Food fraud Ain’t Just Flogging Horse-burgers

Spinach & Ballyhoura Mountain Mushrooms' Shiitake Tart

Spinach & Mushroom Tart made with Ballyhoura Mountain Mushrooms’ Shiitakes

I find it truly disheartening when certain restaurants or retailers choose to exploit the integrity of fine growers and producers and, ultimately, the consumer by perpetrating food fraud—here’s a piece I wrote on the subject, now up on the Irish Food Writers’ Guild website, after yet another ‘episode’, this time involving Ballyhoura Mushrooms.

And in case the link doesn’t get you there directly … Continue reading

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Fungarvan – Waterford Festival of Food 2012

The Brewer (Claire Dalton), The Blogger (Niamh Sheils) & The Baker (Eunice Power) - Pic: Karen Dempsey

So, The Swashbuachaill is back home again, and contrary to the old saw, the heart is not yet here, still lagging way behind somewhere east of Cork city, loath to leave Dungarvan town. And the spiteful, spitting rain, that sly chill wind without Swashbuachaill Manor only adds to the pain of returning to the real world after yet another glorious spell in the alternative universe that is the Waterford Festival of Food but is often and very appropriately abbreviated to ‘Fungarvan’. Continue reading

Christmas at Douglas Farmer’s Mkt

After a week of nocturnal childherding a sickening Daddy’s Little Girl, I handed her over to Mrs Swashbuachaill at 8 of the A.M. and repaired to the boudoir for a couple of hours shuteye. Which meant I reached Douglas Farmer’s Mkt, where the bulk of my weekly shopping is done, well after 12pm to a market that closes at 2pm on the last weekend before Christmas. Bedlam in the shopping centre and car park around the market but, within, a little haven for me to practice coffee drinking and yapping on an industrial scale. There are a lot more fabulous stalls than those featured but I had to do a little shopping as well including securing the bones of my Christmas Dinner so more pics will have to follow at a later date. There’s one more market on next Saturday, Christmas Eve, and many of the same stallholders are also in Mahon Mkt on Thursdays. Bear with me on the technical front – it’s the first time I’ve tried to do any class of moving image thingamajig. Anyhoo, click back and have a look and do, please, let me know what you think including advice on how to make it better! Happy Christmas!

Porcini Dust – the new sundried tomatoes?

Fresh chanterelles from Ballyhoura Mountain Mushrooms

A few weeks ago, as I was leaving Mahon Farmer’s Market with little Isabel under my arm, racing off to collect Hector from playschool and already 15 minutes late, I spotted a tiny stall selling mushrooms. Lucy Deegan and Mark Cribbin are the owner/operators of Ballyhoura Mountain Mushrooms and this – on the community stall, a class of guest spot each week at Mahon – was one of their first real forays into the market world. Continue reading