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Cork Independent

Bia Sasta

Ketchup with the best in the business

Thursday, 11th June, 2020 10:40am

There are two people in this world I am utterly afraid of – one was my mum (she was the nicest person but she could be scary) and a dentist.

Thankfully, I haven’t had tooth troubles in Ireland but since the lockdown, I have been suffering – toothache puts you out of sorts, doesn’t it? When I say I am afraid – trust me, I am beyond belief afraid, shivering just at the thought of the noise of the drill.

Anyhow, I have to give a huge shout out to James Tiernan of the Blarney Dental Practice who understood my phobia and made sure that I didn’t feel a thing, being the nicest person you could imagine (I still think that all dentists are descendants of the Marquis de Sade). I have no idea what he looks like due to all the safety gear but I know I was in good hands!

And talking about a shout out – I get asked many times by hotels, restaurants and food producers to write reviews for free products but I am always uncomfortable with that as I don’t want to ‘owe’ a good review to anyone.

So, I normally say, if I like it, I will write about it but if I don’t, I’ll let you know why. Most of the time, people are not bothered with me then as they are expecting a positive outcome. But now and then, I’ll get gifts just for me to know about the product with no obligation to write anything.

One of these is Chef Sham from Leitrim. I ate in one of his restaurants last summer (I didn’t know who owned the place) and had one of the best beef dishes I have ever tasted.

I happened to mention the meal at the Blas na hÉireann judging at the table I was placed at and the gentleman across the table introduced himself as the owner (thank God it was a good meal!). I told him that the flavours blew me away and he told me then about his new venture of bottling and selling his signature sauces.

Lo and behold, a few months later I received a box with four bottles of Sweet Chilli Sauce, Chilli Ketchup and One in All. Now, I don’t like ketchup at the best of times, but this ketchup goes into every tomato sauce I have made since!

The texture, flavour and beautiful chilli kick is just outstanding but my all-time favourite is the One for All sauce and I will place an order soon on his website It’s perfect for marinades, adding to gravy and a perfect allrounder for meat. I am a convert to ready-made sauces as long as they are as wonderful as these.

I also received a small bottle of Red Earl Whiskey – the latest venture of Kinsale Spirit Co. As the bottle was small, the colour looked very pale and I didn’t expect much.

What a mistake – this whiskey is exceptionally smooth, with floral notes, not much oakiness but delicate balance of flavours. Even if you don’t like whiskey, you might be converted by this one. I am sure that Bradley’s will stock it and Mr T will get a lovely gift from me.

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