Staple diet: Bread and butter claim top honours at Irish food awards

A sourdough loaf and a lightly salted artisan butter are the highest-rated food products at the Blas na hÉireann awards

William Despard of Bretzel Bakery in Portobello, Dublin, with the Pain de Maison Boule which was named Supreme Champion at the 2020 Blas na hÉireann Irish food awards. Photograph: Robbie Reynolds

William Despard of Bretzel Bakery in Portobello, Dublin, with the Pain de Maison Boule which was named Supreme Champion at the 2020 Blas na hÉireann Irish food awards. Photograph: Robbie Reynolds

 

A sourdough loaf made by one of Ireland’s oldest bakeries, and lightly-salted butter churned from the milk of grass-fed cows, are the well-matched winners of the two main prizes at the annual Blas na hÉireann food awards, announced today in Dingle, Co Kerry.

William Despard’s Bretzel Bakery in Dublin claimed the Supreme Champion title for its Pain de Maison Boule, a naturally fermented large round sourdough loaf made with both wheat and wholemeal rye flour.

The Best Artisan Product award went to Irish Gourmet Butter for its Lightly Salted Butter. Irish Gourmet Butter is based in Dunhill, Co Waterford and was set up in 2017 by Billy and Mary Sharpe. Mary’s grandmother was an All-Ireland butter-making champion in 1936 and 1937 and lectured in Dairy Science at Maynooth University.

Billy, Mary and Bronagh Sharpe of Irish Gourmet Butter, winner of Best Artisan Product at the 2020 Blas na hÉireann Irish food awards. Photograph: Don MacMonagle
Billy, Mary and Bronagh Sharpe of Irish Gourmet Butter, winner of Best Artisan Product at the 2020 Blas na hÉireann Irish food awards. Photograph: Don MacMonagle

The judging process for the 2020 awards, which are normally part of the Dingle Food Festival, had to be revised due to Covid-19 restrictions. “Faced with restrictions around college campuses and meetings, our Blas judging this year was very different to our usual format,” said chairman Artie Clifford. “But under the watchful eye of academic director Professor Joe Kerry of UCC, we relocated the Blas judging to Dingle in July, and ensured it was handled with the same care and attention as always.”

Dublin-based food producers claimed the largest haul of awards, with 42 winners, followed by Cork with 34.

Blas na hÉireann food winners 2020

ANTRIM
10 winners: Annie’s Delights, Causeway Coffee, Dale Farm, Deli Muru, Glenballyeamon Eggs, Glens of Antrim, Mauds Ice Creams, Porterhouse Prime Meats, SeaSugar Handmade Confectionery and Ten Watch Chocolates, with Mauds Ice Creams winning best in county. 

ARMAGH 
8 winners : Armagh Cider, Avondale Foods, Ballylisk Dairies Ltd., Burren Balsamics, CRAIC Foods Limited, Holmes Bakery, Long Meadow Cider and Troughtons, with Holmes Bakery winning best in county. 

CARLOW
4 winners: Carlow Brewing Company, Seerys Ltd / Heatherfield, Sunshine Juice Ltd and The Chocolate Garden of Ireland, with Sunshine Juice Ltd winning best in county. 

CAVAN
6 Cavan winners: Aine Chocolates Ltd., Fitzpatrick’s Gourmet Ketchup infused with Poitin, Ice Cream Treats, Lakeland Dairies, Liffey Meats and Manor Farm, with Lakeland Dairies winning best in county. 

CLARE 
2 Clare winners: Bramble Cottage and East Clare Apiaries, with East Clare Apiaries winning best in county. 

CORK 
34 Cork winners: Baked 4 U, Bandonvale, Bó Rua Farm, Caherbeg Free Range Pork Ltd., Centra - Inspired by Centra Made in store Salads, Coolmore Foods, Fitzgerald’s Butchers, Follain, Fresh Fish Deli, Glenilen Farm, Gloun Cross Dairy, Hanleys Puddings Ltd., Irish Yogurts, JDS Foods, Joe’s Farm Crisps, Keohane Seafoods, Kepak, Kinsale Mead Co., Longueville House Beverages, Nohoval Drinks Co.Ltd T/as Stonewell Cider, Ó Crualaoi Feoil Teo, O’Keeffe’s Bakery, O’Herlihy’s Bacon Ltd., On The Pigs Back (La Charcuterie Irlandaise Ltd.), Rebel Chilli, Saturday Pizzas, Skeaghanore West Cork Farm, Spice O Life Ltd., The English Market, The Good Fish Company, Trace Of Cakes, Velo Coffee Roasters and West Cork Eggs Ltd. with Kepak winning best in county. 

DERRY
3 Derry winners: Broighter Gold Rapeseed Oil, Genesis Crafty and Taste Joy Company with Broighter Gold Rapeseed Oil winning best in county. 

DONEGAL 
7 Donegal winners: Aran na Teo, Atlantic Treasures, Donegal Rapeseed Oil, Filligans Handmade Preserves, Green Pastures Donegal, The Shack and Wild Fuschia Bakehouse, with Donegal Rapeseed Oil winning best in county. 

DOWN
5 Down winners: Cookie Jar, Crawford’s Rock Seaweed Company, Glastry Farm Icecream, Harnett’s Oils and Hellbent with Crawford’s Rock Seaweed Company winning best in county. 

DUBLIN 
42 Dublin winners: ARYZTA Bakeries, Aveo Foods Ltd., Ballymaguire Foods, Bewleys, Cornude Artisan Popcorn, Cremore, Donnybrook Fair, Dunn’s of Dublin, Freshcut Foods, Funky Monkey, Fusco Foods, Gem Pack Foods Ltd., Genovese Foods Limited, Glanbia, Harvest Moon Foods Limited, Higgins Butchers, Ina’s Kitchen, Keogh’s Farm, Le Patissier, M&M Products Ltd., Mannings Bakery Ltd., McCormick Distilling International Ltd., Mud Bakery, Nicky’s Plaice, Olly’s Farm, Pearse Lyons Distillery, Pizza da Piero, Rua Food, SAMA’S Foods Limited, Sushi King, Taylor’s of Lusk, Tendermeats Ltd., The Bretzel Bakery, The Cupcake Bloke, The Delicious Food Co., The Porterhouse Brewing Company, Traditional Cheese Company, TrusTEA, Valeo Foods, Veggie Earth, WonderFoods and Wrights of Howth with The Bretzel Bakery winning best in county. 

FERMANAGH
2 Fermanagh winners: Cavanagh Free Range Eggs Ltd. and Crust & Crumb, with Crust & Crumb winning best in county. 

GALWAY 
4 Galway winners: Builin Blasta Teo, Galmere Fresh foods, Loughnane’s Of Galway and The Lodge Barna Mustards with Loughnane’s Of Galway winning best in county. 

KERRY
11 Kerry winners: Kennedy’s Butchers, Kerry Kefir, Knockatee Natural Dairy, Muckross Creamery, Quinlan’s Kerry Fish, Wellness Baking Listowel Ltd., Dingle Distillery, Dingle Goats Cheese, Kerry Cow Farm Ltd. (Kells Bay Cheese), Micilín Muc and O’ Sullivan’s Bakery with Kennedy’s Butchers winning best in county. 

KILDARE 
5 Kildare winners: Ballymore Organics Ltd., Coghlan’s Bakery, Couverture Desserts Ltd., O’Brien Fine Foods and Rye River Brewing Co., with Coghlan’s Bakery winning best in county. 

KILKENNY
2 Kilkenny winners: Natures Oils & Sauces and The Fig Tree Restaurant T&H Clarke Ltd., with The Fig Tree Restaurant T&H Clarke Ltd. winning best in county. 

LAOIS
3 Laois winners: Aghaboe Farm Ltd., Cocoa Couture and The Village Dairy, with Cocoa Couture winning best in county. 

LEITRIM
2 Leitrim winners: Dromod Boxty Ltd. and Elements of Chocolate, with Dromod Boxty Ltd. winning best in county. 

LIMERICK 
5 Limerick winners: Glen Aine, Glenstal Foods Ltd., Kearney’s Home Baking Ltd., Murphy’s Home Bakery and Old Irish Creamery, with Kearney’s Home Baking Ltd. winning best in county. 

LONGFORD
1 Longford winner: Goodness Grains, which also won best in county. 

LOUTH
6 Louth winners: Carlingford Oyster Company Ltd., Drummond House Garlic, East Coast Bakehouse, McEntee’s Tea, Natures Best Ltd. and Oriel Sea Salt Co., with Carlingford Oyster Company Ltd. winning best in county. 

MAYO
8 Mayo winners: Cake my Day, Calveys, Harvest Moon Foods Limited, Jack & Eddie’s, Little Cheesecake Shop, Moylurg Honey, O’Hara’s Bakery and Wildwood Balsamics, with Little Cheesecake Shop winning best in county. 

MEATH
8 Meath winners: A Bit on the Side, BR Marketing, Clarkes Fresh Fruit, Coole Swan, Hogan’s Turkeys Ltd., McCormack Family Farms, Newgrange Gold Ltd. and Royal County Puddings Ltd., with Royal County Puddings Ltd. winning best in county. 

MONAGHAN 
7 Monaghan winners: Arthur Mallons, Connolly Meats, Carleton Cake Co. Ltd., IGWT Poultry Services, Lacpatrick Dairies, McCaughey Foods and Silver Hill Duck, with Silver Hill Duck winning best in county. 

OFFALY
3 Offaly winners: Feighery’s Farm, Glenisk and Wild Irish Foragers, with Wild Irish Foragers winning best in county. 

ROSCOMMON 
4 Roscommon winners: Castlemine Farm, Oliver Carty, VOA Foods Ltd. Incorporating Do Me A Flavour and Waldron Family, with Oliver Carty winning best in county. 

SLIGO
4 Sligo winners: Aurivo Consumer Foods, Clo’s Chocolates, Glasshouse Hotel and Good4U, with Clo’s Chocolates winning best in county. 

TIPPERARY
11 Tipperary winners: ABP Foodgroup, Ayle Foods, Cashel Farmhouse Cheesemakers, Glenpatrick Spring Water, James Whelan Butchers, Oakpark Foods, O’Donnells Crisps, RibWorld, Stapletons, The Scullery and Tullahay Farm, with The Scullery winning best in county. 

TYRONE
5 Tyrone winners: Place Foods Ltd., Honed, Islander Kelp, Ispini Charcuterie and Karro Food Ltd., with Ispini Charcuterie winning best in county. 

WATERFORD
12 Waterford winners: Anchor Spirits Ireland, Beatha Bakery, Dawn Meats, Irish Gourmet Butter, Legacy Irish Cider, Mezze, MFC Foods Ltd T/A DessertFirst, Tastefully Yours T/A Kielys of Dunhill, Irish Gourmet Butter, Blackwater Distillery, Fitzeally Foods and Pipin Pear, with Irish Gourmet Butter winning best in county. 

WESTMEATH
3 Westmeath winners: Durrow Mills, Luna Ventures Ltd. T/A Killua Castle and Mr. Crumb, with Mr. Crumb winning best in county. 

WEXFORD
12 Wexford winners: Fancy Fungi Mushrooms, Irish Country Meats, Isle of Crackers, Killowen, Naturally Cordial Ltd., O’Neills Dry Cure Bacon Co., Scup Gelato, Sean Stafford Bakeries Ltd., Stafford Irish Spirits Co., Wexford Home Preserves, Wild About and Zanna Cookhouse Ltd., with Scup Gelato winning best in county. 

WICKLOW 
11 Wicklow winners: Ballyhubbock Farm, Dun Luain Foods Ltd., T/A Wilsons of West Wicklow, Jamshack, Miena’s, Rhoda Cocoa, Ridgeway Wagyu, The Butler’s Pantry, The Chocolate Garden of Ireland, The Happy Pear, Wicklow Farmhouse Cheese Ltd. and Wicklow Way Wines, with Rhoda Cocoa winning best in county. 

Bord Bia Supreme Champion: Bretzel Bakery Pain de Maison Boule
Bord Bia Best Artisan Product: Irish Gourmet Butter Lightly Salted Butter
 

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