Food File: The weekly food news round-up

Cookies with Chia seeds, EirGrid Euro-Toques winners, celebrate Spain at Fallon & Byrne and win €100,000 for a food product idea


Crunch time

Chia seeds have the highest known levels of plant-based Omega 3, according to the Tramore-based company Chia bia which imports them from South America. You can sprinkle them on cereals or salads or add them to smoothies. But how often do we buy seeds and not use them at all? From next month you’ll be able to buy gluten-free cookies made with Chia seeds, which will definitely be eaten. Ray Owens and Barrie Rogers (above), are launching Chia Crunch Cookies in four varieties. They will be stocked by all Tesco Ireland stores and selected SuperValu branches from June 19th.

Chefs’ favourites

Salt, smoke, cheese, mushrooms and game: flavours of the moment and things that Irish food producers excel at. This year’s EirGrid Euro-Toques award winners, announced in Dublin on Monday, were Toby Simmonds and Johnny Lynch of Toonsbridge Dairy for their Irish-made mozzarella; Ed Hick of J Hick & Sons for his excellence in curing and smoking; Lucy Deegan and Mark Cribben of Ballyhoura Mountain Mushrooms; Marjorie and Kieran O’Malley of Achill Island Sea Salt, and Mick Healy of Wild Irish Game. The winners were chosen by Ireland’s 160 Euro-Toques members, or the “community of chefs and cooks” as they describe themselves. The 18th annual awards were presented by the organisation’s commissioner general, Wade Murphy, and broadcaster Ella McSweeney (above).

Celebrate Spain

There’ll be a chance to escape to sunny Spain at Fallon & Byrne’s Rías Baixas wine and Galician tapas tasting evening on Thursday, June 19th (7pm-9pm). Wine writer Leslie Williams and sommelier David Gallagher will keep your glass topped up with this region’s Albariño wines, while chef Tom Meenaghan will serve calamares, boquerones and empanadillas.You’ll also be able to play chilli roulette with some padrón peppers. Tickets cost €20. For bookings, tel: 01-4721010.

Win €100,000

RTÉ and Lidl are looking for Ireland’s next big food product – the thing every household will want – and there’s a €100,000 reward if you think you know what it is and can get it into production. A TV series The Taste of Success will follow the exploits of contestants as they battle to get their product on the supermarket’s shelves. To apply to take part, see The closing date is June 11th. The products should be “unique” – quite a tall order. A tip is to check out Lidl’s shelves to see what’s missing.

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