Friday 23 February 2018

A tradition that lasted from the time of Ulysses

THEIR sausages and rashers appeared on every kitchen table in the country at one stage or another.

Even literary icon Leopold Bloom was an Olhausen's customer.

In the Circe chapter of James Joyce's masterpiece, he emerged from the butchers holding a parcel in each hand "one containing a lukewarm pig's crubeen . . . sprinkled with whole pepper."

The pork butchers were trading at that time at 72 Talbot Street, after the original butcher William Olhausen arrived from central Europe and set up the shop in 1896, slaughtering the pigs at the facility to the rear.

It was one of the biggest shops in Dublin at the time, with around 16 girls working there.

The sausages were a hit with customers, made with lean meat, fat meat and some beef to lend the pink colour.

Customers would also come in for pigs' legs and feet and eat them with a pint in the pub next door, former worker Declan Williamson recalled.

The Olhausen's name has been a strong household name since the days it was advertised across the front of the number 31 tram going to Howth.

And when legislation in 1927 allowed for advertising on Radio Eireann, Olhausen's was the first to take a slot, paying a princely £5 for five minutes.

In the 1970s, the company was still being run by Freddy Olhausen, son of William but was soon after sold to the Gormleys butcher stores.

In 1981 all of the butchering and processing moved out to Coolock and the manufacturing side grew.

Since February 1999, the company had been owned by a group of private investors.

Irish Independent

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