Food File: The weekly food news round-up

Coffee pods options increase, festival feasts, rapeseed oil in many flavours and fish and chips on Dún Laoghaire pier


Pods at dawn
If you’ve noticed a sudden proliferation on shop shelves of coffee pods bearing the words “Compatible with Nespresso ® Machines”, it’s not a coincidence. Lidl, Robert Roberts and others are now selling own-brand coffee pods, and some at prices considerably lower than those in the chichi Nespresso boutiques. According to a spokesperson for Lidl, the move comes because a patent held by Nespresso expired in April. Nespresso, when contacted, responded with: “Nespresso do not comment on competitor activity.” Lidl’s Bellarom capsules come in three strengths and cost €1.99 for 10. Robert Roberts also has three intensities in its pod range and the cost is €3.80 for 10, while Nespresso starts at €3.60 for 10.

Noursh body and soul
Burgers and beer won’t be the only choice of sustenance for those attending the Body & Soul music festival at Ballinlough Castle (June 20th-22nd). There will be a restaurant serving five-course dinners to two sittings, and a daily brunch. The menus will change daily and will be cooked by the Galway catering company Yum Tree Kitchen and chef Niamh Fox (above), who has worked at Ard Bia, Cafe Paradiso, and with Margot Henderson at Rochelle Canteen in London. The long table banquets are being presented by Foláinn Traditional Irish Preserves and will cost €52 for dinner and €27 for brunch. On the Wonderlust spoken word stage at the festival, Aoife McElwain will be talking to restauranteurs John and Sandy Wyer (Forest Avenue), Aisling Rogerson and Luca D’Alfonso (Fumbally), and cheesesmongers Kevin and Seamus Sheridan about “Food – Ties That Bind”. See

Liquid gold
Donegal Rapeseed Oil Company has added a Gold Selection of premium plain and flavoured oils to its classic range. The new additions include fennel, porcini mushroom and curry oils that can be used in a variety of ways – in marinades, dressings and to make flavoured mayonnaise. The Raphoe-based company harvests 90 per cent of its rapeseed in Donegal with the remainder coming from Derry and Tyrone, where it is processed at Erganagh Dairies in Castlederg. The Gold Selection oils are made with rapeseed from east Donegal, which which has been found to produce oils with “a distinctive, subtle taste” according to the manufacturers. They cost €9.50 for 250ml.

Ouzos on the pier
A street food van – Fish Shack by Ouzos – selling fish and chips (€8.50), lobster rolls (€8.50), calamari (€5.50) and scampi and chips (€9.50), will be parked on the East Pier in Dún Laoghaire, Co Dublin every day from noon to 9pm until the end of August, with shorter opening hours, but a daily presence, thereafter. The venture is being run by Padraic Hanley, MD of Ouzos Bar & Grill in Dalkey and Blackrock, who says he is “taking his restaurant food to the public”, rather than operating a standard chipper. Customers will be able to select from the catch of the day and have it battered and fried on demand.

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