Chocolate-makers raise the bar with a selection of seasonal treats

Food File: Irish restaurants offering Thanksgiving turkey with all the trimmings

Ethically-sourced Dutch brand Tony’s Chocolonely is now available in Ireland

Ethically-sourced Dutch brand Tony’s Chocolonely is now available in Ireland

 

The Chocolate Shop in Cork’s English Market stocks a comprehensive selection of chocolate bars from all over the world, including well-known brands such as Valrhona, Cluizel, Amedei and Pralus, as well as interesting newcomers such as Fu Wan from Taiwan and Marou from Vietnam. Irish chocolatiers Wilkies, Skelligs and Lorge are among the selection, too.

The shop was set up in 2000 by Niall and Rosemary Daly, and, since Niall’s death in 2016, Rosemary has continued to seek out interesting and unusual brands.

November is Food Month in The Irish Times. irishtimes.com/foodmonth
November is Food Month in The Irish Times. irishtimes.com/foodmonth

“Chocolate-making is crossing new boundaries these days, enabled by developments in machinery design, research into cacao plants and greater knowledge that helps chocolate-makers to reveal the subtle nuances of these great fruits,” she says.

Exquisite packaging is a feature of many of these high-end bars, and a selection from the online shop at chocolate.ie makes a wonderful gift.

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The Rita Farhi chocolate and confectionery range, new to Brown Thomas, online and in-store, also features some beautiful packaging, such as hand-painted papier mache bonbonnieres made in Kashmir, and Turkish Delight in handmade ceramic bowls. The brand has removed palm oil and shellac from its recipes, and its packaging is designed for multi-use. The range includes pralines, chocolate-covered coffee beans and nuts, candied ginger, nougat and fruit jellies.

In other chocolate news, Tony’s Chocolonely, the Dutch company that makes ethically sourced chocolate, has launched a range of eight bars in selected Irish shops. The company was set up in 2005 by investigative journalist Teun van de Keuken (Tony), in response to human rights abuses, including child labour, in the cococa plantations. It is the bestselling chocolate brand in the Netherlands, and is now available at branches of Avoca, Brown Thomas, Eason, Mace, Spar and Fresh.

Celebrate Thanksgiving with a three-course turkey dinner at The Lodge at Ashford Castle
Celebrate Thanksgiving with a three-course turkey dinner at The Lodge at Ashford Castle

Tuck in to Thanksgiving turkey

Thursday November 28th is Thanksgiving, and if you relish the opportunity to tuck into turkey ahead of next month’s celebration of the big bird, there are opportunities to join the festivities at several Irish restaurants.

At La Bohème in Waterford city, owners Eric and Christine Thèze, who were working in the US when they met, host a Thanksgiving dinner every year. The menu is a traditional one, featuring pumpkin and butternut squash soup, roast turkey with all the US-style trimmings, including sweet potato puree, and pecan tart for dessert. The Thanksgiving menu is available from 5.30pm and costs €32.95.

At The Lodge at Ashford Castle, the Thanksgiving dinner menu (€70) also has turkey as the main course, with cornbread and sage stuffing, sweet potato pie, roasted roots, cranberry gel and Brussels sprout and smoked bacon puree.

In Dublin, you can join Democrats Abroad Ireland for their annual Thanksgiving shindig at the Hilton hotel, Charlemont Place. Tickets €31.95 (plus booking fee) are available from Eventbrite. Children under 12 are admitted free of charge.

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