Category Archives: Food & Drink Producer Series

Part Six: Irish food and drink producers worth getting to know

Celebrating the best of what we grow, create and produce here in Ireland – this ongoing series looks at some of the many things we create here in Ireland.

I recently got the opportunity to head to the Dingle Food Festival where I got to sample all sorts of delights.

Here are five more producers that stood out for me this week:

Silver Darlings

Silver Darlings is a rather curious seafood company specialising in the Nordic style pickling and marinating of Irish herring.

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I bought a tub of herring mixed with sandalwood and balsamic vinegar at the Dingle Food Festival and it’s so rich in flavour.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/silverdarlingsseafood

Blúiríní Blasta

From award-winning preserves, bread mixes cakes and bakes and a catering service, I grabbed a hold of Blúiríní Blasta’s passion fruit curd and it was so tasty.

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Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BluiriniBlasta

Green Saffron

One of the brands that Ballymaloe Cookery School loves, Green Saffron is a multi-award winning family business started by Arun Kapil in Midleton back in 2006.

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Sourcing and importing quality spices abroad, the company’s products are available in over 225 stores.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/greensaffron.masaalchi/timeline
Website: http://www.greensaffron.com/

Eight Degrees Brewing

I tasted four craft beers from Eight Degrees this week and they were superb.

With already a good mix of different flavours, their Sunburnt Irish Red Ale is fast becoming a favourite because of its caramel tones that are wonderfully balanced with aromas from New Zealand and Australian hops.

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Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/eightdegreesbrewing
Website: http://www.eightdegrees.ie/

Achill Mountain Lamb

Calveys Butchers Keel have been producing and retailing mountain lamb for the past 50 years.

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Delivered nationwide, the lamb is rich in flavour and encapsulates all the taste of the countryside.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/achillmountain.lamb

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Part Five: Irish food and drink producers worth getting to know

Celebrating the best of what we grow, create and produce here in Ireland – this ongoing series looks at some of the many things we create here in Ireland.

Here are five more producers in Ireland that make the most of what we have to offer:

Annascaul Black Pudding

Annascaul Black Pudding is an artisan homemade black pudding first made when Ashe’s shop was established in Annascaul, Kerry back in 1916.

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The original black pudding recipe has been handed down through three generations of the Ashe family. Continuing in that tradition, Annascaul Black Pudding is handmade by Thomas Ashe on the Dingle Peninsula in County Kerry.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Annascaul-Black-Pudding-Co/209708199092183

Ballyhoura Mushrooms

Ballyhoura Mushrooms are Irish growers of specialist mushrooms including Shiitake, Oyster, Eryngii (King Oyster) Golden Oyster, Rose Oyster, Lions Mane “PomPom”, Velvet Pioppino & Nameko.

Winner of a Blas naHEireann/Irish Food Award 2012, they also supply a range of foraged Wild Irish Foods including Wild Mushrooms (Chanterelles, Ceps, Hedgehog, Saffron Milk Caps, Blewits, Chicken of the Woods, Hen of the Woods), Wild Garlic, Three Cornered Leek, Sorrel, Wood Sorrel, Wild Strawberries, Burdock, Pig Nuts.

Website: http://www.ballyhouramushrooms.ie/

Woodside Farm

Nestled in a quiet corner of Ballincurrig in East cork is Woodside Farm, a small family run farm. They’ve a mixed farm with cattle, sheep and a variety of poultry and pigs.

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I recently used their bacon lardons for a quiche lorraine and it was spectacular!

Website: http://www.woodsidefarm.ie

Dungarvan Brewing Company

Based in Waterford, they brew and bottle Black Rock Irish Stout, Helvick Gold Blonde Ale and Copper Coast Red Ale.

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Seasonal releases are Mahon Falls Rye Pale Ale (spring), Comeragh Challenger Irish Bitter (summer) and Coffee and Oatmeal Stout (winter).

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DungarvanBrewingCompany

Kearney Blue Cheese

Using Northern Irish milk, Kearney Blue Cheese has an open texture to allow the development of blue splodges throughout. The taste is creamy fresh with a balanced blue finish.

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Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Kearney-Blue-Cheese/170861966294165

 

Part Four: Irish food and drink producers worth getting to know

Celebrating the best of what we grow, create and produce here in Ireland – this continuous series is looking at some of my favourite producers.

I absolutely love things that are made in Ireland and when I see companies that embrace local my heart soars – that being said, I do also believe that if you are buying local make sure it’s decent.

Here are five more producers in Ireland that make the most of what we have to offer:

Cooleeney Farm

With cheese please! Made inTipperary’s and with cows feeding in grasses with peaty soil, Cooleeny’s produces wonderful cheese.

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My personal favourite is their Darú, which has a natural rind and a grey and dusty appearance. It’s so tasty!

Website: http://www.cooleeney.com

Wildflour Bakery

A wonderful Dublin based micro-bakery making beautiful cakes with a difference. Newly opened at Love Supreme, 57 Manor Street, Stoneybatter, Dublin 7.

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Twitter: https://twitter.com/wildflourkate

Cahill’s Cheese

Based in Limerick, all cheese lovers must check out these rather excellent cheeses.

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Cahill’s Farm Cheese is a third generation, family owned, artisan cheese making business!

Website: http://www.cahillscheese.ie/
Twitter
: https://twitter.com/CahillsCheese

Mariko Sparkling Green Tea

Made in Glencastle, Mayo, Mariko is a sparkling green tea, which contains no sugar or calories or fat.

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Mariko is made from pure green tea leaves in their natural state, which contain high levels of antioxidants, and is extracted using an unique brewing method, resulting in a product that is healthy and refreshing.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mariko.greentea

Connemara Smokehouse

If you’re tired of generic smoked salmon, you must get your hands on produce from the family-run Connemara Smokehouse.

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Based in Galway, the company’s international reputation has steadily grown, having been recognised by the Bridgestone Best in Ireland Award, the Great Taste Awards, Favourite Speciality Producer Award award by the BBC Good Food Show and Rick Stein’s Food Heroes, among others

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/OldSmoky

(Images via company Facebook pages)

Part Three: Irish food and drink producers worth getting to know

There’s something pretty special about the food and drink we create on the island of Ireland and what better way to celebrate it than to support of local produce.

In part three of my continuing series, I’m looking at even more producers in Ireland that deserve a mention.

Here are five more food producers that are worth checking out and tasting (link to previous features at the bottom):

Knockdrinna Cheese

Say cheese! Based in Stonyford in Kilkenny, these cheese lovers produce food that’s full of flavour.

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The artisan cheeses are hand ladled using locally sourced goat, cow, and sheep’s milk, and they also run cheese-making courses on the last Saturday of every month (as a cheese fiend, this is right up my alley).

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/knockdrinna
Websitehttp://www.knockdrinna.com/

Arún Bakery

Sourdough lovers ahoy! If you’re looking for quality bakers and bread, you need to head along to Arún Bakery in Stoneybatter, Dublin 7.

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Run by Peter Flynn and Vlad Rainis, they’re creating a sourdough bread revolution across Dublin with mountains of loaves being produced each day.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Arun-Bakery/126244674149453?fref=ts
Website: http://arunbakery.ie/

Improper Butter

For those who are looking to jazz up their meals – Improper Butter is where it’s at!

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Combining grass-fed Irish creamery butter with the freshest of ingredients and with flavours like garlic, flat leaf parsley and blue cheese, the small but simple range adds to a meal.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Improper-butter/262881220520452?sk=info&ref=page_internal
Website: http://www.improperbutter.com/

Green Warrior

Developed by Ballymaloe-trained, Carolanne Rushe, Green Warrior is a new line of raw plant-based wholefood products.

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From treats to super salads, you can find her products at Strandhill People’s Market, every Sunday or at Kate’s Kitchen in Sligo.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GreenWarriorSligo

Murphy’s Ice Cream

Handmade in Dingle, using dairy from Kerry’s finest cows, Murphy’s Ice Cream is in one word: divine. You can spy these scoops of joy on Strand St. in Dingle, Main St. in Killarney, and Wicklow St. in Dublin.

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They come in a variety of flavours, covering the more unusual tastes in the ice cream scale. My personal favourite combination is Sea Salt and Honeycomb – amazing.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MurphysIceCream
Website: http://www.murphysicecream.ie/

Part One: The Cupcake Bloke, Corleggy Cheeses, Newgrange Gold, Keogh’s Farm, The Wild Irish Foragers and Preservers.

Part Two: Arbutus Bakery, Killowen Farm, Bellingham Blue, Irish Bee Sensations and Tastefully Yours.

I’m always on the hunt for companies to feature on site. If you think this could be something you’d like, drop me an email to unaminh[at]gmail[dot]com with the name of your company – or who you’re representing – where you’re based and I’ll see what I can do! (Subject line: Feature on Spill the Beans)

(Images via company Facebook pages)

Part Two: Irish food and drink producers worth getting to know

Last week I kickstarted a continuous series of some of the best food and drink producers on our Irish soils.

I absolutely love things that are produced in Ireland and when I see companies that embrace local my heart soars.

Here are five more producers in Ireland that make the most of what we have to offer (link to part one at the bottom):

Killowen Farm

Nothing says tradition like a family business. If you’re looking to branch off from big brands, check out these yogurts from Killowen Farm (I can confirm that they’re both fresh AND tasty).

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This award-winning yogurt is handmade in Co. Wexford and is smooth and creamy. I personally love pouring it over granola!

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KillowenFarmFoods
Website: http://killowen.ie/

Irish Bee Sensations

Who can say no to honey? This Cork company is 100% Irish and uses fresh ingredients to make yummy jams and honey-based foods. You can just imagine how good this stuff is drizzled over some toast.

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These bee lovers have scooped a variety of awards including being crowned Pride of Ireland Grand Champions and Blas na hÉireann winners.

Website: http://www.irishbeesensations.com/

Bellingham Blue

The clue’s in the title – these cheese producers make amazing blue cheese! Combine it with Irish Bee Sensations’ honey and you’ve the ultimate treat.

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Handmade Irish farmhouse cheese from Castlebellingham in Co. Louth, it’s won numerous awards reaching international fame. All of their raw milk comes from a single closed herd of grass-fed Friesians.

The texture is slightly crumbly and the finish is long and smooth with a delicious hint of salt.

Website: http://bellingham.ie/

Tastefully Yours

Take a trip to Dunhill in Waterford and you’ll come across some great local producers. Tastefully Yours are Artisan Producers of Gourmet Chutneys, Relishes and Pickles (lash a bit over some crackers and you’re sorted!)

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All products are hand crafted by Norbert Thul and Audrea Hassett and to date they’ve won the Bridgestone Best in Ireland 2011 Award and the Megabytes Newcomer of the year for 2010 Award.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Tastefully

Arbutus Artisan Bread

Based in the Rebel County, if you’re looking for one of the finest bread makers in Ireland Arbutus is where it’s at.

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Produced by Declan Ryan, Ireland’s the first Michelin Star chef, he and his team make fresh bread that would make you cry with happiness. Using traditional artisan methods, the many loaves keep many tummies very satisfied.

Website: http://www.arbutusbread.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/arbutusartisanbakery?fref=ts

Part One: The Cupcake Bloke, Corleggy Cheeses, Newgrange Gold, Keogh’s Farm, The Wild Irish Foragers and Preservers.

I’m always on the hunt for companies to feature on site. If you think this could be something you’d like, drop me an email to unaminh[at]gmail[dot]com with the name of your company – or who you’re representing – where you’re based and I’ll see what I can do! (Subject line: Feature on Spill the Beans)

(All images via company Facebook pages)

Part One: Irish food and drink producers worth getting to know

I’m sure a lot of you will agree when I say that buying fresh ingredients with minimal food miles tastes all the more better.

We produce such a fantastic variety of things here in Ireland but sometimes we forget how amazing a range we actually have. From fresh beef, pork, fruit and veg, we’re spoiled for choice – and let’s be honest – we definitely have the best dairy in the world!

Support local as much as you can and give back to the community – you’ll have a tastier meal in your hands and an appetite for good food.

Here’s a quick overview of some of the producers worth keeping an eye out for in Ireland (I promise to feature as many as possible on the blog).

The Cupcake Bloke

Known for irresistible cupcakes and scones, I came across The Cupcake Bloke (aka Graham Herterich) while working as a journalist in Dublin. Intricate designs and flavoursome goodies – I quickly ordered extra cupcakes off him for a birthday present soon after. More recently The Cupcake Bloke scooped the award for Best Scone in Ireland, presenting an apple and black pudding mix.

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Spy his treats on Coppinger Row in Dublin beside Powerscourt Townhouse in Dublin 2, every Thursday, Friday and Saturday, but if you fancy nabbing a few for yourself and can’t make it into town drop him an email.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheCupcakeBloke/

Newgrange Gold

My trip to Taste of Dublin helped me discovered these Camelina and Rapeseed oils. Produced in the Boyne Valley in Meath. Newgrange Gold is made from tillage techniques, with their bees assisting in the pollination of crops.

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The rapeseed is cold pressed to create the finest oil, high in essential fatty acids – omega 3, 6 and 9 and low in saturated fat. It’s 100% traceable because they grow, press and bottle it entirely on their farm.  I love drizzling the oil on salads fresh from the garden or even across some bread (it has a surprisingly fruity taste)

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Newgrange-Gold/171125086356930
Website: http://www.newgrangegold.ie/

Corleggy Cheese (see featured image)

Break away from cheddar! If you head down to Temple Bar’s market in Meeting House Square on a Saturday, you’ll be able to come across some of the most delicious foods in Ireland. Included in those pickings is Corleggy Cheese, produced in Belturbet, Co. Cavan.

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This award-winning raw milk cheese company began in 1985. With milk sourced from local farmers, Corleggy Cheese is produced daily in small batches – matured for 1 – 4 months. I could actually just jump into a wheel of the stuff with a shovel. Yum!

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/corleggy/
Website: http://www.corleggycheeses.com/

Keogh’s Farm

Seriously, who doesn’t like a decent spud? Another company I discovered while happily munching away at their crisps at my desk; Keogh’s produce some of the best potatoes in Ireland (I’m not joking).

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Based in North county Dublin, Keogh’s grow spuds and make handcooked crisps at their farm. With flavours like Roast Beef and Irish Stout, their crisps could actually rival Taytos in my opinion… (Controversial, I know!)

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/keoghsfarm/

The Wild Irish Foragers and Preservers

My inner hippy gets excited when I see the word “forage”. Based in Birr, Co. Offaly, these foragers make the most of what’s available in our beautiful countryside and turn it into spectacular concoctions.

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Hawthorn flowers, elderflowers,  meadowsweet, nettles, beech nuts, crab apples, damsons, sloes and rosehips – you name it, they make something with it. Seasonal mixes at their best.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thewildirishforagersandpreservers

I’m always on the hunt for companies to feature on site. If you think this could be something you’d like, drop me an email to unaminh[at]gmail[dot]com with the name of your company – or who you’re representing – where you’re based and I’ll see what I can do! (Subject line: Feature on Spill the Beans)

(All images taken from company Facebook pages except for lead image which is my own)