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The Butler’s Pantry Artisan Harvest

This Saturday, September 19th., we are taking part in celebrating the Artisan Harvest at two of the renowned Butler’s Pantry shops in Dublin.

I will be at their Monkstown shop at 1a Montpellier Place, Temple Hill, Blackrock from 11.30 to 2.00pm and then at the Sandycove shop (19 Sandycove Road, Sandycove) from 2.30pm to 4.30pm. There will also be tastings of our Award winning Smoked Salmon and our Smoked Chicken, not just at these two shops, but at all the Butler’s Pantry shops all day on Saturday.

Do call by and say hello!

If you can’t make it,  Butler’s Pantry have a lovely recipe for Ummera Organic Smoked Salmon with Orange Dressing and Avocado Pate . Try it!

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National Organic Awards – Ummera Highly Commended!

National Organic Award 2009

Last week we were invited to Dublin for lunch yesterday by Bord Bia to celebrate the National Organic Awards 2009. Unfortunately, we couldn’t make it so imagine our surprise (and delight) when we received a phone call from the Sunday Tribune congratulating us on our award!

Ummera’s Smoked Organic Salmon had received a Highly Commended in the Best Organic  Retail Product, coming second to Glenisk’s Organic Greek Style Natural Yoghurt.

The other Awards were:

Best Overall Product

Winner: Moon Shine Farmhouse Milk Company, Kelly’s Organics, Mullingar, Co. Westmeath

Best Organic Retail Product

Winner: Organic Greek Style Natural Yoghurt, Glenisk, Killeigh, Co. Offaly

Highly Commended: Irish Smoked Organic Salmon, Ummera Smoked Products Ltd, Timoleague, Co. Cork

Best Organic Local Product

Winner: Moon Shine Farmhouse Milk, Kelly’s Organics, Mullingar, Co. Westmeath

Highly Commended: Dark Choc Almond Cake, Organic Choice, Stillorgan, Co. Dublin

Best Organic Export Product

Winner: St Tola Goats Log Company, Inagh Farmhouse Cheese, Co. Clare

Highly Commended: Flahavans Organic Jumbo Oats 1kg, Flahavans, Co. Waterford

Best Organic New Product

Winner: Organic Gluten Free Real Wholegrain Bread Mix , Sowan’s Organic Bread mix, Dublin

Highly Commended: Original Steakhouse Company, Goodherdsmen, Cahir, Co. Tipperary

Best Organic Sustainable Product

Winner: Happy Heart Oil Rapeseed Oil, Drumeen Farm, Urlingford, Co. Kilkenny

Highly Commended: Organic Galloway Steakburger, Omega Beef Direct, Clonmel, Co. Tipperary

The independent judging panel chaired by Hugo Arnold, journalist and Food Consultant included Cian Doorley, Musgrave Retail Partners Ireland; Evan Doyle, Proprietor Brooklodge Wells and Spa; Darren Grant, Proprietor, The Organic Supermarket Blackrock, Co Dublin and Oliver Moore, journalist, researcher and organic blogger.

Today’s Awards took place on the first day of National Organic Week, which runs from the 14th – 20th September. “To celebrate organic producers, retailers and farmers markets nationwide will host over 50 events including cookery demonstrations; workshops; BBQs; farm walks and in store tastings” commented Teresa Brophy, Ireland Market Manager, Bord Bia. “It is an ideal opportunity for organic producers and processors to organise events at a national and local level to increase consumer awareness of locally produced organic food.”

Event highlights include Clodagh McKenna’s cookery demonstration at the Nano Nagle Centre, Co, Cork on Wednesday 16th; Women in Organic Horticultural Training (WOHT) training courses and seminars at the Organic Centre, Rossinver, Co. Leitrim on the 16th and the Organic Centre’s Annual Harvest Celebration on Thursday 17th. Jenny and Peter Young, Castlefarm Shop, Athy, Co. Kildare, will host an organic farm walk on Saturday 19th including vegetable harvesting and cookery demonstrations, whilst Peter Ward from Country Choice, Nenagh, Co. Tipperary is organising the annual Blas an Fhomhair organic lunch, also on the 19th. (Full list of events on the Bord Bia website)

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Smoked Salmon and Onion Scones

Last December I went to Amsterdam as part of a Good Food IrelandFailte Ireland promotion with other members of Good Food Ireland.

Catherine Fulvio of Ballyknocken House and Cookery School was there and she made these wonderful Onion Scones and filled them with our Smoked Organic Salmon.

Here’s the recipe she sent me:

Ballyknocken Onion Scones

2 tbsp butter / olive oil (for frying)
1/2 large Spanish onion (or 2 medium onions), finely chopped
2 tbsp leek, finely sliced
225g / 8 oz plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp / 2 ½ ml bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp / 2 ½ ml salt
1 tbsp / 15 ml sugar
50g / 2 oz butter, cold, cut into pieces
40g / 1 ¾ oz grated Parmesan
200g / 7 oz natural yogurt

Preheat the oven to 250?C / 400?F / Gas 6

Heat the butter / olive oil in a frying pan and cook the onion over medium heat, stirring often, until lightly browned. Remove the onion to a small bowl and cook the leek for 5 minutes without browning. Add to the onion.

Sieve together into a large bowl the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, salt and sugar. Transfer to a food processor and add the butter. Run the motor for 3 – 4 seconds (or blend the butter by hand until the mixture resembles oatmeal). Transfer back to the bowl and stir in the onion and leek mixture together with the cheese. Mix in the yogurt but keep a little back and only add it if the mixture is very dry – the dough should be a bit sticky but not wet. Transfer to a floured surface and lightly knead for a few seconds. Pat it out until it is about 2 ½ cm / 1 inch thick. Using a pastry cutter cut out 5 cm / 2 inch rounds and place in the oven. Bake for about 15 minutes.

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Chocolate Smoked Salmon

In last week’s Newletter, we rather “tongue in cheek” mentioned Chocolate Smoked Salmon as an April Fool thought.

Well, we received an email from Finbarr in Kerry:

Can I assure you that several Easters ago in a three star Michelin Restaurant in Versailles – la Trianon Palace Hotel – where the Armistice was signed after World War 1- ( the restaurant is now being run by Gordon Ramsay and he won two stars last years too!)  we enjoyed a chocolate themed dinner which started with wonderful Wild Smoked Scottish Salmon with shaved chocolate – 70% of course, and it was marvelous. The veal with white chocolate sauce was also amazing – I forget what we had for pud but it was chocolate!

So tell that to your taste panel and have a rethink.

Just replace Wild Smoked Scottish Salmon with Ummera Smoked Organic Salmon and get some organic dark chocolate, 70% of course!

So this is NOT an April Fool joke!

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What a week but ending in Gold!

Back from 40 degrees in Spain on Monday afternoon to be welcomed by 36 hours continuous rain!

Busy catching up on all that happened after ten days out of contact with the world; it’s an experience doing without all the mod cons of today’s world, but is a great relief to know that emails, mobiles, blogs, and newspapers are not essential to life!

Good news came through the mail with results from the Great Taste Awards in the UK; and I was pipped to the post in blogging this news by Ivan McCutcheon on his blog Food Culture West Cork and he had a photo taken at the recent Taste of Cork Festival!

I have just returned from a delivery to Scally’s Supervalu in Clonakility where I grabbed a copy of the current edition of the West Cork People, from Jean Farrelly, Joint Editor, as she was making a delivery there.

Lo and behold we were on the front page!

Jean told me that my Press Release arrived with her at 2.30pm yesterday and the edition was scheduled for printing at 3.00pm!

I think this is the first time that Ummera has been responsible for “Stop the Press”!

The actual Press Release can be downloaded as a pdf file here.

I almost forgot what the Awards were for! Ummera Smoked Chicken and Ummera Organic Gravadlax. This  now means that all our products have received awards at the Great Taste Awards over the last three years!

And Spain was fantastic!!

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Eco Chic!

To celebrate National Organic Week, The Irish Sunday Tribune Magazine published last Sunday, October 21st, an A-Z of Eco Chic, edited by Jillian Bolger and Claire O’Mahony.

Deighted to see that Ummera is included in the list of 26 of “all things cool and organic”! But then what else begins with “U”!

[tags] Sunday Tribune, Jillian Bolger, Claire O’Mahony, National Organic Week[/tags]

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Rogue Traders and Organic Fish

There was an announcement yesterday by Food Minister Trevor Sargent regarding tightening up on rogue traders selling so called organic food when it isn’t approved by a certification body.

Unfortunately this won’t apply to aquaculture products as they won’t apply until January 2009, so “caveat emptor” when buying organic fish.

Let the buyer beware.

Check the labels for an approved Certification body such as the Organic Trust and IOFGA.

It is important to note that, where a fish has been further processed, such as smoked, and while the actual fish may have come from an organically approved farm, the processor or smoker must also be approved to call it Organic Smoked Salmon or Smoked Organic Salmon. But until January 2009 it is quite legitimate to label it as such despite the processor not been approved.

So make sure that the label carries the Organic Trust or IOFGA symbol.

[tags]Trevor Sargent, Organic Salmon, Organic Trust, IOFGA[/tags]

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Speciality & Fine Food Fair Olympia – Stand 638

This is the third visit of Ummera Smoked Products to the Speciality and Fine Food Fair. It is irresistible!
Ummera is a tiny company, employing four people (and not all fulltime!), but somehow their name and reputation has spread to many places far from their home in West Cork, Ireland.
In this year’s Bridgestone Irish Food Guide, written by John and Sally McKenna, they say of Ummera “….seems to pick up culinary awards as often as the rest of us have hot dinners.” They go on to say, “It’s no surprise that his smoked foods should be so garlanded, for they have a delicacy, a subtlety, that shows the smoking process being used at its zenith.
In March 2007, Ummera were honoured with the Irish Guild of Food Writers Award for their Smoked Silver Eel. Sadly, the eel stocks are in great difficulty so this is almost a posthumous award.
In August, the Irish Food and Wine Magazine had their annual Restaurant of the Year Awards in Dublin. A new Award was introduced this year for Best Artisan Supplier; Ummera was one of the nominees for the award and received a Highly Commended.
Ummera’s new product for 2007 is an Organic Gravadlax. Launched quietly early this year, Ummera has been delighted with the response to this simple marinated salmon.
By using the very finest of ingredients in the marinade, Ummera has lifted the simple to a complex. The organic salmon are sourced from the west coast of Ireland; the salt comes from traditional saltpans at Tavira, on the Algarve, Portugal. The dill and peppercorns are organic and Ummera uses a raw cane sugar organically grown in Costa Rica; the last international element to their Gravadlax comes from the London & Scottish Distillery in London, an organic whisky.
[tags]Olympia, Speciality and Fine Food Fair, Bridgestone Irish Food Guide, Food and Wine Magazine, Gravadlax, Organic Whisky, Tavira, saltpans[/tags]