Boyne Valley Producers make it to Blas na hÉireann Finals

By Rebecca Meade

Boyne Valley Producers make it to Blas na hÉireann Finals

Now in our 14th year, Blas na hEireann, The Irish Food Awards is the biggest competition for quality Irish produce on the island of Ireland. In 2020 they faced the most unusual year to date and they are proud to say our judging and awards went ahead. Products from every county in Ireland were entered into the 2020 competition to win Gold, Silver and Bronze Awards in a broad range of food and drink categories as well as key awards such as Supreme Champion and Best Artisan Producer.
This year there are no less than 13 of our members to make it through to the finals and we would like to wish them all a huge good luck in the finals! 

Carlingford Oyster Company Ltd

Carlingford Oysters was established in 1974, by Peter Louet Feisser. It is currently owned and managed by his son Kian and daughter in law Mary. 
They grow their oysters in the pristine class A waters of Carlingford Lough. They feed from the naturally occurring plankton and the unique mix of local minerals, which wash down from the mountain streams, produce our oyster’s distinctive taste, texture and colour. The oysters are grown in mesh bags fixed to steel trestles, which stand on the sea bed, the water flows through the mesh bags and carries the plankton and nutrients to the oysters. When the oysters are ready for sale, they are graded, purified and packed ready for sale to wholesalers and restaurants worldwide.

Drummond House Garlic

The Drummond House estate boasts 150 years’ worth of stories. To this day, you can still see the remnants of the passion, the hard work and the respect with which the ancestors of Peter and Marita Collier farmed the 100 acres. Today, they try to keep those values alive, albeit, while growing a very different and remarkable crop. Since Marita and Peter began their enterprise in 2012, they have experimented and innovated to develop in the largest producer of garlic in Ireland, and they are now embarking on a similar journey with asparagus.
Their unique heritage garlic varieties are much loved by chefs around Ireland, and are a must have in your kitchen. They are also Ireland’s only ever Eurotoque and multi award winning premium Irish garlic, scape and asparagus grower.

McEntee's Fine Tea

“Irish Blends of loose leaf tea is what we at McEntee’s Tea are passionate about. The perfect blend to make the perfect moment.” McEntee’s Fine Teas is a family business, run by married couple, Donal and Helen McEntee, carefully blending their tea in Co. Loutha and they were delighted to hear that their Master Blend Loose Tea is through to the finals.
Their tea is unmistakably Irish, rich in tradition, with a strength and flavour consistent with our commitment to sourcing our teas from only the world’s finest tea gardens. Very aware of the growing desire for a better quality cup of tea, and the increasing trend back to loose tea, their Great Taste Award winning Gold Blend, Irish Breakfast Blend, Irish Afternoon Blend, Organic Sencha Green Tea and Irish Mint and Nettle, offer better quality blends for those with a passion for Irish Tea. McEntee’s Tea wants to ensure that we continue to enjoy quality Irish blends of loose tea, so important to previous generations. In a fast-paced modern world, it bring us back into the moment and offer us a rich, unrivalled refreshing taste of home.

Merci Beaucoup Cakes

Merci Beaucoup Cake Creations specialise in beautiful French patisseries and desserts, with handmade macarons, tartlets , treats, deserts and cakes to order. This year two of their products made it through to the finals- their homemade pistachio macarons and the decadent coffee opera! 
Jeremy and Alona took the jump into starting up their own business in 2013 after working for other people they wanted to create a more personal offering that showcased their skills and attention to detail. Everything they produce is homemade by husband and wife team Jeremy and Alona and they are happy with this as that way they can ensure high quality, consistent products. 

A Bit on the Side

We Are Going To Revolutionize The Way You Think About Jelly! This was Hilary McGrath's mission when she began creating delicious savoury jellies in her kitchen in Oldcastle, County Meath. Since then, A Bit on the Side has continued to grow and thrive winning many awards along the way, and this year their newly-released Green Jalapeno Jellyand their Red Jalapeno Jelly has made it to the finals.
   

Boyne Valley Farmhouse Cheese

Boyne Valley Farmhouse Cheese is owned and operated by Michael & Jenny Finegan. Boyne Valley Farmhouse Cheese produces a range of cheeses using their own goat milk. They milk 250 goats on their farm and use that milk to make two types of cheese. ‘Boyne Valley Blue’ is a pasteurised semi-hard mild to medium strength blue goats cheese, and ‘Boyne Valley Bán’ is a pasteurised semi-hard tomme style white goats cheese. Both are multiple award winning cheese in Ireland and internationally. 

Clarkes Fresh Fruit

Pat Clarke trading as Clarke’s Fresh Fruit, has established a reputation for the production of quality fresh Irish fruit over the past 60 years. The flavoursome berries are grown, picked, packed and dispatched on the family farm daily.
Situated in East Meath near the village of Stamullen, Clarke’s is a family run business growing strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries and blueberries over 75 acres.

Hogan's Turkeys Ltd

“The Fresh Turkey Specialists” brother’s Fintan and Paul Hogan are 2nd generation turkey farmers, based in Kells, Co. Meath. Hogan’s Farm have been rearing turkeys for over 50 years.
Using their extensive knowledge, the brothers have developed their expertise into rearing their own specialist turkey breed – the Charlesfort Turkey. With an ingrained passion for rearing and producing multi- award winning fresh turkey products, the Charlesfort Turkey range expanded with the development of the Award Winning Traditional Free Range Woodland Bronze Turkey. These slow rearing traditional American black turkeys are reared outside in the woodlands on Charlesfort Estate, home of Hogan’s Farm. Free to roam all day and night in the woodlands and grasslands, these exceptional turkeys are reared exclusively for the Irish Christmas market. 

McCormack Family Farms

A 2nd generation family farm growing baby salad leaves, herbs, microgreens and edible flowers in Kiltale, Co. Meath. They grow a wide range of our baby salad leaves which are all unwashed to stay naturally fresher for longer.

Newgrange Gold 

Newgrange Gold Rapeseed Oil is grown and produced in the heart of the Boyne Valley, Co. Meath. Their rapeseed is grown using the best tillage techniques, even their Bees assist in the pollination of our crop. When they cold press their rapeseed they create the finest oil, high in essential fatty acids - omega 3, 6 and 9 and low in saturated fat. Their oil is 100% traceable because their seed is grown, pressed and bottled entirely in the Boyne Valley. The oil is a fantastic culinary oil with an amazing fruity taste, which is great as an incredibly healthy cooking oil, salad dressing, for frying and other culinary uses such as making homemade mayonnaise and baking.

Roll It Pastry

In 2013 Mairead Finnegan set about creating a range of pastry made using only Irish butter in her home kitchen in Kells Co Meath. Mairead wanted to create delicious all butter pastry that tasted as good as home made pastry but that was a convenient and ready to use. 
She experimented with many pastry recipes including those she grew up with at home and from there she created the first two products in the range, sweet shortcrust and plain shortcrust. To avoid using preservatives and in order to retain the home made quality of the pastry products Mairead decided to sell them frozen.

What's For Pudding

The Flaherty family make really delicious dessert puddings, full of all the superior tastes of authentic, homemade fare. They have been making puddings for years for family and friends and now they are delighted to produce them for you their valued customers.

Sheridan's Cheesemongers

Sheridan's have worked hard to gain the reputation as Ireland's leading cheese retailer. They believe that the single most important factor in this has been the experience, which customers have each and every time they shop with them; from the quality of produce, to the always knowledgeable and friendly staff, to the way they serve and present cheese, they are always keen for the customer to participate, and taste and learn as they buy!
Their kitchen has created a small range of great products with the Sheridans Cheesemongers brand. These are our award-winning Brown Bread Crackers for Cheese, Rye & Linseed and Mixed Seed Crackers for Cheese; Duck Confit, Pesto and Chutney for Cheese.

MacNamee's Teas

MacNamee's Teas are carefully selected from tea gardens all over the world, blended and then packed here in Skerries Co. Dublin. They don’t nor do their supply partners use chemicals or artificial flavourings in our teas. They run our business holistically taking social, economic and environmental impacts into consideration.

Their skilled team pack in small batches by hand every couple of days, and they enjoy what they do and have a passion for tea. 

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