Monday, September 24, 2012

A score for rapeseed oil

Rapeseed oil has been dividing opinion among food circles over the last 10 or so years. It’s been hailed as a versatile local product that has a higher smoke point, lower food miles and better health credentials than olive oil. It’s also been blasted as an unsightly, unviable crop that yields too little for the necessary input to make a sustainable, environmentally friendly full-time business, and tastes manky to boot.

The British countryside is covered with it and their markets and even some leading restaurants are determined to promote it. In Ireland, meanwhile, our small handful of producers have been exploiting the brand opportunities of this specialty by-product to great effect, and have won the backing of some prominent chefs in championing it as a great local food.

To date I’ve been on the fence about rapeseed oil. I’m glad to see Irish farms diversifying and creating their own consumer-facing brands – an exercise that would greatly benefit the many thousands of small and medium farms currently tied to commoditised farming for major processors while invisible to the Irish punter. However, I gotta admit I’ve not been the biggest fan of its, at times, bitter and, dare I say it, slightly rancid flavour. I get that it’s good for shallow frying but its ability to work in dressings or other culinary uses is questionable. And it ain’t a cheap option.

I’m pleased to say though that a recent trip to Newgrange Gold in the Boyne Valley swung me on to team rapeseed. Now this – if they can get it to turn a profit in the next five years – could be an interesting proposition for the Irish agrifood sector.

Barrister and part-time beef farmer John Rogers took the decision a little over two years ago to reduce his beef production from 40 head of cattle down to 30 and to dedicate his farm business to seed oil production. The property consists of approx 90 acres of rape – yielding approx one and a half tonnes of rapeseed per acre – and a smaller parcel camelina in North Dublin which produced approx 4000 litres of pressed seed oil last year and almost twice that this year, with 3000 litres in July alone.

At full capacity the farm could produce 300,000 bottles (500ml) of premium cold pressed rapeseed oil, as well as their flavoured rape range in 250ml bottles and their specialty camelina oil (I’ll explain this wonder plant later). All going to plan, they’ll expand production to two presses and will reach capacity and profit-making within five years, and possibly more. On paper it sounds like a good artisanal business plan.

But what of its marketability? Well, most importantly they’re making a product you’d actually want to put in your mouth. From the flavoured range, the Garden Herbs rapeseed oil – a sprightly parsley, sage, thyme and lemon concoction – has just been short-listed for a Blas na hEireann award. Their original rapeseed oil is nutty and lacking in that stinky animal feed/silage/cabbage-y whiff that some rapeseed oils are bangin’ of, and their camelina oil – the only one produced for food in Ireland currently – has the aroma and flavour of freshly ground pine nuts but with a delicate earthiness that works wonders with tomatoes and spices (as we learned from a refreshing shooter prepared for us by the good folks of Eastern Seaboard). Product viability – check.

Inputs and outputs are cleverly managed: sludge from the settling tanks are used to fertilise the plants; husks left behind after the seeds have been cleaned are used for bedding; and ‘cake’ produced after pressing (dry pellets of pressed seeds) make a nutritional animal feed which apparently is in high demand among dairy farmers. Production is clean and involves no adulteration, deoderisation or manipulation of any kind, which lowers input costs and produces a more natural, regionally typified product. Sustainable production – check.

Best of all, without the help of a marketing consultant, Rogers has devised a marketing platform based on a two-fold USP: a Boyne Valley product – Boyne Valley being a region of exceptional quality food production; and a true specialist in seed oils, with a unique product that only they are producing. Camelina is in fact a relative of rape, with a more complex taste and twice the omega-3 content. Its omega-3 and omega-6 content are actually in the highly desirable ratio of 2:1, which according to nutritionists is the optimum for good heart health. Rather than making their camelina oil as a ‘health product’ though, they’ve opted to release it for retail as a pillar or their range. They’re already stocking at specialists and small retailers in Dublin, Louth, Meath, Cavan, Cork, Galway and Sligo, and are in talks with major retailers for national distribution. Marketability – check.

Newgrange Gold has been on shelves since March and only formally launched in September. While Rogers clearly has other irons in the fire, the seed oil business is so far self-funded and going to plan. Rogers says: ‘We are where we want to be.” And by that he means genuinely regional, artisianal, moving towards their potential, and tasting pretty damn good.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Ethnic eats in the Olympic city

The Olympics are in full swing, bringing together over two hundred nations in one of the most ethnically diverse cities in the world. In deference to this great multicultural event, here's a few of my favourite morsels to guide revelers through their hungry moments, while they explore the city behind the 30th Olympiad.

Mediterranean, Middle East and South/South East Asia


Nopi is a mixture of formal restaurant and communal dining, from the talented team behind Ottolenghi. If you're familiar with this class act of Mediterranean and Levantine cooking then you'll know to expect fresh jewel like ingredients, petite portions, and unique, magical combinations of flavours and textures. For those not yet acquainted with this crew, you’ll find the food at Nopi to be unlike anything you’ve found elsewhere: creamy burrata with flat white peach and coriander seeds; tasty confit pressed duck with a sweet spiced plum relish and walnut horseradish cream; roasted cauliflower with farro (grain similar to barley), sharp barberries, hazelnuts and celery, to give you a few examples. At Nopi you can book a table for lunch or dinner in the formal dining room upstairs, or you could choose to join the communal table downstairs and survey the action in the open kitchen before you. Prices are at the premium end – in keeping with Ottolenghi’s other establishments – but the wine list and cocktail menu will probably tempt you to spend a few quid more. Should be on the to do list of all foodies.

21-22 Warwick Street 
London W1B 5NE
Ph: +4420 7494 9584

Sushi Tetsu

A tiny, superb sushi restaurant only newly on London’s gastronomic radar. It’s star is rising so fast, chef-owner Toru Takahash pleaded with Jay Rayner to keep his (rave) review under raps for a while to give him time to get ready for the inevitable deluge. The menu of sushi and sashimi is extensive – all prepared in front of you by the talented and chatty Takahash-san from the freshest of seafood. Among his more unusual offerings, you may sample razor clam, sea urchin, cuttlefish and snow crab. Of the standard species available, Sushi Tetsu offers several varieties of tuna – from cheaper red fin to (‘rich part’) succulent tuna belly – two types of mackerel and sardine, turbot, brill, bass, bream, grouper and lemon sole, as well as eel, salmon, shrimp, octopus, squid and scallop. Takahash often uses a blowtorch to excellent effect, caramelising the surface of a scallop, for instance, to bring out its sweetness and add a mild hint of barbecued flavour. The rolls are tasty and fresh as a daisy, although with all the beautiful seafood on offer, I prefer to save all my room for sushi and sashimi. The drinks menu consists of a few sakes, including a fragrant daiginjo (a higher end sake) called Nanbu bijin that’s worth the extra doubloons. The odd spirit or two, mineral water, green and oolong tea, and a small gathering of Japanese beers complete the drinks menu - Takahash wants to educate London diners about sake before he introduces wine to his restaurant. Sushi Tetsu is going to get harder to get into over the coming months, but I promise it’s worth the effort.

12 Jerusalem Passage
London EC1V 4JP
Ph: +4420 3217 0090

Korean and Japanese


Culinary gems are harder to come by in this portion of North London than elsewhere in the city but Dotori is definitely one of them. It’s predominantly a Korean restaurant but a one-man sushi counter turns out a reasonably decent selection of sushi, sashimi and hand rolls. Especially worthy of note are the assorted ‘bibimbap’ – mixed meat or seafood (bbq beef is especially good), vegetables and rice, blended at the table with hot and savoury gochujang (chilli sauce) and sometimes a raw egg, which cooks in the heat of the dish as it’s mixed through. Their hot soups, noodles and tempura are all pretty good too, and the low prices add up to some of the best value going in London for good nosh. Dotori has become a favourite among the throngs of locals so you have to book to ensure getting a table. For the value and deliciousness though, you won’t be sorry to wait if you decide to take your chances.

3 Stroud Green Road
Finsbury Park
London N4 2DQ
Ph: 020 7263 3562


Mien Tay

The famous ‘Pho Mile’ on the Kingsland Road in Shoreditch has more Vietnamese restaurants than you can shake a stick at, many of them cheap n’ cheerful and BYO, so well suited to the frugal traveller. Among those noted by locals, Viet Grill is reputed to offer a more up-market experience, while Song Que is religiously authentic and boasts a bewilderingly extensive menu that you’ll be left to wade through. I’d definitely recommend getting to both of these if you’re a devotee of the cuisine, however there’s something about Mien Tay that feels like home…almost akin to the atmosphere of old family-run Asian restaurants in Ireland. My favs on their South West Vietnam menu include stir-fried green mussels with ginger and spring onion, green papaya salad with prawns, and chargrilled pork chops with lemongrass and chilli. They have an incredible-sounding seafood hotpot that must be ordered in advance – should you be so organized – and if you’re feeling adventurous you might try some of their more unusual dishes, of goat, frog or eel. One way or t’other, a visit to the global feast that is the Olympics would not be complete without a trip to the Pho Mile.

122 Kingsland Road
London E2 8DP
Ph:+4420 7729 3074


There are a few Caribbean places worth mentioning in London: Cottons on Chalk Farm Road near Camden is a popular spot for a fun evening among happy peeps enjoying good beats and even better rums, and Jerk Shack on Portobello Road Market pleases the masses with tasty spicy jerk chicken, curry goat, snapper, rice and peas, and fried plantain every Saturday. However, Brixton is the heartland of Caribbean food culture in London, so it is here you’ll find it at it’s most colourful. Bamboula is a fun spot with a great variety of true dishes from the islands: ackee and saltfish, steamed tilapia (fish), jerk chicken and lamb, curry goat, and brown stew chicken or oxtail. The ‘all you can eat buffet’ for £7.99 at lunchtime from Monday to Friday is understandably very popular and a happy find should you be in the area, but you should stop in for dinner and sample some of their fine rum punch, or traditional ‘Guinness punch’ if your constitution can withstand it. Take 2wo jerk stand in Brixton Village and Negril on Brixton Hill are also popular with locals.

12 Acre Lane
Brixton, SW2 5SG
Ph: +4420 7737 6633

Spanish and North African

In Exmouth Market near Islington you’ll find this fab restaurant which offers an à la carte menu and a list of tapas, available all day Monday to Saturday. The inspiration here is Moorish cuisine but you’ll also find classic Spanish dishes. All will please no end - this is one of the few tapas places that actually lives up to our foodie desires. Among the Moorish flavours you can expect the likes of crab brik with harissa (delicious spiced and herbed crab pastry parcels with the hot condiment harissa) or quail baked in flatbread with pistachio sauce. On the Spanish side you’ll taste roasted pork with patatas pobres (Spanish style) and spicy churrasco sauce, and stuffed squid with fino sherry. If you drop in for tapas you can have a more casual experience with all the usual suspects, including anchovies in garlic oil, grilled padrons and Catalan botifarra sausage. If you can’t get into Moro, fear not, it’s sister tapas bar Morito (just next door) requires no reservations, and offers a nice selection of Spanish cocktails to boot.

34 - 36 Exmouth Market
London EC1R 4QE
Ph: +4420 7833 8336


Without a shadow of a doubt the best Mexican restaurant in London IMHO, and some of the best fun you can have with your clothes on! An evening at Wahaca in Covent Garden begins with cocktails and possibly some nachos and meltingly fresh guacamole at the bar – they don’t take reservations and there’s usually around 45 minutes wait for dinner, so this is by far the best way to pass the time. Once seated you can order your choice of nibbles, snacks, salads and mains, all of which are inspired by humble Mexican street foods and made using good British ingredients. Molten pork pibil tacos, melty hot chorizo and potato quesadillas, rich chocolatey chicken mole, grilled steak or snapper, shrimp and scallop ceviche, pulled pork burrito…the list of deliciousness goes on and on. Restraint is impossible, gluttony inevitable and well justified in the presence of such amazing food. It’s not a shrine to authenticity, but then that’s not the point. There are several outposts of this great Mexican chow house, one notably at Westfields next to the Olympic stadium.

66 Chandos Place
Covent Garden
London WC2N 4HG
Ph: +4420 7240 1883

F. Cooke

Of course, the most exotic and hard to find outside its own country is real British cuisine, of which there are many fine examples within the city of London. 'Pie n' liquor' is not only a stalwart of British cookery, it's quintessential London grub, and cockney London at that. There are a number of celebrated traditional pie n' mash shops - Clark's in Exmouth Market, Harrington's in Tooting, M. Manze at Tower Bridge (London's oldest pie n' mash shop) - but I've chosen to highlight Cooke's, firstly for their scrummy mince meat pie that could rival my granny's (sorry granny), and secondly because of their location near Broadway Market, which should not be missed by any visiting foodie. So go on and try the eels - in a big spoon of mash and liquor, they're utterly delicious and not even remotely scary! 

150 Hoxton Street
London N1 6SH

Ph: +4420 7729 7718

So that's just a few of my favourite things... as always, please feel free to add your own thoughts below §:)

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Top Irish chef making a mark in London

I, CB aka DublinFoodie, was barely a wet day in London when I was already blagging my way in – a free sample here, a free glass there…an invite to feast on an eleven course tasting menu at L’Autre Pied (celebrated sister restaurant of Pied à Terre).

But enough bragging about my blagging, all the glory in this post must go to Michelin-starred head chef and Tallaght man Andy McFadden, and glorious is one word I could use to describe his cooking. Playful is another; sensitive, accomplished, beautiful, poetic even, are a few more. Sensitivity and that special kind of poetic licence mark Andy out for me as an Irish chef, as we’ve seen the likes of it in great Irish chefs up and down the spectrum from Kevin Thornton to Denis Cotter. Is it something in our mentality, perhaps? Whatever it is, combine it with mentoring in the cutthroat arena of top London restaurants and the best of British and Irish ingredients and the result is pure poetry.

Imagine just this simple canapé: a shard of beetroot sugar craft – like the sail of a little red boat – guiding in a perfect, molten piece of smoked eel, sashimi-like in precision, flanked by an equally dainty and perfectly formed quenelle of Crapaudine beetroot mayonnaise, and a beetroot crisp, all scented with tapioca. If you eat with your eyes then the dish could fill you. Taste it, and you experience all five tastes of the palate, in perfect harmony. It’s such a complete dish in every way. Now imagine ten more courses, each a playful and sensitive ode to the season: civiche of scallop with mizuna cream and wafers of Jerusalem artichoke; Irish Sika deer cooked in cocoa…Andy McFadden’s work is the work of an artist. The work of a masterly Irish chef.

L’Autre Pied
5-7 Blandford Street
London W1U 3DB

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Delicious Ireland celeb chef recipes


Richard Corrigan is the chef owner of Bentley’s Oyster Bar & Grill and Corrigan’s Mayfair in London. Bentley’s is to open The Sea Grill in Harrods in May 2012.

Salt Marsh Lamb, Gubeen Chorizo, Broad Beans


500g Lamb, Neck Fillet or Best End
250g Gubeen Chorizo
200g Broad Beans
1 bunch Mint
200g Irish Sheep Milk (hard) cheese
50ml Olive Oil
2 Red Peppers


Roast and peel the peppers. Pop the broad beans and slice the chorizo. Season and roast the lamb
until rare. Heat the beans, chorizo, add the herbs, red peppers and cheese. Carve the lamb and

Wild Rabbit, Black Pudding, Wet and Wild Garlic


1 x Wild rabbit, skinned
250g Black pudding
1 bulb wet garlic
1 bunch wild garlic
1 tbls wholegrain mustard
250g washed caul fat
10 slices parma ham
1 large glass red wine
250ml chicken stock or water


Peel the wet garlic and sweat in a little butter until soft puree and set aside. Remove the legs and
loin from the rabbit. Remove the bones from the meat. Lightly bat out the legs and stuff with black
pudding. Repeat with the loin. Wrap both in parma ham and caul fat.
Roast all carcasses in a hot oven add a little chopped vegetable and caramalise. Deglaze with a glass
of red wine add a little stock or water. Reduce by 2 thirds and finish with a spoonful of mustard.
Lightly roast the rabbit in a hot oven until just cooked and serve with the wet garlic puree and the
wild garlic leaves.


Paul Flynn, chef and owner of The Tannery restaurant and cookery school, Dungarvan, Co. Waterford, is
renowned for cooking exceptional modern Irish food. Paul’s dishes are known and loved for their deep earthy
flavours - while the menus give nothing away in their simplicity, the experience of eating them is hugely exciting. He
was the cookery writer for The Irish Times and subsequently wrote two cookery books, An Irish
Adventure with Food (Food and Wine cookbook of the year 2003) and ‘Second Helpings’ which
contains a selection of spectacular recipes using seasonal food.

Warm salad of Cashel Blue, Apple and Almonds


250g Cashel Blue broken into bite size pieces
1 large red onion, peeled and cut into 8 pieces
2 apples, remove the core and cut into 12 pieces
2 handfuls of washed baby spinach
2tbsp whole peeled almonds
2tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
2 tbsp red or white vinegar
1 tbsp brown sugar
Salt and pepper


Heat the olive oil and butter in a good frying pan until foaming.
Add the onions and apples followed by the almonds a minute later.
Meanwhile arrange the spinach in the centre of your plates and arrange the blue cheese around.
Turn the apples and onions when they start to colour.
Add the almonds, sprinkle over the sugar, shake the pan to coat everything evenly
Cook for a further 2 minutes then add the vinegar and allow to bubble a little
When the apples are soft and golden, spoon the mixture onto the prepared plates and serve

Iced Meringue Cake (Serves 8)

An ice-cream cake is a really impressive dessert. Deceptively simple to make and simply served with

whatever fruit is in season. A real hit at kiddies parties, decorated in the most gaudy, sugary ways possible.


8 meringue shells
400mls fresh cream
2 drops vanilla extract
1 tbsp icing sugar
Lemon Curd (see recipe below)
Selection of summer berries


Whisk the cream until medium to firm peaks with the vanilla extract
Break the meringue shells into the cream and fold gently until well mixed
Transfer to a bowl lined with cling film and freeze overnight

Lemon Curd (or buy a nice one!)

110g caster sugar
110g unsalted butter
1 fine zest and juice of 1 and half lemons
1 whole egg
3 egg yolks


Place everything except the butter in a bowl and whisk well
Cover with Cling film and microwave on half power for 1 minute, but stop and whisk every 20
Add the diced butter and again microwave for 1 minute stopping every 20 seconds to whisk
Continue this until the curd has thickened, allow to cool.
To serve
Take the cake from the freezer up turn onto a dish and remove the cling film.
Scatter the berries around and serve with the lemon curd.

Butterbeans with Chorizo, Black Pudding and Cider


1 tin of butterbeans
5 sprigs of sage
1 medium onion diced
1 clove of garlic, chopped
1 tbsp of butter
½ chicken stock cube crumbled
1 tsp smoked paprika
100g chorizo, sliced
100g Black pudding, diced
1 bottle of dry cider
1tbsp of tomato puree
Salt and pepper


Cook the onions slowly in the butter with the sage and garlic, add the tomato puree and the smoked
paprika, cook for a further 5 minutes. Add the chorizo and allow the oil to come out, add the
pudding, cider and stock cube.
Bring to a simmer and cook for 5 more minutes
Season and serve


Derry Clarke has been Chef/Patron of l’Ecrivain in Dublin for 23 years now. Derry and
l’Ecrivain have been awarded many accolades over the past twenty years, including a Michelin Star
which was awarded in 2002. Derry’s food ethos is simple: He sources the finest fresh local produce and he believes that a good dish is only achieved using the highest quality ingredients.

Slow Cooked Skirt Steak with Turf Smoked Carlingford Oysters, Organic Spring Greens & Morel Mushrooms

Pt1: Beef
800g beef skirt (trimmed of excess fat and cut into 4 pieces)

2 carrots, peeled and sliced lengthways
2 sticks celery
1 onion peeled and sliced in 4
1 bulb garlic cut in half
250 ml chicken stock
1 big spring of thyme
2 bay leaves
Freshly ground pepper & Sea salt


Season the beef with the black pepper and salt. Heat a frying pan over a moderate heat, add a little

vegetable oil and sear the beef on all sides till nice and brown. Place the vegetables, herbs and
chicken stock into a roasting tin and place the beef on top.
Preheat your oven @ 70 degrees Celsius or gas mark 2/3 and cook the beef in oven slowly for 2
hours ( this will tenderize the beef). Remove and leave to rest for 10 min.

Pt 2: Oysters


12 Carlingford Oysters ( opened, flesh removed, Reserve Jus)
100g turf or any woodchips
2 bay leaves

Place turf or wood chips into a small roasting tray with the bay leaf. Place a wire rack over the turf
and cover the roasting tin with tin foil. Place tin on low heat for 2/3 min and pull back tin foil and
place the oysters onto wire rack, cover over the tin foil and over a low heat gently smoke the oysters
for 3/5 min. remove from tray and leave to cool. ( you can also use this method to smoke chicken,
pork, salmon, mackerel, vegetables etc.)

Pt 3: Spring Greens

60g peas ( frozen are fine)
60g broad beans
60 g French beans
12 small asparagus spears

All of the above to be blanched.

2 shallots finely diced.
200ml chicken stock
200ml white wine
200 ml cream
50g butter
Freshly ground Sea salt & freshly ground white pepper

Heat a sauce pan over a medium heat, add the butter and the shallots, sauté for 2/3 min add
the chicken stock and reduce by half, add the cream and gently reduce until you have a sauce
consistency. Season with salt & pepper, add the veg and heat for 2 min, add the oysters & the reserved Jus, Keep sauce warm.

Pt 5: Morels (or any mushrooms)

100g morels (or any other mushrooms)
Toss the morels in a pan with a little butter.

Presentation Method

Spoon the sauce & spring greens onto your plate, slice the beef across the grain and place on top, spoon on the morels.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Eat me, I’m Irish!

A lot of us Irish have left the island in recent years, for Oz, the US of A, the UAE, of course the trusty ol’ UK, and other far off lands greener and sunnier than our own bankrupt, drizzled-upon country. Migration is an Irish specialty. We love to travel, and we always seem to fit happily in wherever we land, benefiting from a certain affection – a benign condescension, if you will – which allows us to get away with the most audacious invasions when others would be resented by the natives. Even when our residence in their country is not always on an (ahem) official footing.

 I have witnessed the phenomenon myself, as an Irish girl now living in London (I like to think of myself as being on an anthropological excursion as opposed to being an economic migrant). But who could blame them? Aren’t we endearing with our rowdy cheer and our Guinness, and our longing for ‘real butter’ and Tayto crisps? We’re friendly and familiar – amusing when exchanged with British politeness and reserve – and we have our own peculiar wisdom which in the wrong hands could cross the line into asininity. In short, ‘Irishness’ involves a combination of things that makes people fond. Ireland itself is an evocative place that fills others with romantic thoughts and a desire to go there. ‘Irishness’ evokes some of the good things in life, and so everybody wants to be a little bit Irish – or at least able to finish a pint of Guinness.

Besides our most famous exports – namely ourselves and the black stuff – other Irish produce is making its way to foreign food stores and restaurant kitchens. Only recently I had Irish Sika deer in a top London restaurant, and saw Irish cheeses on sale in the deli counters of exclusive retailers. In Ireland we ourselves are only now learning that our food is a thing we do very well, and this will be our greatest ambassador yet.

So, proud I was to walk into Selfridges last month – a top fancy retailer in London, for those who don’t know – and see the food hall bedecked in green, adorned everywhere with the produce of Irish artisans in celebration of ‘Delicious Ireland.’ DI was the title of a promotion that ran for the month of April, promoting a great array of Irish food and beverages from dairy products to whiskey. Personally, I think we should change the name of our country to Delicious Ireland.

Below I’ve given an abridged list of the Irish foods on display at Selfridges last month – but to really show them all off properly the good people of Bord Bia enlisted the help of some celebrity chefs to fashion them into dishes in sprint-like cookery demonstrations – and you’ll find some of the recipes HERE

The artisan line-up included:

 Ballymore Farm’s beautiful handmade organic unpasteurised butter – which can be found at good food shops throughout Dublin
and Wicklow

Irish farmed organic Irish-smoked salmon from the inimitable Burren Smokehouse. Their exceptional products are exported as far a field as North America, but you’ll find them stocked all over Ireland – and a visit to the smokehouse if you’re in the Burren is the best way to buy them  

Chia Bia’s innovative range of breads, bars and seed mixes – brimming with all the health-giving properties of chia seeds  

DP Connolly and Son’s natural juices, lemonades and cordials, made from Irish orchard fruit with no preservatives

A fantastic range of bespoke spice blends from Green Saffron, the award-winning Cork based business that specialises in whole fresh spices. You’ll find their unique spice products at Mahon Point and Midleton farmers markets in Cork, the Limerick Milk Market, and various specialist retailers around Ireland

The innovative ‘Orchard Syrup’ from Highbank Orchards in Kilkenny – Ireland’s answer to maple syrup!

Ireland’s ‘it’ pudding, Jack McCarthy’s black pudding – so good the French gave the butcher a knighthood for it and we served it to the Queen on her visit! Find it, well, everywhere these days    

Mella’s delicious buttery fudge, handmade in West Cork using local butter  

Sheridan’s range of crackers, chutney for cheese and onion marmalade – designed to perfection to accompany their massive stock of Irish and imported cheeses and charcuterie. A visit to Galway, Dublin, Waterford or Carnaross, County Meath is not complete without a visit to Sheridan’s

Can you imagine ‘Holycross Chocolate Biscuit Cake?’ The Tipperary Kitchen in Holycross Village, Co Tipp can show you this Belgian chocolate and local creamery butter wonder

Delectable chocolate truffles from the Truffle Fairy – such as Tequila Salt and Lemon truffles – find them in Waterford and Kilkenny Farmers Markets, and the People’s Park Dun Laoghaire market in Dublin, as well as some shops around Kilkenny

One of Ireland’s favourite cheeses, Ardrahan, lovingly made in Kanturk, Co Cork since 1983. You’ll find this on any cheese board worth its salt, and most cheese counters throughout Ireland
To satisfy the cheese fanatic, click here to see the other stunningly good Irish cheeses at Selfridges

Lastly but by no means leastly, from Northern Ireland:  
Clandeboye Estate artisan yoghurts (made in Bangor using milk from the estate’s own award winning Holstein and Jersey herds);  
Five Mile Town Creamery soft and hard cheeses (including smoked and plain cheddar, brie and flavoured goats cheeses);
and the very innovative Good 4U’s range of sprouted and roasted seeds, functional drinks and healthy snacks (produced by a family-owned health food company in County Tyrone).

All of these products and many more are available at Selfridges’ food hall. If you don’t make it to Ireland to experience its deliciousness for yourself, do look out for whatever morsels you can find elsewhere …and we are everywhere these days, so it’s the least we can do to share our goodies.

Irish artisan cheeses now available at Selfridges

Glebe Brethan (comté-style cheese from Co Louth made by David Tiernan from raw Montbeliarde cow’s milk)  

Bellingham Blue (a raw cow’s milk blue from Glyde Farm, Co Louth)

Cashel Blue (Ireland’s first blue, a semi-soft cow’s milk blue made by the Grubb family in Tipperary, who also make Crozier Blue, a raw sheep’s milk cheese)  

Cooleeney (a brie-style cheese made from Friesian milk by the Maher family in Tipperary, who also make the soft goats cheese, Gortnamona)  

Durrus (a traditional raw cow’s milk cheese – one of the first farmhouse cheeses made in Ireland – made by Jeffa Gill since 1979 in West Cork)  

Gubbeen (a semi-soft cow’s milk cheese, also made in West Cork since 1979, by Giana Ferguson. Her son Fingal now produces a range of cured meats and charcuterie under the Gubbeen Smokehouse brand)  

Hegarty’s Cheddar (another famous Irish cheese made in Cork, from Friesian milk)  

Killeen Farmhouse (goat and cow’s milk cheeses, produced by Dutch-born Marion Roeleveld in Balinasloe, Co Galway)  

Knockanore Smoked (a smoked full-cream semi-soft cheese made since 1987 by Eamonn Lonergan, from Lonergan Pedigree Friesian cow’s milk, in Co Waterford)

 Knockdrinna Farmhouse Kilree (complex rinded goats cheese produced by Helen Finnegan, along with an outstanding range which also includes Knockdrinna Gold, Knockdrinna Meadow sheep’s cheese, and Lavistown)  

St Tola Organic Goats Cheese (an internationally acclaimed gourmet cheese made in County Clare by Siobhan Ni Ghairbhith since 1999, when she acquired the business from her neighbours)  

Wicklow Blue (a semi-soft rinded blue with a very creamy flavour, made by John Hempenstall in Co Wicklow from pasteurised Friesian milk)