Food producers

Wicklow Farmhouse Cheese

by Kristin on April 26, 2012

Listening to John Hempenstall talk about his cheese is an education. Standing amongst the stainless steel tanks in the factory he designed and built himself at Wicklow Farmhouse Cheese and hearing him explain the delicate balance of enzymes, salt, acid and moisture content, he seems more alchemist than mere cheese maker. You also quickly get […]


In the 1970s, there were only a few people making farmhouse cheese in Ireland. Today, though, there are around 50 artisan cheesemakers producing 130 different cheeses, so there’s more choice and variety than ever. But with so much choice, it can be hard to know where to start or what to choose, so I met […]


Last week I did something that will be illegal soon in Ireland – I bought raw milk. As an American who grew up amidst the huge factory farms of the Midwest, surrounded by miles of cornfields, David Tiernan’s farm seems like something you might read about in a prettily illustrated children’s book. Set in the lush […]


The Boxty Bakers

by Kristin on July 11, 2011

At the Bloom festival last month, a man walked up to The Boxty Bakers stand, softly singing some lines from the song “Colcannon” to himself: Did you ever take potato cake and boxty to the school Tucked underneath your oxter with your books, your slate and rule And when teacher wasn’t looking sure a great […]


Crossogue Preserves

by Kristin on June 29, 2011

Strawberry and champagne. Blackcurrant and Irish stout. Gooseberry and elderflower. Connemara Irish whiskey heather marmalade. They might only be the names of jams, but to me it practically sounds like poetry. They’re also just some of the 80+ products made by hand by Crossogue Preserves. Veronica Molloy came to making preserves in a roundabout way. […]


Una O’Dwyer Fine Foods Cashel

by Kristin on June 27, 2011

Butchery was the cool new thing in US foodie circles a couple years ago, with Julie Powell, of Julie and Julia fame, even writing a book about her stint as an apprentice at a butcher shop in upstate New York, posing for photos with her hair in pigtails and brandishing a cleaver. But long before […]


Ed Hick’s Bacon Jam

by Kristin on June 10, 2011

I still remember the first time I had Hick’s sausages. I had just moved to Ireland and my husband and I were walking around Dublin one Saturday. We’d passed Magill’s deli on Clarendon Street and had walked a few paces past the open door before we literally stopped in our tracks when the smoky, meaty […]


Stagrennan Farm

by Kristin on November 10, 2010

Is there a better place to be on a sunny October day than an apple orchard? I couldn’t think of one when I was at Stagrennan Farm 10 days ago as part of an orchard tour organized by Bord Bia (the Irish Food Board) to show off the often unsung Bramley apple. When I arrived, […]