Tuesday, March 6, 2012

A Plate of Locals

Ireland has a fantastic mix of wonderful artisan food producers - our cheesemakers win regularly in cheese competition around the globe, Irish Black Pudding has been awarded prizes in France and our seaweed & fish is exported throughout the world.

As I had lots of bread made for my last baking class - I decided to treat myself with a plate of locals - cheeses that is. The English Market in Cork City is a haven for any foodie - especially when - like me - crazy about cheese. On The Pigs Back is a wonderful mix of continental and local food. Isabel has found that perfect balance - importing nice goodies from France etc but also supporting strongly local Irish producers. On the Pigs Back has also a wonderful bistro/cafe in Douglas (back of the Woollen Mills) - worth a visit for lunch.

A Plate of Locals
It was hard to choose as I have my stable favourites like Gubeen, Durrus etc but I thought I give some new cheeses a chance. I opted for St. Bridget from the Fermoy Natural Cheese Company - a semi hard cheese with a natural rind and a mild creamy flavour. My second choice of course was Durrus (couldn't help myself). You can choose between 3 different types and ages. I went for the more mature one - nutty in flavour with a natural rind. Ardrahan Cheese is always a must on any cheese board - a semi soft cheese with a little punch of flavour. Last but not least I went for St Gall of the Fermoy Natural Cheese Company. It was quiet young so hadn't hardened too much yet but the flavour had already matured from a creamy mild to slightly pungent. As you can see, I stayed within the Cork County borders and that made it surely a plate of locals. Homemade bread and chutneys (I made tomato chutney, beetroot chutney and Quince Jam - all nicely matured since summer) made a perfect Saturday evening.

The meat on the plate was also locally sourced apart from the German Salami which was a present from a fellow foodie. I was more focused on the cheese of course :-)

As wine we chose a wonderful Shiraz whose ripe fruit flavour complimented the cheese perfectly - let's say we had a very happy Saturday Evening indeed

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