Craft butcher Jack McCarthy is a passionate man. Make a visit to his shop in the middle of the main street in Kanturk and be prepared to learn all about his wide range of award-winning meat products. On a quick visit to the town to meet up with the Editor earlier today, I called in to pick up some of my favourite North Cork pancetta. We were only in the door two minutes when Jack had us as a willing audience to taste his intensely savoury air-dried beef. Sliced thinly like Italian Bresaola, it melts in the mouth with a silky texture similar to the finest smoked salmon, leaving a lingering flavour of the spices used in the cure. This innovative craft butcher is like a shark, never standing still – for Jack there’s always something to learn or try, a new product to work on, an old one to improve.
Tagged: gabriel cheese
Gradually getting through the Observer Food Monthly – it’s like very good chocolate for me, not something to be gobbled down but, rather, to be savoured slowly! – and just came across a feature on Bill Hogan and Sean Ferry of the West Cork Natural Cheese Company, makers of the superlative Desmond and Gabriel cheeses. The cheese-making partners have been in conflict with the department of agriculture since 2002, when their cheeses, all made from raw, non-pasteurised milk, were impounded. They eventually won their case – but it was not without much difficulty and hardship. Read the whole story – The revolution will not be pasteurised – here and then take yourself down to your nearest cheesemonger and buy a large slice of Desmond and Gabriel in tribute to a couple of cheesemakers who fought back.
Week three – a new partner and, this time round, a new kitchen. I’m cooking in the demo area this week. Lots of space and, with only eight people working there, a calmer atmosphere. Apart from when I discover, at the last minute on Monday, that I’m on cheeseboard duty and have to throw a batch of Cheese Biscuits together at the last minute!