Compiled by MARIE-CLAIRE DIGBY
Chef Ed Cooney and his brigade at The Merrion hotel in Dublin have added new jams and condiments to their Christmas larder selection. You can drop in to pick up some red onion marmalade (€4), a pudding and brandy butter (€15), or a full hamper of goodies (€55). The range is also online at merrion-hotel.com, but then you wouldn’t have an excuse to stay for afternoon tea, or a festive drink in The Cellar bar.
Spice up your Christmas larder
Lisa Glennon and Ailbhe Ni Mhaoilearca have set up the Natural Sauce Company, making sauces inspired by good things they ate on their travels. They make a spicy harissa paste, a smokey romesco sauce with tomatoes, chilllies and almonds, and exotic muhammara, a Middle Eastern spread with red peppers, walnuts and pomegranate molasses. They can be used both cold and hot, and despite being free from artifical additives, have a shelf life of up to 30 days. They can also be frozen. The girls suggest using the harissa in soups and stews, making pasta sauce with the romesco, and serving the muhammara in a mezze. They come in 100g (rrp €2.40-€2.50) and 170g tubs (rrp €3.75-€3.95)and are on sale at the Peoples’ Park market, Dún Laoghaire and Honest2Goodness market Glasnevin until Christmas. For other outlets, see facebook.com/ thenaturalsaucecompany.
A winning cake
An Irish Times arts critic, who considers herself a good judge of Christmas cake, was blown away in a blind tasting by this Specially Selected iced cake made by Holly Lane for Aldi.
And when she discovered that the price was just €11;49 for a 1.2kg cake, her baking plans went out the window.
The buzz: Top food tweets
Gemma Bowes @GemmaTravel: Japan Airlines to serve KFC on some flights
Julian McCullough @julezmac: I should open a fast food restaurant that sells sub-quality sandwiches for $200 called EATS BY DRE
Marina O’Loughlin @MarinaOLoughlin: Quote of the night when we ask for a different table: ‘sorry, that one’s reserved for *journalists*’