The Old Butter Roads Food Trail was developed by the producers, eateries and visitor attractions in the Muskerry, Dunhallow and Avondhu areas of Cork.
Taking place in Mitchelstown, the trail celebrated the range of foods grown and produced in the area. Beginning the trail at Ballinwillin House, home to award winning vension and wild boar, where we were treated to locally produced dishes.
After a tour of the house and grounds, owners Pat and Miriam Mulcahy share samples of their Mulcahy wine in the cellar, which is also used for a number of private functions.
The couple also own Chateau Mulcahy Hungarian Vineyard and produce six reds, six whites, a dessert and a rose wine. They bring 10,000 bottles into Ireland every year.
While enjoying a glass of white wine, Pat speaks about the importance of community and farming. He says: “Families make farming. Every farmer was self-sufficient but we lost a lot of the basics due to technology.”
He added that the Old Butter Roads Trail tries to recreate the working atmosphere with people “where people work together in a meaningful manner.” Smiling, he said that a glass of wine is all about people having a great time: “It’s all about company and food.” With that, we enjoy our wine in Hungarian pottery glasses.
While at Ballinwillin House, we sample some food prepared by Thatch and Thyme, which is a cafe based on Main Street in Kildorrey, Co. Cork.
Owner Joanne McEldowney used a range of local produce to create her Goat Cheese Fritter and Walnut Salad with Honey Mustard Dressing. The colourful dish was bursting with flavours, the perfect summer snack.
Leaving Ballinwillin House, we take a historical walking tour of Mitchelstown before tucking into the the rest of our tasty dishes.
Enjoying a sample from the new evening menu in Blueberries, I tuck into a Gortnamona Soft Goats Cheese, Red Onion and Beetroot Tarlet and a Golden Crumbed Hanley’s Black and White Pudding, served with a Lightly Spiced Apple Juice Chutney. The Seasonal Salad and Ballyhoura Apple Cider Jelly Tots nicely complimented the dish.
Moving to O’Callaghan’s Delicatessen, Bakery & Restaurant, we sample a selection of their popular evening menu. The Chicken Liver Pate with Melba Toast and Redcurrant Jelly went down a treat, as did the Crispy Sesame Salmon Cake.
As someone who is a little bit obsessed with cheese, the Macroom Buffalo Mozzarella, Tomato and Basil Caprice Salad satisfied my cravings.
In the Market Place, the Asian inspired food created by Chef Glenn Tree excited the gathered crowd. The New Zealand native moved to Cork almost two years ago and revealed that his personal favourite dish to eat is Foie Gras.
Coming to the end of our food and drink experience, I devour a sweet Praline and Chocolate Tartet with Chocolate Ganache Filling, topped with a Praline Mousseline. This tasty treat was prepared by the newly opened Praline Pastry Shop and Cafe in Mitchelstown.
Mulcahy wine and refreshing Longueville House Cider accompanied our various culinary delights. O’Callaghan’s also offered us a delicious glass of Elderflower Prosecco, made with their homemade Elderflower Cordial.
Speaking at the event in Mitchelstown, Old Butter Roads’ Chairperson, Maire Ni Mhurchu, said that they “want to be known as an area with great local foods” and the aim of this trail is to celebrate the food of the area.
Sarah has always had a great love of travel, food and photography. Following her journalism degree at DCU, she developed a passion for travel writing while living in Spain.
Sarah loves exploring new places and sampling the local cuisine. Working with TheTaste.ie combines her love of food and travel.