Top 20 Best Irish Foods to Watch Out For in 2015

Every year, around Christmas Eve –  I ask a question on Twitter… “What was Your Best Irish Food Find of the Year?” I get hundreds of replies from food lovers all over Ireland and this year was no exception with the replies pouring in all over the days of Christmas and New Year. 
 
I collate all the suggestions for great new foods from all over Ireland on a spreadsheet and from that I create the Top 20 Best Irish Foods to Watch Out For in 2015!
 

 



There have been an amazing amount of new food businesses set up over the last year and many new products are being developed by small producers all over the Island of Ireland. Many established small food producers have also been streamlining their product offering and expanding their lines. People are testing their foods at country markets and farmers markets and getting great feedback from customers, chefs and restaurants. This obviously helps them bring a better product to market for us to enjoy.

This year, people tweeted about old-style butters, artisan bakers, flavoured vinegars, innovative seafoods, hand-dried salts, top quality meats, hand-made confectionery, unusual dips and chutneys, honeys, crisps, foraged foods and much more!


One new food product, above all others, received the most mentions. I’ll save that to last! I have included a Twitter Follow button so you can easily follow them to get details of their delicious food products.



And so, here are the Top Twenty Best Irish Foods to Watch Out For in 2015 as voted for by you, the food lovers on Twitter, all over Ireland!

  • Tartine Organic Bakery – Co. Dublin

Food Lover and artisan baker Thibault Peigne is passionate about baking bread and uses the finest organic ingredients and traditional methods. He has created Tartine Organic Bakery to make freshly baked sourdough breads, french pastries and cakes.



  • Improper Butter – Co. Dublin

A range of improperly delicious, Irish flavoured butters that inspire creativity at mealtimes, made by Elaine Lavery and Hannah O’Reilly.

 

 

  • Wild About Foods – Co. Wexford

Fiona and Malcom Falconer produce a wide range of artisan chutneys, preserves, syrups, seasoning rubs, cocktail bases and wild pestos made from foraged and homegrown ingredients. They specialise in native wild ingredients like nettles, hips, haws, sloes, damsons, elderberries, crab apples, rowan berries, guilderose and whatever else is in season.



  • Goatsbridge Trout – Co. Kilkenny

 

Fresh Trout, Smoked Trout, Trout Pate, Trout Caviar and more are all farmed, processed and produced on the banks of the Little Arrigle River by the family of Mags and Ger Kirwan. They have a passion for trout, which comes across in the quality of their product.

 

  • The Wild Irish Foragers & Preservers – Co. Offaly

Sharon and Gordon Greene create exclusively Wild Syrups, Sauces, Fruit Cheeses, Pontack & more homemade to old recipes using hand-picked ingredients from their Millhouse Farm near Birr, Co Offaly.

 

  •  Abernethy Butter – Co. Down


Alison and Will Abernethy make handmade butter from local cream, handmade in churns the traditional way and patted into rolls. It is creamy and slightly salty to give a luxurious creamy taste. They also make fudge.


  • Broughgammon Farm Kid Goat – Co. Antrim

Broughgammon Farm produce Cabrito (Kid Goat Meat), Free Range Rose Veal, Seasonal Game and Hand Harvested Irish Seaweeds. Their ethos is to produce great food locally, sustainably and competitively while balancing the growing requirements for food production with environmental protection.


  • Rebel Chilli Hot Sauces – Co. Cork

Ken and Paul Moore’s award winning ‘Red Chilli with Lemongrass and Ginger’ is a crowd favourite and the Cork-based Rebel Chilli range also includes the fantastically hot ‘Chillionaire’ and the sweet ‘Jalapeno and Raspberry Jelly’.


  • Irish Bee Sensations – Co. Cork

Tom and Croéin Ruttle are multi award winning producers of artisan Honey and Jams made only with their own Irish Raw Honey. They have a passion for their bees and for the reintroduction of the native Irish Bee.


  • Achill Island Sea Salt – Co. Mayo

Achill Island Sea Salt was founded as a family business by Kieran, Marjorie and Sean O’Malley in July 2013, reviving the age old tradition of salt production on Achill Island, creating a sustainable and pure artisan product, which has received critical acclaim from chefs and cooks alike for its appearance, texture and taste.


  • Le Fournil Bakery – Co. Donegal

In 2007, French chef Franck Pasquier retired from restaurant kitchens to set up Le Fournil Artisan Bakery in Donegal Town & Sligo. He bakes superb sourdough breads, patisserie items, tarts, croissants & much more. He also supplies the breads to Clotilde Rambaud and Tomasz Giderewicz at Le Fournil in Sligo town. Clotilde makes all the patisseries and chocolates in the Sligo store.


  • Killowen Farm Yogurts – Co. Wexford

The Dunne family have been farming in Enniscorthy for nine generations. Their award winning yogurts are gluten free, low in sugar, naturally low fat and contain no artificial additives. Everyone says they taste great!


  • Soul Soup – Co. Dublin

Lloyd Hamilton-Felton wanted to bring the healthiest and tastiest soups possible to soup lovers all over Ireland. He is now supplying some of Dublin’s best artisan cafés and health shops.



  • Keoghs Farm Crisps – Co. Dublin

Keoghs Farm say they produce Ireland’s only “hand cooked on the farm” artisan potato crisps. The family have been farming their potatoes for over 100 years and their crisps have become a favourite at home and abroad.

  • John Stone Beef – Co. Longford

John Stone comes from a very long line of butchers and has been at the forefront of gourmet meat production for almost fifty years. His meats come from small manageable farms and he believes that the natural lifestyle of the cattle gives his meat it’s unique and delicious flavour.


  • The Foods of Athenry – Co. Galway

The old milking parlor on the Lawless family farm is now the bakery where they bake wheat and spelt soda breads & bread mixes, scones, cakes and pies as well as a range of Gluten Free breakfast cereals, cookies, crackers, flapjacks and cakes.

  • Ballyhoura Mountain Mushrooms – Co. Limerick

Ballyhoura Mountain Mushrooms produce a wide range of foraged and cultivated speciality mushrooms and also a selection of handmade artisanal mushroom products. However, it was their Shiitake Dust which caught the imagination of so many people this year. This Powdered Irish Shiitake Mushroom delivers delicious buttery and umami notes making it perfect for seasoning meat, fish, vegetables, gravies, soups & sauces.

  • Toons Bridge Buffalo Cheeses – Co. Cork

The first Toons Bridge buffalo calves arrived in the early spring of 2011 but their buffalo mozzarella took almost two years to perfect. A joint venture between Toby Simmonds of the Real Olive Co. and his neighbouring farmer Johnny Lynch, the dairy is now producing Buffalo Mozzarella Balls, Ricotta, Halloumi, a salty Greek-style cheese, Cachocavalio and smoked Scamorza cheeses. From time to time, milk quantities allowing, they also make buffalo milk yogurt and butter. And Ireland loves it all!

  • Silver Darlings Herring – Co Limerick

Kirsti O’Kelly pickles Irish herrings according to traditional family recipes handed down from her mother and grandmother in her native Finland. She marinates the fish in a combination of mild vinegars and spices which dissolve the herring bones and keep the integrity of the fish flesh allowing it to take on the subtle flavours of aromatic spices like mustard seeds, sandalwood, cinnamon, bay leaves, cloves, pink peppercorns and fresh herbs such as dill, tarragon and coriander.


And the Best Irish Food to Watch Out For in 2015 as voted by the Irish Public, via Twitter, is …

 

Wild Wood Vinegars
Rathlacken, Ballina, County Mayo


Fionntan Gogarty is an artist, vinegar producer, a lover of fine food, poetry and the wild rugged west of Ireland, an organic farmer, a dry-stone-waller, a beachcomber and an innovator. He is indeed all of these things!

Fionntan Gogarty of Wildwood Vinegars

Wildwood Vinegars, based in the little village of  Rathlackin, near Ballina in County Mayo, are a unique range of foraged wild fruit, herb, berry and blossom infused vinegars that unlock the hidden magic of nature’s flavours and essences. Fionntan has only been producing them for less than a year but already they have been received with rapturous delight by all who have tasted them and have won several awards.



The fruity and flavourful vinegars are used for sauces, salad dressings, marinades, desserts and chilled as an alternative to sorbet or even added to soda-water for a refreshing soft drink!


If ever there was a product that gives you a true taste of the best of Ireland, Fionntan Gogarty’s Wildwood Vinegars are just that! It’s no wonder that so many people all over Ireland tweeted that this product was their Best Irish Food Find of the year.

Congrats to Fionntan and everyone else that made to Top 20 Best Irish Foods to Watch Out For in 2015We look forward to another great year for Irish Food!

You can Follow me at 

Zack

Posted in #BestIrishFood, Best Irish Food, irish food, Irish Food Awards, news, Top 20 Best Irish Food | Tagged , | Leave a comment

A List of the Michelin Star and Bib Gourmand Restaurants and Chefs in Ireland, that are on Twitter

Here’s a list of Michelin Guide awarded Chefs & Restaurants in Ireland that are on Twitter. I’ve included the names and the Twitter Account details for all the Chefs and Restaurants in Ireland that have attained Michelin Stars and Bib Gourmands – this list is not associated with the Michelin Guide company itself.

The Michelin Guide – The best restaurants
as selected by Michelin Guide inspectors

I’ve included below a Twitter Follow Button so you can easily Follow all the Michelin Selected selected Chefs that are in Ireland! In cases where the head chef doesn’t have a personal Twitter account I have mentioned the restaurant account, if available. If neither the Restaurant nor Chef have a Twitter presence and you’re out for a bit to eat there soon, tell them to get on Twitter and watch their new customers flow in the door!

Because of the nature of the catering trade, a list like this will need to be updated, so do leave a comment when there are any updates that need to be made in the future.

If you Follow all these Restaurants and Chefs on Twitter you’ll have a wonderful insight into what’s really going on in the kitchens of those at the forefront of Modern Irish Food!

**Two Michelin Stars Restaurants and Chefs
Excellent cooking, worth a detour
on Twitter in Ireland

Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud in Dublin City
Patrick Guilbaud and Kieran Glennon

*One Michelin Star Restaurants and Chefs
Very good cooking in its category
on Twitter in Ireland

Aniar in Galway City

JP McMahon, Ultan Cooke, Aniar Galway





Bon Appetit in Malahide, Co Dublin
Oliver Dunne and Bon App Malahide



Campagne in Kilkenny City
Garrett Byrne

Chapter One in Dublin City
Ross Lewis


l’Ecrivain in Dublin
Derry Clarke


The House Restaurant at the Cliff House Hotel in Ardmore, Co. Waterford
Martijn Kajuiter and Cliff House Hotel


Lady Helen at the Mount Juliet Hotel near Thomastown, Co. Kilkenny
Cormac Rowe


Thornton’s at the The Fitzwilliam Hotel in Dublin City
Kevin Thornton and Fitzwilliam DUB


Bib Gourmands Restaurants and Chefs
Good food at a moderate price
on Twitter in Ireland

Republic of Ireland Bib Gourmands on Twitter

The Courthouse Restaurant, Carrickmacross, Co Monaghan
Conor Mee and Charlotte Carr

Deasy’s Harbour Bar & Seafood Restaurant, Ring, Clonakilty, Co Cork (not on Twitter)
Caitlin Ruth
Facebook

Sha-Roe Bistro Clonegall, Co Carlow (not on Twitter)
Henry and Stephanie Stone
Facebook

The Chart House, Dingle, Co Kerry (not on Twitter)
Jim McCarthy. Head Chef Noel Enright
Website

Pichet, Dublin City
Stephan Gibson and Pichet Dublin


Pig’s Ear, Dublin City
Andrea Hussey, Stephen McAllister at The Pigs Ear and Head Chef Damien Derwin

Etto, Dublin City
Owners Liz Matthews and Simon Barrett

Downstairs, Clontarf, Co. Dublin
Restaurant Downstairs

Aldridge Lodge, Duncannon, Co. Wexford
Owners Billy Whitty and Joanne Harding

Fishy Fishy, Kinsale, Co Cork (not on Twitter)
Martin Shanahan
Website

Wild Honey Inn, Lisdoonvarna, Clare
Aiden McGrath and Kate Sweeney

Brasserie at Bon Appétit, Malahide, Co Dublin
Oliver Dunne and Bon Appétit, Malahide



Northern Ireland Bib Gourmands on Twitter

Oregano, Ballyclare, Co. Antrim
Dermot Regan and Oregano Belfast



Bar + Grill at James Street South, Belfast City
The Bar Grill


Deanes at Queens, Belfast City
Deanes Restaurants, Michael Deane and Chris Fearon




Home, Belfast City
Home Restaurant, Mourne Seafood and Ben Arnold




Coppi, Belfast City
Coppi Restaurant, Jonny Phillips and Tony O’Neill




Fontana, Holywood, Co. Down
Fontana Restaurant


Old Schoolhouse Inn, Newtownards, Belfast, Co. Down
The Old School House and Will Brown



Follow the Michelin Guide Team on Twitter

I hope you enjoy connecting with these great restaurants and chefs as much as I do!

And you can also Follow Me on Twitter  @IrishFoodGuide too!

Zack

Posted in Bib Gormands in Ireland, chef, Irish Chefs on Twitter, Michelin Star Restaurants in Ireland, news | Leave a comment

There are Turkeys Roaming Free (range) in the Boyne Valley

If you know Olivia Duff, you’ll know that she really is a very busy woman! She is a dynamic character who passionately promotes Irish and in particular county Meath produce at every opportunity. When managing the award winning family run hotel, The Headfort Arms, in Kells, she strives to serve the best of Irish food in all food service areas of the business. An example of this being their unique menu, served in the Vanilla Pod restaurant, in which all the ingredients are sourced within a 30-mile radius of the hotel.
Olivia Duff is passionate about telling the story of great Irish food
Olivia is one of the driving forces behind the Meath Food Showcase and the Meath Food Trail Package. This trail offers visitors an opportunity to visit local producers and on returning to the hotel, an opportunity to enjoy the ‘Meath Menu’ featuring food from the rich sources of the Boyne Valley. She is also one of the Failte Ireland Food Ambassadors and is dedicated to helping others tell their own ‘food story’.
Her passion for food has led her family to breeding turkeys, rare breed pigs and sheep, supplying their artisan produce directly from their farm to the consumer. Maperath Farm is a small mixed farm, just outside Kells, which is committed to involving the customer in the full story of food production and they take great pride in this story. With her husband, Eoin Sharkey, a former builder and keen horseman, they have created an atmosphere of honest farming, one that invites the customer to discover where their food comes from. Whether that is a newly born lamb or a day old chick, visitors can follow the process of the meat from the farm directly to the table.
All the animals on Maperath Farm are traditionally reared and enjoy fodder crop (the first poultry farm in Ireland to do so) alongside natural feeds and acres of free range lifestyle. New for 2015 will see Maperath Farm’s ‘Lamb in a Box’ which will offer the customer a chance to order a full lamb direct from the farm. This will be then custom-butchered to the customer wishes and presented in a box, ready to eat or for the freezer. This year also sees expansion of their brand to include Maperath Farm Christmas Relish & Chutneys.
Maperath Farm ‘Lamb in a Box’ will be available in 2015
The farm produces rare breed pigs, grass fed lamb and poultry, but it is the Free Range Turkeys & Geese which are the main event at this time of year. With huge demand for their birds, it proves that consumers in Ireland really do care about the welfare, rearing and production of their food.
Olivia’s husband, Eoin, believes in honest food direct from the farm
Maperath Farm is unique because it represents a true model of Sustainable Farming, incorporating models of high animal welfare, natural feed products and low levels of intensity. It also represents a real concept of ‘honest food direct from the farm’. Customers can order their own lamb, turkey or goose knowing that it is traditionally reared, then processed and butchered locally.
Olivia and Eoin’s farm offers premium product which involves the customer throughout the full story of farm to the table. The long-term vision for Maperath Farm is to expand into a unique Free Range mixed farm which will involve its customers from day one in the production of food. Customers will be invited to visit their food as it grows and for the farm to become a Food Tourism Destination as part of the Boyne Valley.
The free range lifestyle of any bird is reflected in the quality and flavour of the meat
Maperath Farm has a limited number of their free range Turkeys and Geese available over the next few days, but they’re going fast! Contact the Farm today on 087 902 7070 or see www.facebook.com/maperathfarm
Zack

See my 10 Tips on How to Cook a Turkey & my Favourite Stuffing Recipe herewww.irishfoodguide.ie/2011/12/10-tips-for-perfect-turkey-my-stuffing.html

Posted in Free Range Geese, Free Range Turkey, Headfort Arm Hotel, Maperath Farm, Meath, news, Olivia Duff, turkey | Leave a comment

How to Cook a Turkey & my Favourite Stuffing Recipe

The turkey is the centrepiece of both the traditional Christmas Dinner, Thanksgiving Dinner and the 4th of July Dinner and it’s great for any other special occasion, which is why cooking it properly is so important. Mess it up and not even the best side dishes will save you! Turkey is becoming very popular because it is relatively low in cholesterol and high in vitamins that boost the immune system. It’s also very juicy and tasty!
So here are some tips on how to prepare & cook that perfect Turkey!

 How to Cook a Turkey

A juicy & tender whole roasted turkey really does add to the sense of occasion at Christmas!

  1. First things first. Buy a Fresh Turkey if you can. Don’t buy a turkey that has been pre-stuffed as mishandling or incorrect cooking can cause bacteria to multiply inside the stuffing.
  2. It’s so important that if you’re buying a frozen bird, that you thaw your turkey the right way. If it’s done improperly, the bacteria can multiply to a point where even oven temperatures won’t be able to kill all of them off. This can cause severe food poisoning. The worst thing you can do is to leave your turkey out on the kitchen-counterto thaw. The safest method is to thaw your turkey in the fridge.
  1. When you place the turkey in thefridge (raw meat should always go the bottom shelf) put it on a tray to catch all the juices that will leak out. You should leave the turkey in its original wrapper. It takes approximately 2 days for a 15 pound turkey to fully defrost.
  1. Add some extra flavour by loosely filling the cavity of the bird with vegetables — carrots, celery, onion & garlic work nicely together. Don’t wash your Turkey. The water splashing around will spread more bacteria than you are washing off it – let the oven do the work.
  1. Before roasting, coat the outside of the turkey with butter, seasoning with sea-salt and ground black pepper. Cover the bird with streaky bacon to add more flavour and to keep it from browning too much. Don’t forget to cover the legs too!
  1. Cover the complete loosely bird with tin foil and once you get the turkey in the oven, resist the temptation to open the oven door! Every time you open the door the temperature drops and all the moisture escapes increasing the likelihood of a dry bird.
  1. Have your oven Pre-heated to 180°C (170°C for fan assisted ovens), 365°F, so that the turkey is going into a hot oven.

The simple rules for Turkey cooking times are:
If it’s Less than 4kg (8½Lbs) weight cook for 20 minutes per kg then add 70 minutes extra time.

If it’s More than 4kg (8½Lbs) weight cook for 20 minutes per kg and add 90 minutes extra time.

  • To Convert your Pounds (lbs) to Kilograms (kg) multiply by 0.46
  • To Convert your Kilograms (kg) to Pounds (lbs) multiply by 2.2

e.g. 20 lbs weight Turkey = 20 x 0.46 = 9.2kg weight
9.2 kg x 20mins =184 minutes. Add 90 = 274 minutes.

Divide this by 60 (minutes in an hour) = 4 hours and 35 minutes Turkey Cooking Time.

  1. About 30 minutes before the turkey should be done, remove the foil from the breast to crisp up the skin.

9.Test the turkey after this time using a pointed knife inserted into the area between the base of the wing and the top of the leg. Push in the blade and the gently ease down on it. Juice from the turkey will run down the blade. If the juices run clear then it is cooked. If there are traces of pink in it give it another little while in the oven.
If you have a cooking thermometer ensure that the centre of the thickest parts return a temp of 75°C.

  1. After you take the turkey out of the oven let it rest, under the loosened foil, for about 15 minutes before carving. This lets the hot juices relax and spread evenly through the meat, giving a moist and juicy bird.

(No. 11. Relax and Don’t Panic…)

My Favourite Stuffing Mix

This is a stuffing recipe that I have used for years. It is versatile and adaptable and can be used with any type of meat. This makes enough for 8 people – generous portions!

 Zacks Irish Food Guide stuffing

This is my recipe but you can add whatever herbs you like to your stuffing!

My Ingredients:

250g (10oz) butter

200g (8oz) diced onion

100g (4oz) diced red onion

100g (4oz) grated carrot

1 tblsp chopped thyme

1 tblsp chopped parsley

1/2 tspn cracked black pepper

2 cloves garlic diced

1 tspn chopped rosemary

1 tspn chopped basil

1 tspn chopped oregano

300g (12oz) white breadcrumbs made with crusts and all

300g (12oz) wholemeal breadcrumbs made with crusts and all

My Method:

  1. Simply place the butter and all other ingredients, except the crumbs, on a medium heat and cook gently, stirring, until the onions and other veg are soft.
  1. Add the breadcrumbs and mix in well until the crumbs have absorbed all the butter and juices.
  1. If the stuffing feels a little dry (depending on the type of day, the weather, the heat of the kitchen or one of another hundred amazingly uncontrollable conditions) I tend to add a little splash of my favourite white wine at this stage and mix well and then add a little of the cooking juices from the cooked turkey just before serving.

Enjoy your Turkey!

zack

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The 14 Food Ingredients that must now be Declared as Allergens on Food Labelling

The Food Information Regulations are changing and new rules come into force on 13 December 2014.

This requires food businesses providing non-prepacked food e.g. restaurants, delis, canteens, takeaways, cafes, retail outlets etc., to indicate to consumers the use of any of the 14 allergenic ingredients listed below that are used in the production or preparation of food.
The new EU food labeling rules, adopted by the European Parliament and the Council in 2011 (Food Information for Consumers Regulation), are claimed to ensure that consumers receive clearer, more comprehensive and accurate information on food content and help them make informed choices about what they eat.
The basic principles of food labelling remain the same in providing safe food which is honestly described and presented continue and the following information is still required on prepacked food labelling: 
  • A true name or description of the food 
  • The ingredients it contains, in descending weight order
  • How it should be handled, stored, cooked or prepared 
  • Who manufactured, packed or imported it 
  • Origin information if its absence would mislead 
  • Allergenic ingredients identified on the label 
  • Specific information declaring whether the food is irradiated or contains genetically modified material or aspartame, high caffeine, sweeteners, packaging gases, phytosterols etc. 
  • Net quantity in grams, kilograms, litres or centilitres (or abbreviations thereof)
  • Alcoholic strength where there is more than 1.2% alcohol by volume (alcohol x%vol.) 
The new regulations replace the current food labelling requirements and introduce new ones including:
  • Minimum font size on labels
  • Mandatory nutrition labelling
  • A clearer indication of allergens in the ingredients list and the need to be able to tell consumers about allergen contents in non-packaged food
  • Extension to the rules for country of origin labelling.

The 14 Food Ingredients that now must be Declared as Allergens in the EU are:

1. Cereals containing Gluten namely: wheat (such as spelt and khorasan wheat), rye, barley, oats or their hybridised strains, and products thereof, except:

(a) wheat based glucose syrups including dextrose
(b) wheat based maltodextrins
(c) glucose syrups based on barley
(d) cereals used for making alcoholic distillates including ethyl alcohol of agricultural origin

Paper wrapped Labels are ideal for freshly baked breads

2. Crustaceans and products thereof

3. Eggs and products thereof

4. Fish and products thereof, except:

(a) fish gelatine used as carrier for vitamin or carotenoid preparations
(b) fish gelatine or Isinglass used as fining agent in beer and wine

5. Peanuts and products thereof

6. Soybeans and products thereof, except:

(a) fully refined soybean oil and fat
(b) natural mixed tocopherols (E306), natural D-alpha tocopherol, natural D-alpha tocopherol acetate, and natural D-alpha tocopherol succinate from soybean sources
(c) vegetable oils derived phytosterols and phytosterol esters from soybean sources
(d) plant stanol ester produced from vegetable oil sterols from soybean sources

7. Milk and products thereof (including lactose), except:

(a) whey used for making alcoholic distillates including ethyl alcohol of agricultural origin
(b) lactitol

8. Nuts namely: Almonds (Amygdalus communis L.), Hazelnuts (Corylus avellana), Walnuts (Juglans regia), Cashews (Anacardium occidentale), Pecan Nuts (Carya illinoinensis (Wangenh.) K. Koch), Brazil Nuts (Bertholletia excelsa), Pistachio Nuts (Pistacia vera), Macadamia or Queensland Nuts (Macadamia ternifolia), and products thereof, except for nuts used for making alcoholic distillates including ethyl alcohol of agricultural origin.

9. Celery and products thereof

10. Mustard and products thereof

11. Sesame Seeds and products thereof

12. Sulphur dioxide and Sulphites at concentrations of more than 10 mg/kg or 10 mg/litre in terms of the total SO2 which are to be calculated for products as proposed ready for consumption or as reconstituted according to the instructions of the manufacturers

13. Lupin and products thereof (lupin flour is used quite widely in bread, cakes and pastries)

14. Molluscs and products thereof

These 14 specified allergenic ingredients must be declared in foods. 
Other ingredients to which some people may have an allergy or intolerance do not need to be declared, although the information should be provided voluntarily.
Owners/Managers of Food premises need to make all staff aware of the 14 allergenic ingredients and put a system in place to identify and record the allergenic ingredients being received and handled by the food business to enable you to meet the food allergen declaration requirements.
For further information on Allergens in food production and much more, go to the Food Safety Authority of Ireland website at www.fsai.ie/faq/allergens.html and Follow them on Twitter @FSAIinfo
Zack
Posted in allergens, food allergies, food ingredients, food labelling, ireland, news | Leave a comment

Love a Real Tree this Christmas and Support the Jack and Jill Foundation

Christmas Tree Growers donate 500 trees to Jack & Jill Foundation
Wicklow grower, Christy Kavanagh, has been crowned the Christmas Tree Grower Supreme Champion 2014 in the national Christmas tree growing competition. This is the fifth time that Christy has received the accolade for his Nordmann Fir range in the annual competition organized by the Christmas Tree Growers Association. As an experienced and avid grower, he is enthusiastic about the benefits real Christmas Trees bring to the celebrations, noting that the Nordmann Fir is the most popular type of tree, accounting for 75% of trees sold in Ireland.

The Christmas tree harvest is currently underway due to excellent growing and favourable harvesting conditions, according to the Irish Christmas Tree Growers.  Bord Bia estimates that approximately 500,000 trees will be harvested this year by Irish growers, 300,000 for the home market and 200,000 for export, mainly to the UK.

‘Love a Real Tree’ Campaign

This Christmas, the Irish Christmas Tree Growers Association has launched a new initiative, ‘Love a Real Tree’, to highlight the benefits of choosing a real Christmas tree for your home. This new campaign was developed to include a logo and website (www.lovearealtree.ie) which highlight the benefits of a real tree versus and an artificial tree, in particular that real Irish Christmas trees are environmentally friendly as they can be recycled, while the land used for growing them can be replanted or returned to traditional agriculture.

Speaking about the campaign, Christy Kavanagh said, “The look, the scent and the very feel of a real tree are all part of the Christmas tradition! Growing the perfect tree takes more than planting a tree and hoping for the best. It takes seven to ten years to produce a 2 metre tall tree, and this means year round care for the life of the tree by growers to produce the best tree possible. When you buy a real Christmas tree, carefully grown and cultured locally, there is that extra special knowledge that you are supporting nature and the environment.”

The Irish Christmas Tree Growers Association represents the major body of producers and suppliers of top grade Christmas Trees in Ireland, with over 100 members nationwide. Ireland has developed a solid reputation for the production of high quality trees for both the domestic and export Christmas tree market.

 Christmas Trees 1
Christy Kavanagh of the Irish Christmas Tree Growers Association

Christmas Tree Growers Donate 500 trees to Jack & Jill Foundation
The Irish Christmas Tree Growers Association is donating 500 four foot Irish grown Christmas trees to the children’s charity, Jack and Jill Foundation. These trees will be used by the charity to stage a one day giveaway on Saturday, 6th December at two locations; Leopardstown Racecourse and Newbridge Retail Park. The trees are available for an on the spot donation of €16 and are ideal for apartments, offices or smaller rooms. 

About the Jack and Jill Children’s Foundation
The Jack & Jill Children’s Foundation was founded by Jonathan Irwin and his wife Senator Mary Ann O’Brien based on their own experience caring for their son Jack at home until he passed away in December 1997. This experience became the blue print for the Jack & Jill model of home nursing care which supports 300 children with severe disabilities as a result of brain damage today and the Foundation has supported over 1,800 families (county breakdown below) since 1997. The service includes funding, home visits, advice, information, lobbying and bereavement support and up to 64 hours of home nursing care per month at a cost of €1,024 per family.  It also includes end of life care of up to 80 hours per month at a cost of €1,280 with a clear focus of supporting parents who decide to take their child home to die. Jack & Jill requires €2.7 million per annum to operate this critical service and, with less than 20% coming from the State, the Foundation depends on the generosity of the public to keep going and on wonderful fundraisers like this, with every €16 raised funding 1 hour of home nursing care.

 Christmas Trees 2
Christy Kavanagh with Jonathan Irwin from the Jack and Jill Foundation

Your Guide to Choosing a Real Christmas Tree

The Irish Christmas Tree Growers Association’s top Tips for Buying your Christmas tree:

Try not to buy your Christmas tree until you are ready to set it up. In many countries, such as France, the Christmas tree is not set up until Christmas Eve and taken down after January 6th.

After you bring your Christmas tree home, keep it in a cool place like an unheated garage, porch or patio until you are ready to bring it indoors.

Set it up in a cool area (less than 15 centigrade) and as far away as possible from sources of heat including fireplaces, radiators and vents. This will prolong the life of the tree for the holiday season.

Place it in a “water stand”. Most Christmas tree sellers have these available. The stand has a wide   base and bolts for giving the tree stability, and a basin for water to keep your tree fresh.

Just before standing your tree in the water stand, you should make a fresh saw-cut, straight across the stem, at least 3 cm above the original cut. This fresh cut allows the tree to absorb water easily.

Check out your local County Council website for Christmas Tree Recycling locations near you.

Irish Christmas Tree Facts

Production is mainly concentrated in counties Wexford, Carlow, Wicklow, Tipperary and Cork where soils and climate combine to produce high yields.

Approximately 8 million trees of all ages are currently growing on circa. 1, 500 hectares

There are approximately 10 significant producers and 70 to 80 smaller growers.

The farm gate value of current domestic and export sales is estimated at €10 million, plus retail values of €25 million

The three most popular varieties of Christmas tree are the Nordmann Fir (accounting for 75% of trees sold in Ireland), the Noble Fir (accounting for 15% of trees sold in Ireland) and the Lodgepole Pine.

Love a Real Tree

Why buy a real Christmas Tree?

Locally grown Christmas trees are really fresh due to the reduced travel stress on them.

There is a tremendous variety and a large range of different size trees available to meet your particular needs.

Once cared for properly, non-shedding trees, such as the Normann Fir, Noble Fir and Lodgepole Pine, will not lose their needles.

Each tree is cultured as an individual tree and produced to the highest quality standards from the time they are planted right through to delivery.

Your real Christmas tree is a natural resource and therefore can be recycled.  This is in contrast to artificial trees, which are usually made of metal and plastic materials and use oils and minerals in their manufacture.  An artificial tree may last up to six years in your home but takes centuries to break down in landfill sites.

The forest environment is protected by the fact that Christmas trees are continually being planted to replace those trees being harvested.

As well as adding to the beauty of our landscape, growing Christmas trees produces large amounts of oxygen and removes the harmful carbon dioxide or “greenhouse gas” from our atmosphere.  Real trees also provide natural habitats for forest animals and birds.

All the funds raised go to the charity with each €16 donation accounting for one hour of home nursing care for one Jack and Jill baby. Visit www.jackandjill.ie for more information.

For more tips on buying and caring for your real Christmas tree, visit www.lovearealtree.ie.

Zack

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Love a Real Tree this Christmas and Support the Jack and Jill Foundation

Christmas Tree Growers donate 500 trees to Jack & Jill Foundation

Wicklow grower, Christy Kavanagh, has been crowned the Christmas Tree Grower Supreme Champion 2014 in the national Christmas tree growing competition. This is the fifth time that Christy has received the accolade for his Nordmann Fir range in the annual competition organized by the Christmas Tree Growers Association. As an experienced and avid grower, he is enthusiastic about the benefits real Christmas Trees bring to the celebrations, noting that the Nordmann Fir is the most popular type of tree, accounting for 75% of trees sold in Ireland.
The Christmas tree harvest is currently underway due to excellent growing and favourable harvesting conditions, according to the Irish Christmas Tree Growers.  Bord Bia estimates that approximately 500,000 trees will be harvested this year by Irish growers, 300,000 for the home market and 200,000 for export, mainly to the UK.
‘Love a Real Tree’ Campaign
This Christmas, the Irish Christmas Tree Growers Association has launched a new initiative, ‘Love a Real Tree’, to highlight the benefits of choosing a real Christmas tree for your home. This new campaign was developed to include a logo and website (www.lovearealtree.ie) which highlight the benefits of a real tree versus and an artificial tree, in particular that real Irish Christmas trees are environmentally friendly as they can be recycled, while the land used for growing them can be replanted or returned to traditional agriculture.  
Speaking about the campaign, Christy Kavanagh said, “The look, the scent and the very feel of a real tree are all part of the Christmas tradition! Growing the perfect tree takes more than planting a tree and hoping for the best. It takes seven to ten years to produce a 2 metre tall tree, and this means year round care for the life of the tree by growers to produce the best tree possible. When you buy a real Christmas tree, carefully grown and cultured locally, there is that extra special knowledge that you are supporting nature and the environment.”
The Irish Christmas Tree Growers Association represents the major body of producers and suppliers of top grade Christmas Trees in Ireland, with over 100 members nationwide. Ireland has developed a solid reputation for the production of high quality trees for both the domestic and export Christmas tree market.
Christy Kavanagh of the Irish Christmas Tree Growers Association
Christmas Tree Growers Donate 500 trees to Jack & Jill Foundation
The Irish Christmas Tree Growers Association is donating 500 four foot Irish grown Christmas trees to the children’s charity, Jack and Jill Foundation. These trees will be used by the charity to stage a one day giveaway on Saturday, 6th December at two locations; Leopardstown Racecourse and Newbridge Retail Park. The trees are available for an on the spot donation of €16 and are ideal for apartments, offices or smaller rooms. 

About the Jack and Jill Children’s Foundation
The Jack & Jill Children’s Foundation was founded by Jonathan Irwin and his wife Senator Mary Ann O’Brien based on their own experience caring for their son Jack at home until he passed away in December 1997. This experience became the blue print for the Jack & Jill model of home nursing care which supports 300 children with severe disabilities as a result of brain damage today and the Foundation has supported over 1,800 families (county breakdown below) since 1997. The service includes funding, home visits, advice, information, lobbying and bereavement support and up to 64 hours of home nursing care per month at a cost of €1,024 per family.  It also includes end of life care of up to 80 hours per month at a cost of €1,280 with a clear focus of supporting parents who decide to take their child home to die. Jack & Jill requires €2.7 million per annum to operate this critical service and, with less than 20% coming from the State, the Foundation depends on the generosity of the public to keep going and on wonderful fundraisers like this, with every €16 raised funding 1 hour of home nursing care
Christy Kavanagh with Jonathan Irwin from the Jack and Jill Foundation

Your Guide to Choosing a Real Christmas Tree
The Irish Christmas Tree Growers Association’s top Tips for Buying your Christmas tree:
  • Try not to buy your Christmas tree until you are ready to set it up. In many countries, such as France, the Christmas tree is not set up until Christmas Eve and taken down after January 6th.
  • After you bring your Christmas tree home, keep it in a cool place like an unheated garage, porch or patio until you are ready to bring it indoors.
  • Set it up in a cool area (less than 15 centigrade) and as far away as possible from sources of heat including fireplaces, radiators and vents. This will prolong the life of the tree for the holiday season.
  • Place it in a “water stand”. Most Christmas tree sellers have these available. The stand has a wide   base and bolts for giving the tree stability, and a basin for water to keep your tree fresh.
  • Just before standing your tree in the water stand, you should make a fresh saw-cut, straight across the stem, at least 3 cm above the original cut. This fresh cut allows the tree to absorb water easily.
  • Check out your local County Council website for Christmas Tree Recycling locations near you.

Irish Christmas Tree Facts
  • Production is mainly concentrated in counties Wexford, Carlow, Wicklow, Tipperary and Cork where soils and climate combine to produce high yields.
  • Approximately 8 million trees of all ages are currently growing on circa. 1, 500 hectares
  • There are approximately 10 significant producers and 70 to 80 smaller growers.
  •  The farm gate value of current domestic and export sales is estimated at €10 million, plus retail values of €25 million
  • The three most popular varieties of Christmas tree are the Nordmann Fir (accounting for 75% of trees sold in Ireland), the Noble Fir (accounting for 15% of trees sold in Ireland) and the Lodgepole Pine.

Why buy a real Christmas Tree?

  • Locally grown Christmas trees are really fresh due to the reduced travel stress on them.
  • There is a tremendous variety and a large range of different size trees available to meet your particular needs.
  • Once cared for properly, non-shedding trees, such as the Nordmann Fir, Noble Fir and Lodgepole Pine, will not lose their needles.
  • Each tree is cultured as an individual tree and produced to the highest quality standards from the time they are planted right through to delivery.
  • Your real Christmas tree is a natural resource and therefore can be recycled.  This is in contrast to artificial trees, which are usually made of metal and plastic materials and use oils and minerals in their manufacture.  An artificial tree may last up to six years in your home but takes centuries to break down in landfill sites.
  • The forest environment is protected by the fact that Christmas trees are continually being planted to replace those trees being harvested.
  • As well as adding to the beauty of our landscape, growing Christmas trees produces large amounts of oxygen and removes the harmful carbon dioxide or “greenhouse gas” from our atmosphere.  Real trees also provide natural habitats for forest animals and birds.
All the funds raised go to the charity with each €16 donation accounting for one hour of home nursing care for one Jack and Jill baby. Visit www.jackandjill.ie for more information.

For more tips on buying and caring for your real Christmas tree, visit www.lovearealtree.ie.  

Zack
Posted in Christmas Tree, Jack and Jill Foundation, Love a Real Tree, news | Leave a comment