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My Apricot Kitchen

Bite-Size: the latest food and drinks news

There's exciting news from lots of Irish brands and if you're looking to escape, well, one hotel just might be the dream foodie destination


Whether you're eyeing up a hotel stay, a picnic by the sea or simply upping your home-cooking game, there's plenty of inspiration in this week's Bite-Size news round up.

We're full of optimism hearing about all these growing Irish businesses and food producers - check out some of the new products hitting shelves near you. Plus, if you're in the mood to treat yourself, how about an artisan food box or a gourmet-focused stay in a top hotel? Read on for all the info.

Milking it

Oat in the City is a real oat milk made from Irish-grown oats by Liam Lynam, a Tullamore farmer. As well as being made with oats locally sourced in the midlands, it contains the cereal’s natural fibre and protein - which, Lynam says, other brands often take out. “Our oat milk retains the oats’ natural beta glucans, fibre and protein, and is low in natural sugars,” he explains. Lynam, who worked in the food sector for twenty years before returning to run the family farm, launched the range last year and it is already stocked in over 200 retail and hospitality outlets. Priced at €2.80 for 750ml, stockists include selected SuperValu stores, Donnybrook Fair and Nolan's of Clontarf - and Oat in the City will be in Aldi stores from June as part of the Grow with Aldi programme. oatinthecity.ie

Great escapes
Galway’s Ashford Castle has two new gourmet packages on offer if you’re thinking of heading west. Available for two, three or four-night stays, the packages are focused on the best Irish fare. All ingredients are sourced from the grounds of the castle, while other suppliers include Dooncastle Oysters, Kylemore Farmhouse Cheese and Andarl Farm. The two-night stay, priced from €800 per person, includes dinner in the George V Dining Room on one evening and a full Irish breakfast each morning. The three-night stay (from €1,297.50 per person sharing) comprises dinner in the George V, dinner in The Dungeon restaurant and dinner at Cullen’s at The Cottage, while the four-night stay features all that, along with a Bouchard wine tasting in the castle’s cellars. Prices for that start from €1,740 per person sharing.  ashfordcastle.com  

Perfect picnic
The Greengrocer’s Daughter in Dublin now has a range of meal boxes and gift hampers available for local and nationwide delivery. The Lark in the Park picnic box (€85), above, is perfect for a summer’s day out or a special occasion. It features artisan sandwiches, a  charcuterie board, mixed olives, and Clinton crisps as well as strawberry, brownie and marshmallow skewers and a bunch of fresh grapes. There’s four bottles of Birra Moretti and a bottle of Italian wine in there too. To buy or for more info, see greengrocersdaughter.com or nurish.ie.

Peadar Lynch of Cherry Orchard Community Garden
Peadar Lynch of Cherry Orchard Community Garden

Top of the class
A total of 45 new Irish food producers have completed this year’s SuperValu Food Academy programme and their products are now available in selected SuperValu stores. There’s everything from salad dressings and meat-free meals to low-sugar cakes and fermented drinks. This year’s graduates include Harry’s Nut Butter, Jacked Up, Berna’s Dressings, Brubiotics, and the Cherry Orchard community garden (pictured). Now in its eighth year the programme, supported by Bord Bia and the Local Enterprise Offices, offers training in food safety, market research and branding, marketing, finance, sustainability, and business development. It currently supports 290 Irish food and drink producers and last year there was a 15 per cent growth in Food Academy sales, with participants earning €28m. supervalu.ie

Kitchen essential
Irish/Indian food company My Apricot Kitchen has launched a new trio of chilled vegetarian meals made with natural Irish ingredients and hand-ground spices. The range comprises a Vegetable Korma, Lentil Kofta Tikka Masala and Soya Free Tofu Saag which are priced at €3.75 each. Founder Sayantani Chatterjee set up My Apricot Kitchen with her husband Aihjit back in 2017 and it has picked up a number of awards since. The range also includes three vegan vegetarian sauces – Green Harissa Paste, Red Harissa Paste, which won gold at the Blas na hEireann Irish Food Awards 2017,  and Szechuan Sauce, which won the Irish Quality Food & Drink Award in 2019. Available from selected SuperValu branches, Donnybrook Fair, Fresh, speciality food stores and also online. myapricotkitchen.ie