Wednesday 17 January 2018

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Cork Independent

Bia Sasta

Cheesey awards are just the thing!

Thursday, 9th November, 2017 9:21am

As regular reader of this column will know, I love cheese and even make my own.

I joined the Irish Cheesemaker Association a few years back and this year even joined the committee for the Irish Cheese Awards, which took place last Thursday in Ballymaloe Grainstore.

A panel of judges had to choose the best cheeses from over 160 entries – glad I didn’t have to decide!

The award is given every two years and finishes with a Surpreme Champion award, which was awarded to Tom Burgess and his Coolattin Clothboud Mount Leinster Cheddar – for the second time in a row.

This year also introduced retailer classes and it was wonderful to see how supermarkets are embracing Irish cheeses. This year’s Lifetime Achievement Award went to Jane and Louis Grubb from Cashel Blue Cheese for their outstanding contribution to the Irish cheese industry. You can read more on all winners on irishcheese.ie/blog, which lists all winners.

And talking about winners, it was wonderful to see that Fantastic Flavours in Youghal is a finalist in the Food Awards Ireland, which takes place later this month. I visited the ice cream parlour a few years back and have decided that they are making the best banana ice cream I have tasted.

So, I’m wishing the husband and wife team of Miceal and Oksana the best of success for the final. And who says you can only eat ice cream in summer? Pop into Fantastic Flavours when you are next in Youghal.

While I am writing this, Little Miss Sophie is standing next to me and asking a hundred questions. I was writing an essay on the Evolution of Artful Food Presentation for the CIT Food Photography course and she thought that this column was still part of my assignment (or test as she called it).

After explaining to her that I write every week for the newspaper, she told me (she didn’t ask – she told me) that I should be writing of her pancake making skills.

So, here it is – this morning we made pancakes together and as she is almost seven, I showed her how to crack an egg with a knife. And I had to agree with her that our pancakes were the best ever. So, I might even create the Best Pancake Awards with the top prize going to Little Miss Sophie.

During Ophelia, our pear tree got a bashing and lost all its unripened pears. Mr T, not wanting to throw out the very rich harvest and placed the pears in newspapers and oh wonder, they ripened just nicely.

As they all ripened at the same time and we can only eat so many, I will be making pear and walnut chutney.

As Little Miss Sophie is getting impatient with watching me writing, I’ll leave it here and will tell you next week how the chutney turned out.

Now, I have to do some crafting with this lovely little girl!

What’s on:

9 – 12 November - Listowel Food Fair

18 - 19 November - Ballymaloe Craft Fair

23 November - Thanksgiving Supper

25 – 26 November - Cork Chocolate & Baking Festival

For more details on these events, please go to biasasta.ie/calendar.

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