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Date for you Diary
Belated Birthday Bash with a’ Pig on a Spit’ and AGM – Sunday 27th February
Location: Brooklodge, Macreddin Village, Co. Wicklow
Time: AGM to take place at 2pm (agenda to follow)

Join us for a delicious sumptuos spit pig roast – locally produced rare breed pigs from Co. Wicklow – join in the preparation of the pig before partaking in the gourmet feasting.
More detailed information and costs to follow soon.
Put the date in your diary




The Sugarloaf Convivium was pleased to host an organoleptic assessment of traditional black and white puddings on the evening of Wednesday 14th April in the Buttery Café, Newtownmountkennedy.

The puddings had been prepared by Ed Hick, using traditional methods – fresh blood was used to make the black pudding, and the white pudding was prepared using both red and green offal. These traditional puddings were tasted alongside two shop-bought, factory-made brands, in order to compare and contrast. Apple juice and fresh apples were provided as palate cleansers and to complement the puddings.

Ed provided notes on his own assessment of the puddings, while explaining the methods used in preparing them. Meanwhile, the attendees were invited to examine the appearance, smell, taste and texture of the puds, and to take notes on their own organoleptic assessments. Our own experiences of food can be intensely personal and vary greatly from person to person, and consequently the tasting notes reveal a spectrum of results.

The texture of the traditional white pudding was universally described as soft, smooth, creamy and silky, but the analyses of its taste and smell varied from spicy, peppery and toasty, to meaty, fatty and “liverish,” right through to  one person’s “slightly fruity!” Many tasters noted a deep, lingering, peppery finish on the tongue.

The black pudding was found to be coarser and more grainy than the white pudding (with several descriptions including crumbly, crunchy and chewy) with a distinctive metallic blood smell (although one taster did compare the smell to “shoes”!) The taste of the black was described as nutty, spicy and peppery, with several attendees also picking up a delicate chocolately flavour. As the tasters got into their strides, a deeper analysis was revealed, with one taster even noting a resemblance to chai tea.

The industrially-prepared, shop-bought puddings were tasted next, and although tasting notes were not taken on these there were some notable comments made, mainly regarding the marked difference in appearance when compared to Ed’s puddings. The shop-bought puds were a blander colour and a much more uniform texture, with less obvious ingredients. It was also observed that a much higher salt content could be tasted.

The evening was wrapped up nicely with each attendee receiving rings of Ed’s black and white puddings to bring home. Many thanks to Claire and the Buttery Café for hosting the event, and to Ed for his expertise (and delicious puddings!)

A Sugarloaf Scoop! First time for a pudding tasting.

Deal is that two more pigs have a contract out on them and are in all probability not gonna see Monday of next week, hence the short notice!  So fresh pudds… An organolaptic indulgent adventure mid week….. a mini event. (Wednesday 14th April at 7:30pm)

Unctuous and Under Threat… or … Pride in our Puddings!

Slow Food Ireland are currently working on a Presidium for traditional Irish puddings, when this is established there will be a measure of protection afforded to these delightful, unique, age old and nutritious Irish foods.

With this in mind, The Sugarloaf Club is thrilled to invite you to an organoleptic tasting and exploration of this fast disappearing gem, to let us all know what we will be missing unless we can get the protection in place.

Both black and white puddings will be made using only  freshly prepared local, pork,  offal, some oats, barley and of course some fresh blood! There will be no preservatives, colourings, artificial flavourings,

On the night we will get to taste and rank each of the puddings, and all of the data collected will be forwarded on to the National body as part of the project. You will be asked to evaluate and score the various sensory attributes and compare this with an industrially produced version. We will also post the results on our blogsite.

At the end of the tasting we will each get 1 ring of Black and 1 ring of White to bring away and share with others and impart our new found knowledge!!! These will keep for a full ten days chilled, but are at their most fantastic if eaten within 3!

Wednesday 14th April at 7:30pm in the Buttery Café in Newtownmountkennedy adjacent to Fishers. Parking in upper car park. See http://www.thebutterycafe.com/node/4 Bring an apple to compliment the pudding  and a pencil for the tasting notes. Apple juice will be served with the pudding to clear the palate.  Wine will be available to buy from the Buttery Café by the glass before & after the tasting if required.

Cost: €15 for members and €20 for non members

Booking is essential
To book contact  aislingnicra@gmail.com or 086 234 7629 asap

Fairytale of New Pork

And so it came to be that two little Wicklow pigs reached the peak of their fattening. A glorious March Sunday was to see them get their final glimpse of Wicklow’s rounded hills.  Having feasted on local barley, mixed own grown vegetables and some farmhouse kitchen scraps, windfall apples and even a regular beer, the time had come for them to make the supreme sacrifice. Both gilts were seven months old, in rude health, well muscled and fit for the table!

They were walked one at a time out of their ample yard into a small pen and quietly stunned and bled. The precious blood was all caught for some real puddings. So far so easy! The scalding tank had been purpose built for the job by M., with two gas burners hissing away underneath the water soon reached the critical temperature.

At this point the hard work really started…. Once the hair started moving, the scrapers started scraping and flushed by the cleanliness of the initial strokes, took to the task with gusto. Scalding and scraping, scraping and shaving, shaving and singeing, and all the while rinsing. Gutted next and then split in two, soon enough there were four gleaming, steaming sides of excellently conformed pork hanging, cooling down slowly before being chilled.

The red and green offal was washed and prepared

Puddings first, then sausages, the slow roast of  a shoulder perhaps,  and then in a month’s time … let there be bacon!

And they all fried happily ever after.

See photos here

Sunday 13th December 2009

The launch of Slow Food Ireland’s newest convivium, “ The Sugarloaf Club” took place, in conjunction with the first Terre Madre Day in the Brooklodge Hotel , Macreddin with a master-class in organoleptic cheese tasting on Sunday 13th.

For the adults, Silke Cropp from Belturbet in Co Cavan, a doyenne and founder member of the Irish Raw Milk Cheese Presidium, enlightened all, on colour, texture and flavours of 12 different raw milk cheeses made by some of the members at her Corleggy Cheese School in August.

For the children there was a “smelly” workshop exploring well known food smells ( onion, garlic, herbs etc) with emphasis on how and why we smell food and a chance to show their own artistic skills about foods they like!


First event on 13th December 09

You are invited to the launch of The Sugarloaf Club, a Slow Food Convivium in conjunction with celebration of Terre Madre Day

On Sunday 13th December @ 4pm in The Brooklodge Hotel, Macreddin, Aughrim. Co. Wicklow.

To launch the club, we will have cheese, wine and more, to explore and taste, in a convivial and relaxed atmosphere. We’ll have a calendar of events for 2010 to unveil, with a firm focus on taste, fun and up to our elbows in as much local food as we can.
More about us @   www.https://slowfoodsugarloafclub.wordpress.com/

On the day for adults we will have an organoleptic cheese tasting, where we can delve deep with doyenne of Slow Food Ireland ’s Raw Milk Cheese Presidium, Silke Cropp. This will be accompanied by Janet Drew’s Chutney for Cheese, made in Kilcoole, and John Hempenstall’s fantastic soft Wicklow cheese, made in Arklow.

…. Oh and there will be some wine too!

For kids we will have a taste/smell workshop, exploring different food smells, and some cheese. Guessing, matching and describing what we smell, taste and touch.

Each of you will get some aged hard and soft cows milk cheese and chutney to take home with you, and a new view of what can be done with milk.

Cost     €15 members
€22 non members

Accompanying kids are free.

Terre Madre (Mother Earth) Day
The Sugarloaf’s launching event is also our contribution to the Terre Madre Day. Slow Food is launching Terra Madre Day around the world, to be held for the first time on December 10 this year. Slow Food convivia, Terra Madre food communities and all people supportive of our ideals are invited to organize an event, however small or symbolic, in your local area. For more info see http://www.slowfood.com/terramadreday/

More about Slow Food @ www.slowfood.com

Membership is annual, costs €50 single or €60 household. Attached is membership application form …cash or cheques payable to “ The Sugarloaf Club”

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