Friday, November 28, 2008

Offalian's Triumph

This morning I checked into Microsoft Outlook to see what delights had landed in my inbox and was not disappointed to spot the Offaly CEB December Ezine. My attendance of events organised by this group is unfortunately infrequent; due to previous commitments clashing. I keep an eye on things though; just in case...

In the wake of a whole swathe of award ceremonies it was a natural progression to publish some of the Offaly success stories; many of which had to do with food. Some; admittedly, in a somewhat round about way, but nevertheless come under that category!

Strangely enough this accolade must be awarded to Agetek who are based in Tullamore. Their stange name belies the fact that this company won the 2008 OCEB Enterprise Of The Year Award; but how is this connected with the subject at hand, ie Food? Well, simply put these guys manufacture doors for kitchen units and I'm sure we're all agreed that they are an integral part of the food preparation area...

On a much larger scale the Silver Award for cheese making was presented to Ralph Haslam of Mossfield Organic Cheese for his cow’s milk cheese with garlic and basil at the 2008 WORLD Cheese Awards which were held in Ireland for the first time this year; featuring over 2,400 entries from around the globe.

This award winning farm is situated at the foot of the Slieve Bloom Mountains some six miles from Birr, County Offaly. Having undergone organic conversion in 1999, Mossfield began production of award winning organic cheeses in 2005 and are hoping to expand into the field of yoghurt and ice-cream production in the future.

On a National Scale; the overall winner of any success story has to be Glenisk the overall Winner of National Organic Award 2008 for their Glenisk Irish Organic Butter. Glenisk Irish Organic Butter was judged the best of more than 100 entries in the 2008 National Organic Awards, organized by Bord Bia in conjunction with the Department of Agriculture.

The Cleary family business has been based in Killeigh, Co Offaly producing a range of organic yoghurt and milks for over twenty-five years. Sourcing quality organic milks from fifty farms across the island of Ireland; harvesting 90% of all organic milk produced, this company has gone from a dream to Award winning reality.

Another notable winner; the 2008 OCEB Enterprise Of The Year - Artisan Award was presented to Ballyshiel Artisan Foods who lovingly create a deliciously tempting range of speciality confectionery and chocolates; hand made using authentic family recipes. Their range includes Toffee Dulce de Leche (used in making Banoffee pie), exquisite Chocolate Sauce, Karina Handmade Chocolate's which include old time favourite; Macaroon Bars.

Ballyshiel Artisan Foods promise is that all their quality products are gluten, preservative, artificial flavouring, hydrogenated oil and fat free making them suitable for coeliac's and vegetarian's.

Also included in the list of Offaly CEB finalist's was Yvonne Carty of Hey Pesto! Who specialises in making entertaining a stress free adventure of the culinary variety. Catering for corporate and domestic customer's Yvonne has her craft down to a fine art and having sampled some of her wares I can heartily agree!

I'm sure we can all agree that the above list makes interesting reading for us Offalian's! It's nice to hear of anyone in the region succeeding in business but to be honest it's even better when this applies to food. At a time when there's less money available to splash out on expensive treats it's good to know that we have some award winning products right here on our door step. What's even nicer is that the quality of these products is assured...

I hope you enjoy checking out the links as there are some terrific products and companies to be found. Be thankful that Polly didn't launch into one of her famous rants about the dangers of eating 'normal' foodstuffs...

Polly Pierce

Fine Hand-Crafted Wedding Stationary & Greeting Cards For All Occasions: Affording You The Gift of Time

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