Tag Archives: Local

Part 23: Irish food and drink producers worth getting to know

Have a love for all things Irish? Looking to try something different?

This food and drink producer series looks at some of the many companies in Ireland that are creating the best of the best of local products.

Here are five more producers that caught my eye this week:

Ardmayle Organic Meats

An organic farmer based near the historical town of Cashel, Ardmayle Organic Meats is run by Denis Maher who specialises in beef, pork and lamb.

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Denis has many awards for his meat including 2nd Place in the International Dexter Gathering Rare Breeds Show 2013.

Website: https://www.facebook.com/ardmayleorganicmeats/timeline

Hazel Mountain Chocolates

Have a chocolate addiction? Say hello to Hazel Mountain Chocolates, stoneground bean to bar chocolate makers and chocolatiers!

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They ethically source cacao beans from small farms all around the world to handcraft fine chocolate from the bean using only natural and fresh ingredients. Delicious.

Website: http://www.hazelmountainchocolate.com/

Carrowholly Cheese

An award winning Gouda-style farmhouse cheese made on the shores of Clew Bay, this cheese is made from raw cow’s milk that’s collected from local farmers.

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Each cheese is made by hand by Andrew Pelham-Burn and production is kept intentionally small so as to ensure an outstanding quality. It has a full-flavoured creamy texture with a slight nutty undertone.

Website: http://carrowhollycheese.ie/

G’s Gourmet Jams

Founded back in 1998 by Helen Gee, this jam company is based in Laois and uses only the best fruit and natural ingredients.

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The jams are made in the traditional way, stirred and poured by hand using the open pan boiling method. It’s a family-run business in every sense!

Website: http://www.gsgourmetjams.ie/

McCormick’s Red Pudding

Though McCormick’s produce sausages, ham, pork and bacon, they’re also well known for red pudding! Using generations of old recipes, this award-winning craft butcher has been on the go since 1937.

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For those who don’t know, red pudding is traditionally made from variety of ingredients including bacon, beef, pork, pork rind and suet and can be found mostly in East Scotland.

Website: https://www.facebook.com/mccormicksbutchers/timeline

(Images via company Facebook pages)

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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)

Irish documentary explores ethos of sourcing local food within a 12 mile radius

These are the kind of stories and ideas I love seeing coming out of Ireland.

Sourcing locally is an integral part of keeping the Irish food and drink industry thriving and with this new documentary 12 Mile, it highlights the importance of just this.

Filmed by Sean Monaghan of Tall Story Media, the documentary is set in Midleton in Co. Cork, to a backdrop of wonderful landscape that inspires hearty and delicious food.

The film opens by introducing us to Chef Kevin Aherne of Sage Restaurant, who talks about the value of scouting out produce within miles of his establishment.

Sprinkled across the film are hardworking individuals like free-range pig farmers Martin and Noreen, Charlie and Bridie who are bee keepers, Jane who’s from Ardsallagh Cheese, James who’s a highland beef farmer, Derek an organic vegetable farmer, organic beef and chicken farmer Dan Ahern and Frank Murphy, a master butcher.

It’s well worth a watch, and just goes to show how local is best.

12 Mile from Tall Story media on Vimeo.

12 mile encourages the viewer to understand the importance of locally sourced food and inspires you to find your 12 mile.