Irish cheeses in season
Get the scoop of the best seasonal cheeses available ahead of Sheridan's Cheesemongers annual Food Festival
Eyes are cast towards heavy wheels of cheese upon pushing open the door of Sheridan’s on South Anne Street, a heaven for the savoury inclined.
Tummy rumblings are not subtle as owner Kevin Sheridan exudes excitement about the fifth annual Sheridan’s Food Festival beneath the beautiful deep red cuts of aging meat hanging from the shop’s ceiling.
The festival, which kicks off on Sunday, is in its fifth year with thousands of people expected to flock to Virginia Road Co. Meath to celebrate Irish food this weekend.
“The festival began 5 years ago when we invited just a few producers up for a small tasting. Now, it has grown from something that was quite small into such a fun event which attracted over 7,000 people last year,” said Kevin Sheridan.
Over 85 producers from all over the country will set up shop at the festival on Sunday with speciality workshops available for those who urge to sharpen their skills
“Of course there will be amazing cheese makers but it’s a food festival so expect to see wonderful butchers like Jack McCarthy from Kanturk and others so many others,” said John Leverrier, Manager of Sheridan’s on St. Anne’s Street, Dublin.
“We have a lot of exciting workshops to look forward to including some with Ross Lewis of Chapter One and Richard Corrigan as well as foraging workshops and of course cheese making workshops. There is still time to join the workshop and there’s some spaces left,” he said.
Although Ireland may not be known for our cheeses, unlike France and Spain, John insists that the cheese culture in this country is has just begun.
“Our cheese culture is slow to grow but that’s only because our cheese industry is so young. Ireland has only been making cheese since the end of the 1970s.
“It has taken a long time for us to promote our cheeses. We have a range of top class cheese makers in Ireland and our land and animals are also top class. Our cheeses have begun to be recognised by the French, Italian and Spanish and that speaks volumes,” said John.
Despite its success, Kevin Sheridan said that his business’ food festival is only one in an ever growing culture of Irish food.
“These types of events are fantastic. They bring people together who have similar interests and share a love of food.
“The atmosphere is always hugely positive and even more so if we are gifted with a little bit of sunshine which we hope will be the case this Sunday,” he finished.
Sheridan’s Top Seasonal Irish Cheeses
This gouda style cheese is produced by Helen Finnegan in Stoneford, Co. Kilkenny and made using pasteurised goat’s milk from her flock of 60 goats. On the palate the firm paste is ivory coloured, mild, smooth and slightly acidic.
A semi-soft cow’s milk cheese made with organic milk from The Little Milk Company in Dungarvan Co. Waterford. Rind-washed in beers and ales from Irish craft brewer’s like O’Hara’s, Eight Degrees Brewing and Dungarvan Brewing Co, this cheese making method is completely unique.
This cheese is made with fresh raw goat’s milk in Co. Waterford by producer Anna Leveque, a Brittany native. In the making of this cheese the curds are rubbed with charcoal ash and salt before being left to ripen in 80% humidity for at least 7 days. Ripe triskel has a distinct aroma of hazelnuts, dried fruits and mushrooms with the salty and acidic flavours usually associated with goat’s cheeses.
Durrus Farmhouse Cheese
A cheese made with raw cow’s milk this seasonal cheese is produced by Jeffa Gill in Coomkeen , Co. Cork. It is a semi soft, washed rind cheese with a delicately pungent flavour.