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And the Best Irish "Food Find" of 2011 is...

On the evening of December 29th we were sitting around chatting about all the wonderful things we had discovered during the year so I decided to pose a question to Twitter.

“Question! What was Your favourite Irish food find of 2011? #BestIrishFood” 
...I tweeted.

The replies came back thick and fast from all over, both from people in the food trade here and customers who had been out & about eating, here in Ireland, during 2011.

The general consensus was that the standard of food, produced here by small and dedicated producers, is second to none and that this standard is rising all the time as new names start to emerge from the market-stalls, farm-kitchen & start-up units around Ireland.

Some of the products named here are nationally recognised, some are only found in local shops or market-stalls and one is found on the side of the road near the sea!

They all have one thing in common. These Irish food products have all gained the respect of many hundreds of fans who are not afraid to praise their delicious & unique qualities!

One name in particular kept popping up, but I’ll save that to last!

So here, in alphabetical order, are my Top 21 Best Irish Food Finds of 2011, as decided by the Twitter foodies that follow @irishfoodguide!

Bacon Jam
With both @edhick and @eatlikeagirl getting shouts of approval!
Bellingham Blue Cheese
Made by Peter and Anita Thomas in Castlebellingham,
County Louth - 042 9372343 / 087 277853
Boar’s Head Black Pudding
Jack McCarthy’s Butchers, Kanturk, Co. Cork
Connemara Hill Lamb
Fed on a diet of natural fresh herbs, heathers and grasses
Dominic’s Bakery
Yeast-free, sugar-free soda breads Athy Road, Carlow
Ed Hicks Smoked Venison
Fallow Venison from Sligo
Fig & Balsamic relish
“Fab with cold meats, pate and cheese” said @drivenmental
Olde Farm free-range Pork
Naturally produced, delicious, free-range pork from Tipperary
Glebe Brethan Cheese
Made by David Tiernan & Family, Dunleer, Co. Louth
Greenore 8yr old whiskey
Single Grain limited edition Irish whiskey
High Bank Orchard 's Apple Syrup
Ireland's answer to maple syrup made in Kilkenny
Home-farmed Sweetcorn
By David Burns
Homemade Pizza
Pizza came well up the list with three names popping up regularly La Cucina @italianfoodie for their Irlandais Pizza & @Darren Bradley and @TheHandyKitchen coming a joint 2nd
Janets Chutneys
Made by Janet Drew in Kilcoole, Co. Wicklow
Lannleire Honey
Produced by Eoghan Mac Giolla Coda, Trean, Dunleer, Co. Louth (041) 6861884
Scotch eggs
at L Mulligan Grocer in Stoneybatter, Dublin 7
Ummera Smoked Chicken
Hot Oak-smoked by Anthony Creswell in Inchybridge, Timoleague, Co. Cork.
Stonewell Irish Cider
Made by Daniel and Geraldine Emerson in Kinsale, County Cork
Wild Alexander Seeds
As Ed Hick said “You’ll find it at roadside near the sea. So aromatic! Like Irish peppercorns, without the heat!”

And the most tweeted-back-to-me Irish Food Find for 2012 was:

Mary & Tony Walsh’s Kilkenny Free Range Chickens

They manage production of their birds all the way from a day old chick to the end customer. Their volume of production is very small by industry standards thereby ensuring that they maintain the highest quality. 

Mary Walsh checking out her flock of gosling
Most of the people who mentioned their chicken first heard about them at the Savour Kilkenny festival and then discovered that many of the top restaurants in Dublin & the Southeast have been serving these tasty birds for several years. 

They specialise in Chicken, Duck & Geese and you can find out more about them here:

Share the news. Irish Food is simply the Best!

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