The An invitation to participate again in the judging of the Blas na hÉireann National Irish Food Awards in Dingle on Friday gave me the opportunity to discover a range of new products – as well as stick around for the rest of the weekend’s Dingle Food Festival festivities! This year’s judging was quick and efficient as the initial judging at UCC had slimmed almost 800 entries down to three in each category; all we had to do, in a series of blind tastings, was choose the gold, silver and bronze winners.
The Blas na hÉireann National Irish Food Awards have announced the shortlist for 2009. The products in each of the 28 categories – ranging from soups and cheese to biscuits and sausages – were chosen from a blind tasting of almost 800 entries, which must have been a whole lot of fun for the first round of judges!
Speaking at yesterday’s Good Food Ireland Awards, Minister for Food and Horticulture Trevor Sargent made the point that restaurants and hotels are ambassadors for Irish farmers. This is something which can be simply ignored, taken for granted – or, more proactively, celebrated, with those in the hospitality industry becoming directly involved with the producers.
I’m loving the new RTÉ player. We don’t have a television at the cottage but at least I can check out the latest food series, normally at the same time as feeding Little Missy! While she chews and hums her happy way through dinners of mashed avocado and beetroot or potato and courgette, I’ve watched Corrigan’s City Farm, most of Fresh from the Sea (note to self: remember to check player before programme is deleted) and am working my way through Trish’s French Country Kitchen.
Sowans Organics produce baking mixes. But not just any old kind of mix, but a thoughtful and well-flavoured blend of organic ingredients, from breads and pancakes to ginger cake and brownies. Spelt flour features strongly: Super Spelt Bread is a great favourite around here, I loved the spelt pancakes and the spelt brownies didn’t last too long in this house.
Urru Mallow may be gone – and is still very much missed – but Urru Bandon is going strong and has been nominated in the Top Regional Member (South) category for this years Good Food Ireland Awards, along with other Bibliocook favourites Glebe Gardens and Café in Baltimore and Cork city’s Liberty Grill.
I’ve only managed to go to the cinema twice since Little Missy arrived on the scene, an enormous drop off when compared with the four or five films a week I might go to see when I reviewed films for the RTÉ entertainment website. I used to go see those films during the day, and for free. That was a Very Good Thing – even if the films were bad, and some were really, truly horrendous.