Tag Archives: producers

The Best Irish Food and Drink Products I discovered in 2015

What a year! Ireland never ceases to amaze me.

Despite being quiet here on the blog I’ve had such a busy few months trying new things and delving into new products.

I’ve experienced other products from these producers before, but I was amazed and delighted to get to taste new things. Here are the ones that stood out for me the most this year:

Wildwood Heather Vinegar

Not only is the vinegar exquisite but the bottle its sold in is stunning and immediately makes it a glamorous product. The heather-flavoured vinegar is just mind-blowing.

IMG_2346

The vinegars are made in Mayo’s glorious landscape and really capture the flavours and scent of the natural world. I could buy bottles of the stuff!

Hazel Mountain Chocolates

From bean to bar: if you’re used to eating Dairymilk all your life then this chocolate is a revelation. This small-batch chocolate is just so different to anything I’ve tasted that initially it took me a while to get used to it.

12187710_1655697001344084_4343908311358584005_n

Using rare Trinitario cacao beans and raw cane sugar for their dark chocolate and Irish milk from grass-fed cows in their milk chocolate, what they create is such a mix of flavours that’s something more than just your regular block. Trust me, you’ll savour this stuff.

Dingle Gin

I was introduced to the Dingle Gin “Ginito” this year,  which uses basil instead of mint, and it is super.

IMG_2342

Distilled in pot stills with a range of botanicals including Rowan Berry, Fuschia, Bog Myrtle, Heather, Chervil and Hawthorn, Dingle Gin fast became one of my favourites.

Goatsbridge Rainbow Trout Caviar

I was delighted to meet the extraordinary Mags Kirwan while I was working at the National Crafts and Design Fair this year and that was when I was introduced to her magnificent caviar.

12227065_10153672184545874_4116300229788295933_n

Sitting on top of cracker, with a spread of cream cheese, these delightful, freshwater, salty balls of orange are dreamlike. Priced at €12.95 (plus shipping), they’re worth every cent and won’t disappoint.

Naturally Cordial’s Lemon and Lime Cordial

Clodagh Davis’ Naturally Cordial is made from organic citrus fruits and Wexford soft fruit giving it a really great taste. I was lucky to spend time and chat with Clodagh when I was working at the Bite Food Festival.

11000188_871165226307538_7919951156309869631_n

Keeping it simple and pure, Clodagh uses minimum ingredients to maximise her cordials’ quality and at her recommendation I love combining the lemon and lime cordial with cloves and hot water. It’s like a hot whiskey! Priced at €5.99 from Ardkeen Quality Food Store, it’s something that will treat your tastebuds to a little bit of magic.

Bertha’s Revenge Irish Milk Gin

A year for gin in my books, this year I was invited to the launch of Bertha’s Revenge Irish Milk Gin – yes milk! The brainchild of proprietor Justin Green and Antony Jackson, this small batch gin is bursting with all sorts of flavours with a fragrant nose and spicy middle notes. The fruit-driven finish is perfect in making this gin a special one.

960141_1094215777297686_3461674289698520490_n

Distilled from cow’s whey from local dairy farmers, Bertha the cow was the world’s oldest and native of Sneem in Kerry. She passed away in 1993, having given birth to 39 calves! Here’s a fantastic recipe for gravlax flavoured with this Irish gin.

Here’s to more great produce in 2016!

Part 25: Irish Food and Drink Producers Worth Getting to Know

Another Sunday, another short round-up of some of Ireland’s best food producers!

Celebrating local produce, this week I’m looking at five more companies that caught my eye:

Kearney Blue Cheese

A deliciously creamy cheese with a balanced blue flavour throughout, Kearney Blue is definitely one for the cheeseboard.

10688364_840160546030967_4664324535831908622_o

Based in Northern Ireland, the cheese itself has one numerous awards including Best Irish Cheese, Gold medal at the International Cheese Awards, Nantwich 2011.

Website: http://www.buynifood.com/buyer_search.php?supp=19829

Oldfarm

Irish free-range pork and bacon – need I say more?  Oldfarm breed and raise Saddleback and Gloucester Old Spot pigs and also some cross-breed pigs.

11219462_10152763527947601_2507867662844556788_o

Their happy pigs have access to the outdoors all year round and live on a diet that is totally gmo-free! Delicious? I think so.

Website: http://www.oldfarm.ie/

Aruna Sauces

Feeling saucy? Sarajit Chanda uses his mother Aruna’s recipes to create authentic curry sauces.

603427_465772656834504_918180019_n

Using traditional recipes and methods, the sauces have won gold and bronze at the Blas na hÉireann food Awards.

Website: http://www.aruna.ie/

Eadaoin’s Kitchen

Eadaoin Walsh creates delicious bakery and pastry delights, at the School of Food in Thomastown, Co.Kilkenny.

10452341_570522449735953_2623720756135054312_n

A professionally trained chef, her products can be found in Cillin Hill Market, the Truffle Fairy Chocolate Shop, Knockdrinna Farmshop in Stoneyford, and Nicholas Mosse Cafe in Bennetsbridge.

Website: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Eadaoins-Kitchen/285286431592891?sk=timeline

Pandora Bell

Using only the purest ingredients for sweet treats, Pandora Bell is based in Killonan, Ballysimon.  The range is made using traditional methods passed down through the centuries with recipes that never change.

11709704_10152925942722411_501771289022611825_n

The result? Mouth-watering delights: fruity, fresh Jellies, Sweets, Lollipops and Candy Canes, light, luscious Nougat, succulent Caramels and creamy rich Fudge – guaranteed to satisfy any sweet tooth.

Website: http://pandorabell.com/

(All images via company Facebook pages)

Nominate-Us-Buttons-728-x-905

Part 24: Irish Food and Drink Producers Worth Getting to Know

Dairy, meat, fish, fruit – to an outsider you mightn’t believe it, but believe me, we’ve got it!

Celebrating the best of Ireland’s producers, this series looks at the vast range of goods we have to offer in our wee country.

Here are five more producers that stood out for me this week (a huge thanks also to those who tweeted me suggestions on who to feature! Great to see so many people who so proud of our producers):

The Apple Farm

Based in Tipperary, the Apple Farm grows not just apples, but pears, plums, sweet cherries, strawberries and raspberries too.

166798_147908998598731_7709452_n

They make apple juice, and mixed juices from other fruits too, as well as a sparkling apple juice and cider vinegar. They also have a farm shop from which their produce is available all year round!

Website: http://www.theapplefarm.com/

Lough Owel Organic Farm

Lough Owel Aberdeen Angus Herd is Bord Bia approved and an IOFGA full symbol organic farm located two miles from Mullingar.

65344_120483608009338_3955721_n

Their speciality is Organic Beef, with the animals being farm reared and finished on clover/grass and chicory herbs to flavour the meat. They also breed  Saddleback/tamworth cross pigs!

Website: https://owelorganic.wordpress.com/

St. Tola Irish Goat Cheese

If you love cheese, then you’ve got to try this! St. Tola Irish goat cheese was launched over 25 years ago and is perfect for your cheeseboard.

11155054_899834630078035_4208549043030200719_o

With a slew of awards under their belts, these cheeses are much sought after. All of their cheeses are handmade and matured to suit customers’ individual requirements.

Website: www.st-tola.ie

Velvet Cloud

Fan of yogurt? Velvet Cloud is a smooth tasting natural Irish yogurt handmade by the Flanagan Family in Co. Mayo, using Irish sheep’s milk from their farm.

11202812_785905291527505_1697089153078854234_o

A tasty alternative to cows’ milk yogurt, Velvet Cloud doesn’t have any additives, milk powders or sweeteners. All they add is a natural yogurt culture to the pure Irish sheep’s milk.

Website: http://velvetcloud.ie/

Regan Organic Produce

A small family run business based in Wexford, Regan Organics produce oven ready organic/free range chickens, organic pork, sausages, rashers, duck and hen eggs.

DSC_0712

Their aim is to produce top quality food products for customers that are fully traceable, with high welfare standards.

Website: http://www.reganorganics.com/

(All images via company Facebook pages)

Nominate-Us-Buttons-728-x-905

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.

10487374_234099373448825_3723151162088974737_n

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!

10941430_1557571017823350_5359950410550411464_n

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.

10462525_933451336681646_8334791765115588059_n

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.

11044956_852823734757001_8428491166493576255_n

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.

11401022_997676623615851_3396661870695535930_n

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)

Part 22: Irish Food and Drink Producers Worth Getting to Know

It’s that time of the week again! Celebrating the best of what Ireland has to offer, this series looks at the country’s vast array of food and drink producers.

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

Burren Balsamics

Based in Co. Down, Burren Balsamics produce zesty zingy taste sensations through velvety vinegars, infused with succulent fruity flavours.

10269610_651355501613042_4777212983835054634_n

 

Made from all locally sourced fruits, their flavours include Bramley apple, blueberry, blackberry, stawberry and strawberry and mint. Delicious!

 

Website: http://www.burrenbalsamics.com/

Antoinette’s Bakery

Dublin City’s first 100% gluten-free bakery situated on Kevin Street Lower,  they serves up gluten and wheat free treats as well as catering to the dairy and egg-free customer!

179230_430571087029661_1099225394_n

Fresh, delicious and locally-produced food, they also make celebration cakes to order.

Website: www.antoinettesbakery.com

Kettyle Irish Foods

Situated in the countryside of County Fermanagh, Kettyle Irish Foods specialise in superior meats.

1239371_440334499419573_1993019900_n

From Dry-aged Beef, Lough Erne Lamb, Fermanagh Free Range Chicken, Fermanagh Bacon and Rose Veal, they take pride in the work they put into rearing, butchering and maturing their meat.

Website: http://www.kettyleirishfoods.com/

Carrigaline Farmhouse Cheese

Handmade with milk from Freisian cows grazed on rich limestone soil and pasteurised on site, Carrigaline Farmhouse Cheese is perfect for any cheeseboard.

10304876_286950428165443_8568136597886341128_n

No artificial preservatives or additives are used and the cheese is made with vegetarian rennet, making it suitable for vegetarians. The cheese is semi-soft, with a delicate flavor, becoming piquant with age. For full flavour, it is best eaten at 12 weeks or older.

Website: http://www.carrigalinecheese.com/

Wild Irish Sea Veg

Founded in 2009, this is a family run Seaweed Company located in West Clare.

156059_530362383682768_1725177336_n

The seaweeds are harvested from the crystal clear waters of the Atlantic Ocean and are 100% natural, hand harvested, air and sun dried to ensure only the finest quality.

Website: http://wildirishseaveg.com/

(All images via company Facebook pages)

Part 21: Irish Food and Drink Producers Worth Getting to Know

Celebrating the best of what Ireland has to offer, each week I highlight some of the country’s wonderful homemade produce and products!

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

Longways Cider Company

Longways Cider Company producers premium Irish cider direct from their family orchard in Co. Tipperary.

11011544_1567884813475442_8038000554460770295_n

Vibrant and fruity with buckets of apple flavour and a smooth finish this cider is made from 100% grown Irish grown apples using first pressed juice only. It’s double fermented and gluten free too!

Website: http://www.longwayscider.ie/

Boulabán Farm Icecream

Love smooth and creamy ice creams?Look no further!

428671_189381841172374_854461014_n

This award winning icecream and sorbet company produces treats on their dairy farm using milk and cream from our pedigree Holstein/Friesian herd.

Website: http://www.boulabanefarm.ie/

Highbank Organic Orchard Syrup

Addicted to maple syrup? This sweet, organic syrup, is the first of its kind that’s grown and produced by in Kilkenny, Ireland.

1554610_688889804499280_1784824240189099450_n

It’s made from Irish, organic apples with no added pesticides, no artificial fertilisers or preservatives. Highbank orchard syrup has a shelf life of over 2 years.

Website: http://highbankorchards.com/

Lough Derg Chocolates

A family owned business based on the shores of Lough Derg, this company creates luscious lollies, milk chocolate bars, selection boxes and Handmade Chocolate Truffle Pouches.

1904244_744440138922332_1348056901_n

All chocolates are handmade using quality ingredients.

Website: www.loughdergchocolates.ie

Dunany Organic Flour

Dunany Farm is a traditional 4th generation enterprise, producing full symbol organic cereals since 2006.

wholeFine

Their high standard, quality grain – particularly wheat – produces a wholesome, nutty, coarse-grained flour which is exceptionally good in traditional soda bread recipes. Their Spelt and Rye flours make tasty low gluten breads.

Website: http://www.dunanyflour.com/

(Images via producer websites and Facebook pages)

Part 19: Irish Food and Drink Producers Worth Getting to Know

I’m constantly impressed by the wide range of goods that we produce here in Ireland.

This series focuses in on some of the best of what we have to offer in the country, and I honestly believe that we have products that are worth celebrating.

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

The Whole Hoggs

Based in Meath, The Whole Hoggs run a free-range pig farm where they keep an old Irish breed called The Irish Grazer.They make their own sausages, rashers, puddings and chorizo.

10417799_392540810913459_5459532831660759701_n

“Our pigs have a much longer and happier life than the commercially reared ones. We are reasonable in price but do not try to compete with the bottom end of the market as we believe the pleasure in buying cheap meat is soon forgotten in the bitterness of poor taste”.

Website: http://www.thewholehoggs.ie/

The Tipperary Kitchen

Using locally sourced ingredients, this Tipperary Kitchen produces some wonderful breads, confections and sauces.

10414878_851259364901984_2916624377071354786_n

Winners at Blas na hÉireann food awards, they’re famous for their Holycross Chocolate Biscuit Cake, Holycross Soda Bread, Butterscotch Sauce, Chocolate Sauce and Real Banana Bread.

Website: http://thetipperarykitchen.ie/

Nobó

Dedicated to creating healthy, dairy free food, they are the world’s first ice cream alternative that’s made from avocado, coconut milk, and sweetened with pure honey.

1456136_598455646951361_5811490032738355429_n

100% Irish and made in small delicious batches – What’s not to love?

Website: http://www.nobo.ie/

Wicklow Wolf Brewery

Named after the county its based in and that folklore says that the last wolf in Ireland lived in the area, Wicklow Wolf Brewery is proud in its roots.

11015751_323564781167932_8352372592373232038_n

The hops that they plant on their own hop farm takes the beer’s name – Humulus Lupulus – from the wild wolf.

Website: http://www.wicklowwolf.com/

Dee’s

Celebrating wholefoods, Dee’s creates tasty, vegan food that is good for both your body and mind.

11182048_10153035325129961_7270110709339111517_n

Gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free, egg-free and free of all artificial additives, they create a range of sausages, wholefood burgers and”Veg Pots” to keep you feeling full of natural energy.

Website: http://www.dees.ie/

(All images via company Facebook pages)

Part 16: Irish Food and Drink Producers Worth Getting to Know

If there’s one thing in Ireland that we should celebrate, it’s the amazing produce that we have.

In a country full of innovators and creators, I believe that it’s so important that we acknowledge the best food and drink producers who are working hard to get by.

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

Irish Wagyu Beef

Beef farmers with a difference! This company imported full-blood Japanese Black Wagyu cattle as this breed is renowned for producing the very best quality beef.

10415605_791446880874718_1404620685210869385_n

The cattle are free range, where the calves are allowed to stay with their mothers and are then allowed to grow slowly until 30 months or more. Parcels of beef can be pre-ordered and all of their beef is reared on the family farm in the Ring of Gullion.

Website: http://www.irishkobewagyu.com/


Burren Free Range Pork

Based in Co Clare, Burren Free Range Pork raise Saddleback and Tamworth pigs.

10456416_771013956284678_8354080022318788563_n

Happy to root around in extensive fields, these happy piggies have the freedom to be outdoors or inside the hay shed depending on the weather. Completely free from medications of any sort, the company doesn’t overstock and their pigs have access to good, lush grass.

Website: http://www.burrenfreerangepork.com/


Ballybryan Bronze Turkeys

A family-run business, the Lalors are highly experienced in rearing, processing and selling Open-Range Bronze Turkeys.

281429_120872018009886_6056538_n

They began their business in 1995 with only 50 turkey birds and they now sell over 650 Bronze Turkeys each Christmas.

Website: http://www.ballybryanturkeys.com/


Mr Crumb

Producers of stuffing and handy batches of flavoured breadcrumbs, Mr Crumb has something unique that makes its products stand out. Based in Mullingar, the company was founded in 1996 by Bernard Coyle.

1620797_954493917896189_674782845691204469_n

It has now grown into a multi-million euro company that supplies much more than breadcrumbs and stuffings, including crust toppings and melts, desserts, party foods and speciality foods using top quality ingredients.

Website: http://www.mrcrumb.ie/


 

Naturally Cordial

Naturally Cordial is made from whole fruit to a traditional recipe, then gently pasteurised.

10548050_726733877417341_6374029464429545782_o

Made in Co. Wexford, they come in a variety of flavours including Lemon & Raspberry, Lemon & Lime, Orange & Lemon, Wexford Blackcurrant and Pink Grapefruit.

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

(All images via company websites and Facebook pages)

Part 13: 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.

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

Oriel Sea Salt

The Oriel Sea Salt Company extracts and harvests sea water to produce an intense tasting Sea Salt alongside a rare blend of Concentrated Deep Sea Minerals of Magnesium and Potassium using the very latest in water harvesting technology.

10845615_742006205907607_5476316802149615174_o

Website: https://www.facebook.com/OrielSeaSaltCompany/


Ardahan Lullaby Milk

Ardrahan Lullaby milk is produced on the Ardrahan farm in the Duhallow area of North Cork. It is the only farm in Ireland producing this food product, proven to help stabilize sleeping patterns when consumed on a regular basis.

10347714_797743140269465_3764843005875872183_n

It’s a natural product, containing elevated levels of melatonin which help with maintaining healthy sleep and resetting the body clock after long distance flights.

Website: http://www.lullabymilk.com/


Jane Russell’s Original Irish Handmade Sausages

High-meat and low-fat, these “proper” sausages are being snapped-up weekly by and ever-increasing band of loyal customers who can’t get over their taste.

2863_99325831561_7815874_n

Being the 5th generation of a prize-winning pork and bacon curing family Jane trawled through her grandfather’s diary of recipes to create her Original Irish sausage.

Website: http://janerussells.ie/


CaorAcla Achill Blackface Lamb

Locally bred on Achill Island, Edward Johnston and John Corrigan have grown up raising Blackface Mountain lamb on their family farms.

10670259_716360868438175_1765272766373764651_n

They now supply meat sourced from the farmers they grew up with on the island, supporting a young generation of farmers in the community who have inherited the family sheep farms and holdings. All of the CaorAcla farmers are committed to raising lamb in a traditional, sustainable and ethical manner.

Website: http://www.caoracla.ie/#top


Béal Organic Cheese

Béal Organic Cheese is a Kerry based Company that was founded in 1987 at the family-run Dairy farm located by the mouth of the River Shannon.

Béal Organic Cheese is a registered Organic product and associated with several recognised organisations and societies, including IOFGA (Irish Organic Farmers’ and Growers’ Association) , CAIS (Association of Irish Farmhouse Cheesemakers) and Good Food Ireland.

Website: http://www.bealorganiccheese.com/blog/index/

(All images via company Facebook/website pages)

Part Eleven: 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.

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

Chilly Moo

This brand of frozen yoghurt was created by Clare and Joanna who came up with Chilly Moo out of a passion for eating well without sacrificing an ounce of enjoyment.

2169038

Gluten free, low GI (because of the natural fruit sugars) and less than 3% fat, these tasty yoghurts are currently available in three flavours, including Mixed Berry – YUM!

Website: http://www.chillymoo.ie/


Elda Wild Irish Venison

Elda Wild Irish Venison was established by Jason Conway in 2012, a native of Waterford. All animals are sourced within a 60 mile radius of their unit and have a full traceability system from field to fork.

3789058_orig

Not believing in waste, they try to use as much of the animals as possible, curing the animal hides, using the antlers as handles for walking and shooting sticks, and for the handles of hand made hunting knives. The antlers are also used to make buttons and toggles.

Website: http://www.eldawild.com/


Galway Goat Farm

Producing award-winning goat milk products in North County Galway, this farm started in business in the summer of 2012.

32591_292847440846089_480645237_n

The fresh pasteurised milk is produced, processed and bottled in Galway, from the farms own mixed herd of Anglo Nubian and Sannen goats.

Bottled in 1 litre glass bottles, the milk is seasonal (March to November) because the goats need a break from their long summer  producing their milk and to produce kids!

Website: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Galway-Goat-Farm/141233599340808


Sprout & Co

Delicious, clean and fresh juices, Sprout & Co, aim to provide customers with the most nutritionally dense cold pressed juices.

10352601_314398818752883_5718309111299292064_n

Pure, unprocessed and carefully sourced, their relationship with their vegetable suppliers is of vital importance – giving them the freshest of ingredients.

Website: http://www.sproutfoodco.com/


Kush Organic Seafood

Ireland’s first organic rope mussel producer, Kush Organic Seafood’s food is harvested in the clear, pure waters of Kenmare Bay in Kerry.

1394046_637930116258728_267979935_n

In a Special Area of Conservation (designated under the European Union Habitats Directive) they specialise in the export of shellfish globally with particular focus in Europe.

Website: http://www.kush.ie/

(All images sourced via the companies’ websites and Facebook pages)