Apologies, Excuses and New Products

Posted by Tara Whelan on

Folks, I am so, so sorry. It's been a while since my last post but I have good reasons!

I've just started a college course, the subject, the Archaeology of Ireland. It's an Arts Diploma course facilitated by the National University of Ireland in Galway and even more amazing, its completely online! No exams either, just lots of reading and writing and assessments. Now I know feck all about archaeology, other than that I have an interest in lots of things that could be related- pre-history, ancient history, cultures, the renaissance, history of science, anthropology and Indiana Jones etc so it took a week or two to remind myself how real academic reading works and to figure out the online workings. I've turned in two assignments on Mesolithic Ireland already, I'm on track with my coursework and I find that I'm loving it!

Second reason is I that I took on an IT project which saw me commuting in and out of the Dublin city centre daily. I'm not the best early morning traveller on bus, and sometimes I get a little travel sick so I ended each day just wrecked. You know how I'm supposedly an IT Infrastructure Consultant by day, which is my disguise over my foodie hero costume underneath? Well I got the call and had to run, a project needed me and my "unique set of skills".  And I wasn't going to say no to cold hard cash- the day job is what will let me keep the foodie thing going, in the event it doesn't make me rich (I never thought it would make me rich).

But I'm back! And where towards the end of summer I was thinking of quitting, I realised I love all this too much- I love the food, my market stall, the artisans who make everything, their stories, and of course, my foodie customers and foodie friends. So instead of quitting and getting rid of everything, I've gone out and sourced some new delicious things that I can't wait to share, from the likes of:

The Proper Chocolate Company, Co Dublin

The Proper Chocolate Company, founded by Patrick and Kelli Marjolet in May 2016, produce bean-to-bar chocolate in micro-batches in Dublin. Their passion for chocolate making began in 2013 while living in San Francisco. Having received a bag of cocoa beans from a local small-batch chocolate maker as a gift, Patrick decided to have his hand at making his own chocolate and an intense passion ensued and endures.

Kelli and Patrick now source the finest beans and carefully roast them to bring out their optimum flavours. When treated just right, cocoa beans release an incredible variety of savours and subtleties that you just won’t find in mass-produced chocolate!

Tribal Foods, Co Galway

Liam Heneghan is a third generation grower, working in the family’s five acres under glass on their farm in Galway. Liam’s grandmother built her own glasshouse in 1935 and grew flowers, and her son, Liam’s dad, set up a thriving tomato-growing business. As tomatoes became saturated by foreign imports, his father turned to growing lettuce and parsley.

“I got into growing chillies because people were asking us for them at our stall in the Galway market, where we sell every Saturday,” says Liam. “We started growing them and I got really into it, as there are so many different varieties and it’s an interesting subject, plus there were no Irish chillies available.”

The sauces and dressings are all made without added sugars or the dreaded high fructose corn syrup which is lethal for anyone with auto-immune conditions. They are also vegetarian and vegan friendly.

Grahams, Co Meath

Now backed by a fantastic hard working and dedicated team, including mum Geraldine, Graham first began messing around in the kitchen trying to recreate a wholegrain mustard that his grandmother used to make- it got such a good response from everybody that they decided to take it to the local market. Graham's mustards are just wonderful- I love the wholegrain, but the Dijon is an award winner, having taken silver at the World Mustard Awards in Napa Valley. If you like horseradish, don't miss out on his Horseradish Sauce, a whopping 3 star winner at this years' Great Taste Awards.

Fused by Fiona Uyema, Co Kildare

Fiona’s Japanese food adventure began in Dublin City University where she studied Japanese and International Marketing. During her three years living in rural Japan she was completely immersed into the Japanese way of cooking and fell in love with the Japanese diet.

Founded in 2016, “Fused by Fiona Uyema” is a range of healthy and tasty flavoured soy sauces that will bring excitement to your everyday cooking by introducing Japanese flavours.  The range of soy sauces are extremely versatile, made using clean ingredients- high in protein with no added sugar, preservatives or additives. A great store cupboard ingredients for the busy yet healthy home-cook!

Tamnagh Foods, Co Derry

Tamnagh Foods, located in the scenic Sperrin Mountains near to the village of Park in County Derry, Northern Ireland was established in June 2010 by Julie Hickey who has been involved in the food industry for over 18 years, both as a chef and a restaurant owner. Tamnagh Foods is committed to the principles of artisan production- carefully producing food with the minimum use of machines to maximise the natural flavours. They're doing something right-  their cheese, pickles, relishes and small batch granolas are winners of Great Taste and gold and silver Blas na hEireann awards.

Wicked Blends, Co Galway

The brain child of Steve Scott, chef extraordinaire and a biker hailing from Dublin, Wicked Blends rubs and seasonings are tried, tested and approved for just about anything you can put them on. Or in. Mix with creme fraiche or sour cream for amazing dips. Through his many travels and experiences, Steve fell in love with the BBQ concept, especially the use of meat rubs for barbecuing and since then he’s been hooked on creating herb & spice rubs, it’s become his passion (obsession). After much experimentation Steve developed a line of rubs that have he believes to be the perfect combination of herbs and spices to complement the flavour of any meat they are used on.

I'll also be expanding a couple of existing ranges- the lovely Susie of Burren Balsamics is sending me some her divine infused white balsamics (and I'll have samples too!), while Graham the Kilted Highlander behind Smoky Brae has also been hard at work, smoking sea salt, pepper, garlic, chillies and sesame seeds. I hope to have these unique store cupboard ingredients in over the next week or two, along with a couple of small gift hampers that might be nice for Christmas (sorry, I said it). Mella's Irish Butter Fudge- all flavours- are also all back in stock, hooray!

So I'm back at Killruddery Farm Market this Saturday 30th September, then twice monthly until early December. Exact dates to be confirmed as I may be playing some roller derby with my dear East Coast Cyclones teamies a couple of Saturdays coming up. That's if I make it to training and fix my shite attendance record. As ever, the web shop is always open. Free shipping for all-Ireland orders over €49, and free collection from Killruddery House & Gardens Farm Market on selected dates.

Oh, that post I've been promising on the Blas na hEireann awards is coming, though at this point I figure I may as well wait until the final winners are announced this weekend in Dingle! 

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