Food file: the weekly food news round-up

Butlers chocolate classes, Glebe Brethan cheese, Stript Snacks and fairtrade African goodies

Glebe Brethan, a Comté-style, nutty cheese: limited remaining stock is being released and is for sale through Sheridan’s Cheesemongers and from the Tiernan family farm

Temper temper

Chocolate can be tricky to cook with, but if you’d like to pick up some tips on tempering, as well as watch eight Christmas-themed recipes being demonstrated, while you sip a glass of Prosecco, sign up for a class at the Butlers Chocolate Experience in Dublin 17.

The class, with caterer and chef Yvonne Carty, runs on November 29th, 1pm-3.30pm and costs €40. Book at

Sign up for a class at the Butlers Chocolate Experience in Dublin 17

Stript back snack


Stript Snacks are an Irish take on the South African dried beef strips called biltong. They’re made with Irish steak that is marinated in herbs and spices and air dried for several days, during which time it loses more than 50 per cent of its weight through evaporation. It is then cut into small thin slivers and packaged in individual 30g servings.

The product has been developed by Ross McDowell, who lived in South Africa for five years and relied on biltong as a snackwhen hiking and surfing. He is making it in two varieties, red chilli and cracked black pepper. It can be bought online at and from retailers including Fresh, Morton's, Donnybrook Fair and The Cracked Nut (€2.95).

African pride

The Proudly Made In Africa label attaches to a range of fairly traded products just arrived in Ireland.

You'll find a selection of Madécasse chocolate from Madagascar, Meru Herbs pasta sauces, Eswatini Kitchen sauces and jams, in shops including Donnybrook Fair, Morton's, Ranelagh, Fallon & Byrne, Avoca, Fresh Smithfield and others. Tusker and Star beers are stocked by off-licences.

The initiative comes from Value Added in Africa, an Irish social enterprise. See

Glebe Brethan cheese sale

David Tiernan, who died last year, is remembered as a pioneering cheesemaker whose Glebe Brethan, a Comté-style, nutty cheese, was outstanding. It was a winner in the Irish Food Writers Guild awards in 2012, when chef Derry Clarke demonstrated its versatility in a potato terrine and in a cream of onion soup at the awards lunch. Although the cheese is no longer being made, limited remaining stock is being released and is for sale through Sheridan's Cheesemongers and from the Tiernan family farm, where orders are being taken by Mairead Tiernan (, 087-6936107).

Making dough go a long way

“He handed the ticket to me as we stood in front of the entrance of the Berlin Philharmonic’s concert hall. They were for two seats in his family’s balcony to hear his father, a famous viola player, play that night. I followed him through the winding corridors and steep stairways of the stunning concert building. We did not know each other. But I knew that he liked bread. And he knew that I loved viola music.”

It’s quite an introduction to a cookery book but then The Bread Exchange is so much more than just a collection of recipes. Malin Elmlid’s story of how she began bartering the loaves of bread she baked, takes her to every continent on earth and reads like a novel that can’t be put down.

The Swedish writer lives in Berlin, where “creativity is always supported”, she says, and has now traded more than 1,000 loaves through her Bread Exchange project and blog.

She describes her book, for which contributions and professional services were bartered not bought, as "a curated cookbook". It's as much about the fascinating people – and bread lovers – she meets in her travels from New York to Kabul as it is about recipes. But there are those too, for bread, of course, and lots more. The Bread Exchange, by Malin Elmlid, is published by Chronicle,