This month we have four lovely cheeses from Piedmont, Italy, three from the one producer. We have always had a great relationship with Italy in Sheridans and especially Piedmont. It was the first place outside of Ireland that we went ‘hunting’ cheeses. Seamus took a trip there only a year or two after we first set up our cheese stall and he found himself on a wonderful journey, making friends and discovering new foods like only Seamus can. We have always had more success though with foods other than cheese and with great wines of course. Apart from our Parmigiano Reggiano from Cravero and our Buffalo Mozzarella we have never been fully satisfied with our supply and have changed quite a few times down through the years.
Sunday May 26th 2013
Sheridans Cheesemongers hosted our fourth Irish food festival on Sunday 26th May, here at our Virginia Road Station headquarters in Co Meath. A huge array of Ireland’s top food producers were here to sell, sample and talk about their wonderful foods. The idea of this annual event is to bring together the people who make the foods and the customers who love it. The criteria for the stalls are that the food is made in Ireland, is of great quality and that the people behind the stalls are the people who made the food.
It was a day of family fun and celebration that brought together over eighty of the best artisan food producers from around Ireland and was supported by well over five thousand enthusiastic food lovers. Families wandered from stall to stall chatting to the producers and tasting the magnificent array of Irish made foods.
People travelled from all over Ireland to visit the fair, these food loving pilgrims were joined by a massive turnout from the local communities of Meath and the surrounding counties.
As well as the food stalls where customers were able to buy and sample the products, there were plenty of stalls cooking hot food and lots of space for picnicking which was well utilised as the sun smiled on us (for most of the day!). We also had an amazing line up of workshops with Irish food producers and chefs, as well as free children’s entertainment, live music courtesy of “Early House Jazz” and traditional fair games organised by the local GAA club.
Please Note: More Photos on the following pages.
Pan Fried St Felicien with Apple compote and dried pancetta
My little sister gave me the idea years ago when she wrapped a St Marcelin with bacon and slices of apple before backing for ten minutes. This is my own version, very pretty looking and amazingly tasty!
This April our Cheeses of the Month come from an exciting collaboration between Sheridans Cheesemongers and Mons Fromager-Affineur. We hatched the idea last year, over a cheeseboard when Elisabeth and Kevin visited me at Mons in London. Together we have selected four lesser known French cheeses that are firm favourites at Mons. The cheeses of the month are Abondance, Persille du Cezalier, St Felicien and Tomme Crayeuse (all available on Sheridans online shop individually or as part of our Cheese of the Month selection). It was, however, impossible to narrow our selection down to four so be sure to look out for several other special Mons cheeses in the Sheridans shops throughout April. The speedy among you will find a new season Provencal goat’s cheese for your Easter cheeseboard.
Sheridans Cheesemongers will host our sixth Irish food festival on Sunday 24th May 2015, here at our Virginia Road Station headquarters in Co Meath. A huge array of Ireland’s top food producers will be here to sell, sample and talk about their wonderful foods. The idea of this annual event is to bring together the people who make the foods and the customers who love it. The criteria for the stalls are that the food is made in Ireland, is of great quality and that the people behind the stalls are the people who made the food. It will bring together over eighty of the best artisan food producers from around Ireland.
The festival will run between 10 am and 6 pm.
A €5 admission fee per vehicle helps towards the running cost of this not for profit Festival!
What’s in the pipelines for 2015
Our National Irish Brown Bread Competition will return – anyone can enter from across the land. Click to Enter
Onsite local schools brown bread baking competition
Raw Milk – from tasting milks from different producers, to making cheese and butter and tasting Ireland’s great raw milk cheeses. Click to Book
Lots more to come for our 2015 day out… It gets bigger and better every year!
Mobile Cinema 2015:
An exciting new features being introduced at this years Fesitval is a mobile cinema provided with thanks to Guth Gafa Bites and Cinemobile.
Corrigan’s Sunday Supper
End this year’s Irish food festival on a high with a glorious Sunday Supper at Virginia Park Lodge. The evening will consist of canapés on arrival, a welcome Bellini cocktail and three course dinner, featuring a Sheridan’s cheese course. €55 per person
Check out Donal Skehan’s behind-the-scene’s footage of our 2013 festival featuring the brown bread tent..
WHAT WENT ON IN 2014:
We had an amazing line up of workshops; Richard Corrigan of the new Virginia Park Lodge, Virginia, Ross Lewis of Chapter One, Virginia-born Michelin-starred chef Enda McEvoy, Evan Doyle of Brooklodge, John and Sally McKenna, spice-master Arun Kapil, a children’s sausage making demo with Ed Hick and a cheesemaking demo with Quinlann Steele of Milleens cheese.
Ella McSweeney hosted our National Brown Bread Competition and our local Schools’ Brown Bread ‘Bake-Off’ in the Brown Bread tent. Find out how to enter our National Brown Bread competition and find out more here.
As ever, We had free children’s entertainment, live music courtesy of “Early House Jazz” plus guests, and traditional fair games organised by the local Soccer and GAA clubs.
So, make sure you set aside Sunday the 24th May 2015 to visit us – we look forward to seeing you there.
This traditional French/ Swiss dish is great for dinner parties, entertaining with a wow factor but without the stress. Here is my Irish version, with an old friend, Durrus. It works very well! If you do not have a Raclette machine, in the oven will work just fine.
¼ Wheel Of Durrus
Boil enough potatoes for 4 people
Few Baby Sweet Potatoes
A selection of Irish cured meats (Gubbeen salami, good cooked ham…)
Janet’s Cucumber relish for the zing factor
A nice lettuce of fresh leaves
Boil the potatoes gently and keep them hot. Put your selection of meats on a plate and the pre-sliced cheese on the other (ask your cheesemonger to do this for you). Janet’s cucumber relish works really well instead of the cornichons “gherkins” used in France. The green leaves with a honey dressing helps to balance this rich dish. Crunchy florets of Broccoli are also very pleasant.
Spring is here and St Patrick’s Day is coming up. Every year there are rumblings about how many Ministers are travelling around the world for St Patricks Day and how it is all just a big Jolly. I can’t comment on the usefulness or otherwise of the Ministers’ trips but I am pretty proud of the Irish foods which are enjoyed at our embassies around the world for Patrick’s Day celebrations. Bord Bia and the Dept of Foreign Affairs came together a few years ago and decided to make sure that there was really good quality Irish food available in all of the Irish embassies that were hosting an event for our National day; what an opportunity to showcase the fantastic produce that comes from our farms and food producers. Sheridans were selected to work with Bord Bia in putting together easy to use selections that could be sent around the world; these packs include the best of Irish beef, cured pork, butter, smoked fish, chocolates among other great Irish foods. Of course there is a selection of farmhouse cheeses in there. So for this month’s Cheese of the month I thought it would be nice for you all to be eating the same cheeses this weekend as our embassies and their guests are enjoying from New York to Singapore. The four cheeses that we have selected this year are amongst the best of our cheeses and of consistently high quality; Cashel Blue Mature, Knockanore Smoked Cheddar, Durrus and Coolea extra Mature.
I am happy that these four cheeses can be presented in France or Italy and that we can be proud of what our Family Farms produce. There is lots of talk of the billions worth of Irish commodity foods being exported every year and there is no doubt that these exports are very positive for our farms and the economy as a whole. The exports of Irish Farmhouse cheese are tiny in comparison and if we look at the cold numbers we may think irrelevant. But exporting these great cheeses is not just about the tonnage; for one thing the number of jobs per tonne produced of farmhouse cheese is many multiples of those employed producing the equivalent of milk powder or commodity cheese. But there are even greater benefits; they themselves act as food ambassadors for our country. They represent our great heritage of small family farms; they show off the quality of our milk and the innovation of our crafts-people. When these cheeses are tasted at an event in Sidney or enjoyed by a family in Milan they tell promote all of our foods and our country as a whole. So whatever about the Ministers’ presence around the world this weekend I know our cheeses will be doing a great job to promote Ireland.
I hope you too enjoy these cheeses and are proud of our great food and farming heritage.
Lá fhéile Pádraig sona dhuit.
PINOT BIANCO WEISSBURGUNDER 2012 CALDARO
by Enrico Fantasia
Pinot Bianco is a grape with a strange and confused history: often in the past mistaken for Chardonnay, overshadowed by its brother Pinot Grigio, called with many different names (Weissburgunder, Auxerrois, Klevner just to name few…), a natural genetical mutation of Pinot Noir.
It’s a grape that has a preference for cold climates, and some of the best examples are to be found in Alsace, in Germany and in the North of Italy.
The Pinot Bianco Weissburgunder 2012 KELLEREI KALTERN – CALDARO is simply amazing. Produced around the Caldaro lake in Alto Adige – Sud Tyrol (Alto Adige is a German speaking district in the North of Italy, hence the bilingual names) it’s a wine that doesn’t hide its Germanic attitude and northern provenance. The refreshing apple-iness and the crisp backbone are in a perfect balance with a body that is bigger that it seems. That makes it a fresh glass for a lovely aperitif, almost perfect with fish but generous enough to go with white meat. And with Parmesan it is just amazing.
by Elisabeth Ryan
While we focus on Irish produce for the month of March in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day, let’s not forget our french and international friends and their amazing cheeses.
Seamus Sheridan and I were lucky enough to get the chance to zip away to Salon du Fromage in Paris the last week in February – ah Paris in the springtime! Aside from all the lovely cheeses and other cheese related exploits, the highlight of my trip was; as always when visiting Paris, the simple pleasure of drinking Coffee on the pavement outside the simplest most local and admittedly grottiest looking Café I could find (they always have the best coffee).
Salon du Fromage is an annual trade show for cheese, and though primarily French cheese is on show, lots of our other international friends were there. Bord Bia had its first ever stand in association with a number of Irish cheesemakers; Cashel Blue, Little Milk Company, Cooleeney and Cahills. Other cheeses such as Carrigaline,Durrus, Ardrahan, St. Tola and Corleggy were also on Display along with our very own crackers and chutney! We also had the honour of both a visit to the show from the Irish Ambassador to Paris Rory Montgomery, and then the further excitement of attending a reception in the – it must be said, extraordinarily fancy – ambassador’s residence on the D4 esque Avenue Foch! It was all gilded mirrors and constantly refilled glasses and erm, well; cocktail sausages – yes really!
I got the chance to sneak away from the show one of the days to visit a french cheesemonger customer of ours in North East Paris; Fromagerie Beaufils. I proudly navigated 3 metro changes to get there, and it was worth it to see our crackers and chutney gracing their shelves, as well as a specially painted blackboard featuring Chutney Irlandaise. Christophe and Emmanuel there looked after me admirably, and I got the chance to see their maturing rooms, and came away with a mutitude of recommendations of artisan cheeses for us to source. Check out their website, and scroll down to see our featured products!
Seamus and I had the pleasure of wearing two hats for the duration of the show, as we attended both to meet with some of our existing export clients and of course to find some new ones, as well as to met up with many of our current suppliers and with the brief of sourcing some new cheeses!
As well as many contacts made and hopefully sales leads which will come to fruition in the fullness of time, we have already acquired a new Belgian cheesemonger customer (Kaasmeester Callebaut) who have already received their first order as well as a French distributor for our chutney and crackers who will be receiving their first order in the next couple of weeks. I also had the pleasure of catching up with our UK distributors of our crackers; Neal’s Yard as well as the inimitable Will Stud from Calendar Cheese in Australia and Jason Gale the new MD – I feel an Australian business trip coming (Kevin and Seamus Sheridan – are you reading this, pleease can I go? !!!)
A real pleasure of the show for us and what has left me feeling so enthused was the chance to meet up with the producers whose cheese we sell. All the usual suspects were there, from our friend Giorgio Cravero, our Parmigianno affineur, a man with the sunniest personality that makes one happy immediately on being in his presence to the somewhat stern and very French Monsieur Goux from Marcel Petit Comté! We met with Luc Dongé our Brie de Meaux producer and made some adjustments to the way our wheels of brie will be selected.
I shall end upon a little story, indicative of the type of meetings had with all of our producers. At the show i arrangd to meet with Pascal Jacquin, aided by Sarah Furno from Cashel Blue as translator, and learned a little story about St. Maure de Tourain (a Loire valley, ash rinded mini goat log which we sell) Mr. Jacquin incidentally also has a special connection to Ireland, as he spends several months of each year in his house in Kenmare! I’ve always been interested in the ettiquette of the straw in the centre of St. Maure – so I asked him how they deal with it when cutting, and he told me as follows;
“First”, and here a finger was waggled strongly, to emphasis the point,”you must never cut in to the skinny end, always open at the fat end, it is impolite otherwise”
“Second”, and a dramatic demo of his words ensued, “we remove the straw with a flourish when opening the cheese” he then pointed out us that each straw has the name of the Apellation and the producer branded on it as is required by the AOC, this being the reason for such dramatic flourishing as the straw is then offered as proof to the consumer that the cheese truly is a Sainte Maure de Touraine.
As a result of our trip, we hope to also bring you some new and exciting cheeses in the near future.
A success all round – Vive la Difference!
450 g of beef mince
1 x large carrot diced
1 x large onion
1 x clove of garlic
1 x tbsp of dry mixed herbs
1 x glass of red wine
1 x pint of water or good beef stock
Salt and pepper
Sauvignon 2012 TYDY
The ubiqitous Sauvignon is probably second only to Pinot Grigio in terms of popularity and unfortunately boredom. They are now more a brand than a grape or even a wine….
Due to its popularity, Sauvignon is now grown a bit everywhere, but is a grape that loves colder climates where can grow developing all the aromas and the freshness that makes it so distinctive. Loire Valley in France it is such a place, and Sauvignon is originally from there.
If you put that in the equation then you add a producer that knows the terroir and the grape inside out like Thierry Delaunay, you can’t really go wrong.
The Sauvignon 2012 TyDy (the name stays for ThierrY DelaunaY…) is a little gem: tropical fruit, hints of minerals and citrus, and a balanced acidity that makes it as a great companion for fresh goat cheeses, grilled fish and seafood in general, but nobody will give out to you if you decided to sip it like that, on its own.
This is Loire Sauvignon as it should be, and despite Mr. Noonan’s efforts to make our tipple too expensive, a far better value than many Sancerres available in the Irish market.