Boutique Irish chocolatier extends deliveries across EU

Food File: First birthday for Grá Chocolates; Taste of Dublin is back; Keogh's release new Crispy Bits; and Ballyseedy Cafe in Kerry has new outdoor offerings

Grá Chocolates handmade in Galway by Gráinne Mullins

Grá Chocolates handmade in Galway by Gráinne Mullins

 

Grá Chocolates, the boutique chocolate business founded by pastry chef Gráinne Mullins, celebrates its first birthday this weekend. To mark the occasion, Mullins is extending her delivery zone beyond Ireland for the first time. The bonbons, which are hand painted and each take three days to make, can now be delivered anywhere in the EU.

Mullins became an accidental chocolatier when the pandemic halted her plans to take up a chef position in Asia and do some travelling. Working initially from her family home in Galway, the business grew quickly and she now has a purpose built production facility. She uses local ingredients where possible, including Sliabh Aughty Honey, Kylemore Farmhouse Raw Cream and Achill Island sea salt. Grá Chocolates are available to order online at grachocolates.com.

Gráinne Mullins, founder of Grá Chocolates, which celebrates its first birthday this month.
Gráinne Mullins, founder of Grá Chocolates, which celebrates its first birthday this month.

Food festival

Taste of Dublin is back for its 15th year and (subject to Government regulations) the outdoor food festival will return to Dublin’s Iveagh Gardens on Wednesday to Sunday, September 1st to 5th. The venue capacity has been reduced and the duration extended by a day, to comply with guidelines.

It will be the usual line-up of celebrity chef demos, restaurants with food stalls, retail spaces and a new arts and culture area to add to the entertainment offering. Tickets are €20-€75, with some first phase releases already sold out. See tasteofdublin.ie.

Crispy ideas

Keogh’s Crispy Bits is a clever new product from the Keogh’s Farm Irish crisp company. The development was inspired by feedback from consumers, who said their favourite part of eating a bag of crisps was the last remaining crumbs at the bottom of the bag, the bits that usually get tipped into the mouth rather than eaten with fingers.

The snackpacks (40g, €1.19) can be eaten on their own, but they also have potential as a cooking ingredient or garnish. Keogh’s has developed a series of recipes using the product, which comes in salt and vinegar, cheese and onion and sweet chilli flavours. They can be used as a topping for soups and salads, as the base for a savoury cheesecake, and as a crunchy crust for fish. For recipes see keoghs.ie.

Crispy Bits, new from Keogh’s Farm, can be used in different recipes.
Crispy Bits, new from Keogh’s Farm, can be used in different recipes.

Ballyseedy outdoors

The outdoor life is being embraced this summer at Ballyseedy Home and Garden in Tralee, Co Kerry, where the popular Ballyseedy Cafe has shifted its focus to the extensive grounds of the garden centre. There is an outdoor seating area called The Yard, a covered space called The Snug, and an ice cream parlour, all part of the Taste of Ballyseedy initiative.

Eat outdoors, under cover, or in the grounds, at Ballyseedy Home and Garden in Tralee.
Eat outdoors, under cover, or in the grounds, at Ballyseedy Home and Garden in Tralee.

“Our menus have a variety of meat and veggie dishes to choose from, including ‘The Funky One’, a brioche bun with an Irish beef patty, pickled red cabbage, piccalilli feta crumb and rocket leaves, and ‘Fun-Guy Pizza’ with tomato sauce, pesto, mushroom, Irish mozzarella, sundried tomato and rocket,” says managing director Nathan McDonnell. See ballyseedy.ie.

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