Discovering new products, ingredients and flavours is pretty much my day-to-day life ever since I started this blog. Not a day goes by that i’m not either thinking of new flavour combinations or trying out something new in my own kitchen, down at the market or in a restaurant. So I’m very excited to share with you all a new product by Ballmaloe Foods: Pickled Beetroot.
Pickled Beetroot holds a place in many an Irish person’s heart. A jar of this dark purple vegetable bathed in sweet vinegar evokes feelings of nostalgia and images of hard boiled eggs, butter head lettuce and chunky homemade chips. No tea table is complete without some! Now there is finally an Irish grown, cooked and packed pickled beetroot available; Ballymaloe Irish Beetroot.
Last year Yasmin Hyde, owner of Ballymaloe Foods and daughter of Myrtle Allen, wanted to bring an Irish made pickled beetroot to shop shelves around the country. One day Yasmin was delivering an order to a local supermarket when she met a farmer, Joe Hartnett, delivering in some beautiful vegetables. “Well, here’s a man” she thought “who could grow me some beetroot”. Yasmin mentioned her idea to Joe and this chance encounter led to Joe accepting the challenge and planting 8 acres of beetroot.
Shortly after, Ballymaloe Foods purchased a large food grade washing machine and installed it on Joe’s farm so that the beetroot could be cleaned before being delivered. Thereby enabling Joe to get many more customers for the beetroot that he grows. It’s no easy task to cook and pack this vibrant coloured vegetable so each jar is carefully hand filled with the perfectly piquant cubes. In place of the usual spirit vinegar Ballymaloe have chosen a high quality white wine vinegar for a smoother tasting pickle.
This is a locally made product using Irish beetroot and top quality ingredients. It is a nice example of how to add value to a crop that grows easily here in Ireland.
This was noted recently by Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney: “This product made by Ballymaloe Foods using a specially developed recipe brings the taste and story of Irish Beetroot grown on Joe Hartnett’s farm in Cork to a new generation of foodies and of consumers who simply enjoy great food. Provenance, quality, craft and adding value from farm to fork mark out Irish food as something to enjoy. I congratulate Yasmin Hyde for her vision, hard work and ambition for Irish food. I wish Ballymaloe Foods and Joe Hartnett great success with the project locally – where all good stories begin – and then in markets further afield.”
Available in 450g jars from SuperValu and Dunnes stores nationwide priced at € 2,99
Cooking ideas: you can add this to my Hake Fish Taco recipe, use them instead of cooked beetroots in my salmon salad or use them to top off one of my first appetizers made with beetroot mousse, green apple and smoked trout.