and chef Ciarán O’Regan was blown away by the support he has received, ‘Albert Einstein had it right when he said ‘in the middle of every difficulty lies opportunity’. For me Cork is where I started out and where I always wanted to come home to. My career started out on the pub scene, but my taste buds got the better of me and I diverged onto the culinary path, studying in Ballymaloe Cookery School before heading to the big smoke to put my stamp on the food scene.

‘When my Ranelagh premises was temporarily closed, I was chatting to my friend Michael who was going through the same thing as me, with his bar Crawford & Co closed. The wheels began turning and the idea just popped-up...pardon the pun! I was straight on the road back home, and have been blown away by the support fellow chefs and business owners have offered me and this venture. Simone Crotty provided us with the use of their Rocketman mixer, other equipment came from Dave Halpin of Eco’s Douglas, Karl from Aldi, the lads in Joe’s + Bros have been amazing in getting this project up off the ground, as have countless others.’

Rita’s pop-up at Crawford & Co. is open for orders Thursday to Sunday, 4pm to 10pm. To ensure the safety of staff and customers Michael and Ciarán have put a strict order and collection system in place. Orders must be phoned in to 083 3646088, with lines opening at 4pm on days of service. Hungry customers will get a collection time upon order confirmation, ensuring a seamless and safe collection process.

‘We are so excited to once again be able to provide tasty options to our customers, and are thrilled to partner with Rita’s to do so.’ commented Michael Droney, owner of Crawford & Co. ‘It is a very stressful time for bars and restaurants across Ireland, who have had to close their doors with no definite timeline or guidelines to reopening. As a nation Irish people are extremely resilient, and we hope that our endeavour will inspire others to think outside the box to create alternative ways in which they can deliver their offering to consumers. We can’t wait to see some familiar faces back in the courtyard collecting their tasty lunches and dinners, and would like to thank everyone for their support.’ added Droney.

For the full mouth-watering Rita’s pop-up menu visit or For more information on the ordering and collection process check out or Facebook/crawfordandcocork. Rita’s of Ranelagh is now also reopened for order and collection only, see for details.

Monday, June 10, 2019

The Curly Stu Mobile Sourdough Pizza

The Curly Stu Mobile Sourdough Pizza

A great turnout in Barnabrow House last Sunday afternoon as Stuart Bowes launched The Curley Stu. This is a horsebox with a  difference, one that serves up delicious pizzas. And Stuart and that horse box will be coming to a venue near you in the not too distant future. 

Stu, who most of you will know from his excellent food at Barnabrow, told me that he is feeling his way into this new venture. “I’m getting used to the trailer and adjusting accordingly, few adjustments to make, there is a nice mixture of places I’m going to be so far over the summer.”

“I’m doing pizzas in Midleton by the Granary on Sunday the 23rd June when Ironman is on, I have a private birthday party in the city, then I’m in West Cork in Newcestown Festival on Sunday 25th August and there is a wedding in September in Barnabrow having them the day before the wedding, so a nice mixture to get into it.”

The pizzas are made with the very best of local ingredients, featuring Gubbeen chorizo, Caherbeg free range pork, and Ardsallagh goats cheese for instance. Barnabrow diners, including wedding guests, will know that superb sourdough that the Scot turns out and that has been carried over to the pizza base.

“Today, you have Oro Agugiaro which is a very strong flour grown and milled in Agugiaro and was used by the winner of the world pizza championships this year, so I look forward to trying it out myself today.”
Hard at work

“Normally we use the red Caputo which is the strongest of the brand and is ideal for long fermentation. We ferment the dough for two days and use a sourdough culture instead of commercial yeast as it gives more flavour and breaks down all of the nutrients in the flour to make it easy for us to digest and feel good after.” And that feel good factor was certainly present last Sunday afternoon.

San Marzano DOP is the brand of tomatoes used. “It’s very sweet with low acidity and please note that DOP means they were grown in San Marzano and not somewhere else.” The menu regularly mentioned Fior Di Latte and he explained that this cows milk mozzarella cooks well in high heat, is smooth and a bit tangy in flavour. And,  speaking of high heat, his Gozney ovens can operate up to 500 degrees centigrade!

Sunday’s launch was very well attended indeed with lots of families present. Stuart and the team work hard. “Just smashed 120 of these bad boys out of the horsebox today..... wasn’t easy but it was lots of fun…”, he said later.

There were five on offer:
Margherita - San Marzano Tomato, Fior di Latte, Basil.
Nduja - Spicy salami, San Marzano Tomato, Fior di Latte, Salsa Verde.
Ardsallagh Goats Cheese - San Marzano Tomato, Confit Red Onion, Gremolata.
Gubbeen Chorizo,-  San Marzano Tomato, Fior di Latte, Roast Red Pepper.
Pepperoni - San Marzano Tomato, Fior di Latte, Parmesan, Olive Oil.

My order at the horsebox was for the Nduja. And it was excellent, full of flavour with a moderate touch of spice. But I have to say that CL’s Ardsallagh was about as perfect as a pizza can get. Everything in balance, including the delicious influence of the Gremolata - an exquisite piece of work and one to watch out for. And that sourdough base, common to all his pizzas is also amazing.

So do look out for The Curly Stu. You’ll find them on Instagram (the_curly_stu) and on Facebook (The Curly Stu Sourdough Pizzas). For bookings, including Private parties, Markets, Festivals, Corporate, ring 085 1960706.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Rossini’s. Local and Italian Misto.

Rossini’s. Local and Italian Misto.
Piece of pizza!

When you dine in Rossini’s, you get a taste of Italy, as you'd expect, and a taste of Ireland as many of the fresh ingredients are bought in the nearby English Market.

Rossini’s was established, in Princes Street, Cork, in 1994, by Antonio Toscano and their reputation for delicious authentic Italian cuisine quickly grew in the Cork area. I hadn't been there for quite a while until last week. It was a quiet night around town, the Tuesday after the Bank Holiday. So we had to settle for Italian music on the stereo - no live music, no dancing in the aisle. Still turned out to be a very enjoyable meal indeed.

No shortage of starters on the menu. We were finding it hard to choose and so settled on the Antipasta Misto. This turned out to be quite a plateful, a very tasty plateful indeed. There were some calamari fritte, some delicious Mozzarella with big slices of tomato, some bruschetta, cured meats too, breads, salad…. Good food and good value at €15.00.

They have their own pizza oven here, built by a champion! And I enjoyed my champ of a pizza, the Cacciatora: BBQ sauce on the base, pulled chicken and lots of peppers (15.00). Not too sure that Cacciatora was the best name for it but it sure was one of the best pizzas I've eaten.

No shortage of choice for the main courses, pizzas of course and pasta dishes too. They have quite a few steak options, chicken options, and fish options (including a risotto marinara). 

CL paid particular attention to the chicken and eventually picked the Pollo Saltimbocca (15.90) over the Pollo Parmigiana. She was very happy with the choice and enjoyed her chicken wrapped in ham and a tasty and interesting selection of veg that included roast potatoes, courgettes, red onions, red pepper and cauliflower.

The wines were Italian, of course, and we opted for a glass of Valpolicella (7.50) and an excellent Soave (7.25). No dessert on the night so our total, before tip, came to €60.65.

Rossini’s make it easy for you to try out their food without breaking the bank. They have about three set menus that start from €14.90 up. You’d have a choice of two or three starters and two or three mains. You could for instance have Calamari as starter and the Saltimbocca as mains and it wouldn't break the bank. Add a glass of house wine or dessert for 4.50.

Watch out too for their special nights (eg Valentine’s) and you might also like to try them via Deliveroo. And I see too that a tasty looking Pollo Cacciatora features on their well-priced lunch menu (Fridays, Saturdays only).

33-34 Princes Street, Cork
021 - 4275818
Opening hours: 5.00 to 10.00pm Sunday to Thursday.
1.00 to 11.00pm Friday to Saturday.
Check their Facebook for updates.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Pizza and Wine on a West Cork Beach. The Puffin Cafe at Castlefreke.

Pizza and Wine on a West Cork Beach

The Puffin Cafe at Castlefreke.
There is still plenty of room in the car park but many choose to park on the road. It is a typically Irish scene as you arrive at a beach-side car park on a sunny day. But what is not typical is the beach café, the only building on the Long Strand, Castlefreke. It is black, as black as a puffin’s back, and is named, The Puffin Café.

Most of the action, well if you call sitting and lying action, on this sunny day is on the outside. A few brave souls, kids mainly, are testing the water. But there’s not a surfer in sight. Soon, the kids will be trooping up to the café, making the hard choice at the ice-cream counter, something like 14 varieties to choose from!

Already family groups are eating at the big picnic style tables outside. Pizzas, and ice-creams and drinks, are in big demand. But the inside seats, and there are quite a few of them, are not! I'm happy with that. I've been out in the sun all morning and now glad of some shade.

A lovely warm welcome and we are soon seated, checking out the menu which doubles as a place-mat. We note the names immediately, smiling as we go through them: Bowie, Salsoul, Rick Rubin, Chuck D, Jazzy Jay, Larry Levan and more are used for the pizzas.

My pick is the Furious Five (€15.50), a welcome melange of San Marzano tomatoes, prosciutto, peaches, mozzarella, blue cheese and rocket. Quite an excellent pizza with the peaches working surprisingly well with all the rest. There were some nine pizzas on the list ranging from a Margherita (10.50) to a Fish offering, the Larry Levan featuring Smoked Mackerel and beetroot at €16.50.

CL has picked something that little bit smaller, the Salsoul Sandwich (8.50). This tasty starter consists of Marsala Roasted chorizo, roasted peppers, onions and leaves and is served in a sourdough flat bread. See the full menu here.

We drank lots of water as we ate but they do have wine here. From France comes Le Petit Pont Reserve in both red and white, at €6.50 a glass. From Italy, you can have the Costadoro organic white and red at €7.50 a glass or €28.00 a bottle. €28.00 also for a bottle of Prosecco. If you want something more expensive, then ask them about their small range “of quality and eclectic wines” that are off menu. Other drinks available are sparkling water, ginger beer, and pip organic.

The name game continues with the desserts: Boney Mmm; B-Boying; Minnelli: and Freke Out! The latter, by the way, is the Puffin’s special Ice Cream Sundae. And, of course, you can also check out the ice-creams! 

No shortage of coffee choices (I thought my espresso was top notch) and you may have tea, ordinaire or herbal. Oh yes, almost forgot, there is music too at the café, outdoors on this occasion. All that, and sunshine, means a fun stop at the beach.

The Puffin Cafe’s summer (June, July, August & September) hours are: MONDAY + THURSDAY + FRIDAY: 12pm-4pm. SATURDAY: 10am-10pm. SUNDAY: 11am-8pm.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Cheesemaking Buzz at Toons Bridge. Café And Shop. And A Pizza Oven

Cheesemaking Buzz at Toons Bridge
Café And Shop. And A Pizza Oven
Franco, the maestro, ready to rock 'n roll
It is around noon on Friday and Franco gives the signal. No big noise then but you can feel the creative buzz as the three-man crew swing into action making Mozzarella in the gleaming Toons Bridge Dairy. Amazing to see the trio work from the big floppy cubes of curd.

First the cubes are mechanically diced, then Franco gets his hands on it - the skilled hands of a fourth generation Italian cheesemaker who’s been making cheese since he was eleven - manipulating the curd in
a steaming vat (hot water is being piped in), stretching it to almost unimaginable elastic proportions, then after a little draining off, he hands it on and soon from the little machine opposite emerge those gorgeous little balls.
Awaiting their turn to get to market - Cacio Cavallo mainly.

We are offered a taste. We chew the sample; it is like a milky “meat”! No salt yet. Brineing, a strong one for a short spell (an hour or so), and then it goes into its “transport brine”, the one you’ll see in the stalls the very next day. Toons Bridge Mozzarella is the freshest in Ireland,” says our guide Ronan. “Made today, on sale tomorrow.” Indeed, if you call to their cafe next door, you could well be eating your freshest ever! Some of the whey, by the way, is retained in the dairy and used as a starter for the next batch

We’ll get to the café soon but first there’s much more cheese to be seen and tasted. With no fresh buffalo milk available to them anymore, Toons Bridge have creatively filled the gap by adding a string of gorgeous Italian style cheeses to their range.
Cacio Cavallo
Recently, we featured their Cacio Cavallo as Taste of the Week. They actually make four versions of this cow's milk cheese. Cacio Cavallo can age marvellously, turning the soft, rubbery paste hard and flinty that it needs to be broken in shards. The flavours can be huge, as they harness all of the various raw milk bacteria to ripen the curd.

Franco tolds me that they use a kid rennet (in a paste form) for the Piccante version and also in their Pecorino (we’ll get to that later). He reckons it enhances the fermentation, leading to better flavours. They also do a Mesophilic version. No starter culture at all is used, just a natural slow fermentation of the milk. The result is reminiscent of traditional English cheese such as Caerphilly or Cheshire.
The curd, before it is diced into much smaller pieces
Lots of new words to be learned around here. Another is Scamorza which is a simple stretched curd cheese that is hung (you can see the mark of the string) for a short period of time to air dry. It is similar to mozzarella and melts well. It is sweet and delicate. They do both smoked and unsmoked versions and I must say I enjoy the smoked one (great when stuffing those big flat mushrooms). Pier 26 in Ballycotton have it on their cheese plate.

They also do Halloumi and Ricotta (try with Highbank Orchard Syrup). And then there’s the Pecorino Vincenzo.  Pecorino is the general name for sheep’s cheese in Italy. This pecorino is made in Toons Bridge by Vincenzo to a family recipe from his native Marche region.  Vincenzo has a small flock of sheep nearby and they make this gorgeous Pecorino right here. Another must try from this rural hub of creativity. If you want more details on the cheeses, please click here.
 Time now for lunch in the sun. After all the cheese tasting, we decided on something different.  Most of the staff were getting their pizzas, topped with Toons Bridge cheese of course! Friday is a nice relaxing day here.  Both of us started with a Hummus Plate (two types of hummus, with basil pesto, olives and flat breads from the pizza oven). Substantial and delicious.

The counter was lined with attractive colourful salads (quite a few in the shop for takeaway as well) including Pearled barley, harissa, carrot and dill; pesto, potato and pea; beetroot, quinoa and chickpea, with balsamic dressing; two potato and mint. You could pick any three plus salad leaves for nine euro. We each did just that and enjoyed them in the sun in the garden. Meat Boards and Tapas Plates were also available as were of course the pizzas. Lots of soft drinks too, including my Elderflower cordial, wines by the glass and local beers.

The old stumps - there are 100s-
in The Gearagh
It was a delightful interlude, the lunch well earned we thought! Earlier, after the short drive down from the city we took the familiar R584. This is quite a road if you have time on your hands. Even in a short space, you can call to the Prince August Toy Soldier Factory (a must if you have kids), The Gearagh and Toons Bridge.

Our first stop was at the nearby Gearagh, the only ancient post glacial alluvial forest in Western Europe, a beautiful spot, great for a walk through bushes and trees and wild-flowers and the stump-strewn waters on both sides of your path. Click here for the Discover Ireland listing and a short paragraph of info on this remarkable place.
Looking into the cafe, from our table in the garden;
we were early, the place would soon be full.
 If you want to continue on the R584, there are many more stops to make (including Gougane Barra, Keimaneigh, and Carrigass Castle) before you get to Ballylicky and a stop for refreshments at Manning’s Emporium. For more on the R584, check my post The Many Attractions of Driving the R584

But last Friday, we settled for The Gearagh and Toons Bridge Dairy and Cafe. Well educated and well fed, we headed for home and a sunny afternoon in the back garden!


Three salads

The Gearagh

Walk through The Gearagh

Take a break!

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Franciscan Well Festival. Beer & Cheese at North Mall

Franciscan Well October Festival

Beer & Cheese at North Mall
Say formaggio!
Try the Fonduta in the bowl.

The annual Franciscan Well October Beer Fest is in full swing at the North Mall. A wide selection of imported Festival beer is available, beer cocktails (with spirits by St Patrick's Distillery), pizza by the tried and tested Pompeii crew, and music is all part of the mix. But this year, they've got cheese, lots of it, from a company called Antica Latteria Bruzolese who are based in Borgone di Susa, close to Turin in the north of Italy.

There are a few dozen exotic beers from Belgium, USA, Germany, New Zealand, Ukraine, even Luxembourg! I didn't get to try them all in a quick tour last night but did get a few. The Sierra Nevada Oktoberfest/Marzen, a collaboration with Augsburg’s Brauhaus Riegele, was one and the Tuatara Aotearoa Pale Ale another. Then there was the Karpat Mustang from Ukraine, an American Pale Ale, and also I enjoyed a glass of the Lagunitas Fusion XXX1, a USA Imperial IPA weighing in at 8.9%. My favourite was perhaps the Aotearoa from New Zealand.

Then I left the ranks of beer taps and called over to the cheese stall and got the low-down there. Bought a plate of the cheese for a fiver and tried it out. The range, all made from milk supplied by small farms in the Piedmonte region, consisted of some fairly fresh cheese to one that was very mature indeed. All were “hard” cheese but, of course, the younger ones were soft and easy to eat, much like Tomme de Savoie the French mountain cheese.

The oldest one was really hard, best grated over your pizza or salad etc. In between, they had a Tometta Onion. That contained six per cent onion - not to everyone's liking! And also a Tometta Tomato.

And if you wanted an instant fondue, they have just the job. Get yourself a jar of the Fonduta (€6.00). All you then have to do is to warm the cheese mix, pop in a breadstick and enjoy. Don't take my word for it! Call over to the Well, get yourself a beer and then go to the cheese stall where they'll offer you a taste of the Fonduta! In fact, I’m told they will have an artisan beer there for the rest of the weekend.

The October Beer Fest reopens today at 2.00pm, same time tomorrow Sunday.