Monday, September 24, 2012

Apple & Cider Festival in Cahir

Strawberry Fields
Wow - what a festival. Slow Food & The Apple Farm invited to an Apple & Cider Festival and everyone came - Mr T and I did anyway.

The event took place at the Apple Farm which was the perfect location to host the festival. Row after row of wonderful apple trees, raspberries, strawberries and pears. You just wanted to grab them and jump over the fence like my mum & dad used to do when they were kids. The farm is very well laid out and it is easy to see why the Apple Farm is so successful. Focus is on quality and it can be seen, smelled and tasted around the farm.

Tasting Tent
The Apple Farm has a great farm shop where you can buy half a box of apples for a fiver. Mr T and I stocked up on apples, juice, cider balsamic vinegar and orchard syrup and I can't wait to try them all out.

The brewers of the craft ciders were at hand to talk about their ciders and why they thought theirs was the best. I cam across a wonderful rich cider from Tempted using Armagh apples. That reminds me, I have to give the card to Bradley's Off License in case they are interested in stocking this cider). Craigies Cider, MacIvors, Highbank, Llewelyns, Armagh Cider Company, Stonewell, Longueville House, Orpan's Cider and Mac's Armagh Cider were present at the tasting tent and I was a very happy girl indeed tasting them all.

We only came for the Saturday but it was worth going both days. The events on Saturday included Cider & Cheese matching by Sheridan (very interesting quote - artisan food scenes in Spain, France and Italy are working class -- in Ireland they kinda became middle and upper class - how did that happen - more to that in a later post).

We then watched CC Healy of Crowe's Farm cooking up some delicious black pudding & pork sausage roll, kassler (a German specialty of cured and smoked pork) with apple & cider sauce and shredded pork pasties. Mr T was in pork heaven.

But the most anticipated event was for Mr T the cider making workshop with Dick Keating. Mr T tried last year to make his own cider and as much as the taste was there - it was more of an apple juice than a cider. Now armed with a new recipe and more knowledge, I can see a cider making session coming up in the Cottage soon - watch this space for updates on the success on same.

Sunday's events were all about growing apple trees with the Irish Seed Savers being at hand as well as some spice workshops and how to prune apple trees.

We went away from the event very happy and with a plan to have a mini orchard for next year. Congratulations to Paul Deegan & The Apple Farm for a wonderful event. Can't wait for next year's event. If you like to see more photos from the event - click here

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