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Archive for January, 2010

What with Rercy succumbing to Tesco, both SnackBox and I sucked in by McDonald’s extra value sugar offer, Cat plundering the depths of desert, and Jean on a steak/pie-only diet, you’d be forgiven for thinking we’ve given up. Yes, we’ve taken to the couch surrounded by empty pizza boxes, and a shallow and judgmental documentary crew from Sky One are due here any moment.
Redemption lies, as always, in my mum’s beef stew.  Continue reading »

After a Morning in the Barossa on Tuesday, John McDonnell of Wine Australia kindly donated this ultimate guide to the valley and its people and we promptly threw it up as a prize on Wednesday morning.
Ebenezer is the increasingly famous sub-region of the northern Barossa where Ben Glaetzer sources the grapes for the increasingly infamous Amon-Ra.
There were a modest five correct answers, one of whom was disqualified for having already scooped a book from the tasting himself.  Continue reading »

I’d had a hard day, punctuated by anger, pain, and death. Yes, really. It says something for the misery of McDonald’s that I suddenly craved it.
Since the age of, oh, about 14, I haven’t gone to McDonald’s. But small children have changed all that: I’ve tried to persuade my seven-year-old nephews of the merits of Milano and Eddie Rocket’s, but the shininess and marketing allure of McDonald’s has always won out.  Continue reading »

Our first tasting video of a sparkling wine! ‘Quite characterful with apple juice concentrate, grapes and sherbet on the nose and palate.’… ‘Fresh, clean and fragrant, well balanced.’ – Wine International, Cava & Prosecco Tasting, August 2005.

To view product page and for more details, click on Domenico de Bertiol Prosecco Spagorosso.  Continue reading »

A monastery has come under fire in Scotland after reports that suggest the wine that it makes has been linked to over 5,000 incidences of crime in recent years. In addition, the BBC reported that 114 cases involved the bottle being used as a weapon.
Buckfast, also known as Buckie, Commotion Lotion and Wreck the Hoose Juice, has a strong following in Scotland, parts of Northern Ireland (namely the Lurgan and Armagh area) and Galway.  Continue reading »

Click here to view the embedded video.

In the latest of my video blogs I try a very unusual blanc de noir white from Germany. Some of  the wines of Carl Ehrhardt [available from Karwig Wines] have been featured before and we liked them very much. So lets see how the latest effort gets on !
See you next time on robertfranciswine.ie.  Continue reading »

In any given week, there is an abundance of organic farming and food news, from the global to the local. Inevitably, many stories slip by. Usually, this column focuses on one main story. Instead, this week it will round up and analyze some of what’s going on in the organic world.

Going global first, it turns out that for interesting reasons, independent business experts in Australia think that organic farming and food have a lot of potential.  Continue reading »

Feeling lazy and hankering some comfort food, I nipped into Tesco and bought the Tesco Finest Lamb Moussaka. I naively thought it would marry well with the Potato Gratin from the normal Tesco range but I choose poorly. Both were tasty but sadly not together – I swear I could almost hear my arteries clog up.
Unbearably uncomfortable, I decided to have a look at the ingredients.  Continue reading »

THE BRIDGESTONE IRISH FOOD GUIDE
Picked up the Bridgestone Irish Food Guide the other day and am enjoying flicking through the information packed pages. It is an excellent reference and I’ll be using it for market trips, for day trips and weekend trips.
It is good but would have been better without the strident editorial, especially the bit that deems it “a traitorous action” to buy imported food in a foreign-owned supermarket.  Continue reading »

Fresh Pasta

A post by George at Not Junk Food

Farina Tipo 00 Flour

Once we found out how simple this is to make, a pasta machine was ordered and while we still keep some dried pasta on the shelf, most of the time we make our own fresh pasta.
When possible, it’s best to use Italian tipo 00 Flour, which is very easy to source in Italy (about €1 per kilo) but I’ve yet to find a reliable source in Ireland.  Continue reading »

Plane food

A post by Deirdre at the food.ie

Last night I went to see the film Up in the Air and it reminded me of all the awful things about spending a lot of your time on planes for work.  Continue reading »

Last night was the first meeting of the newest wine club in Cork. Bubble Brothers called and the masses followed. Malene and Ben joined me with around 50 people attending the first meeting and the atmosphere was buzzing. The theme of the night was Champagne - mostly because BB imported the lovely bubbles first to Ireland. And who better to talk about Champagne than Valerie who just happens to be from the Champagne Region. We were treated to a movie about Champagne and Valerie added her fast knowledge to it.


The big numbers of g

Last night was the first meeting of the newest wine club in Cork. Bubble Brothers called and the masses followed. Malene and Ben joined me with around 50 people attending the first meeting and the atmosphere was buzzing. The theme of the night was Champagne – mostly because BB imported the lovely bubbles first to Ireland. And who better to talk about Champagne than Valerie who just happens to be from the Champagne Region.  Continue reading »

Regular or Sugar Free?

A post by Gavan at

Here we are at the end of the first month in this new year, which begs the big question, How’re you doing on your resolutions? Did you know the #1 new year resolution that people made was to eat healthier? I read that somewhere so don’t quote me on it but I’m not surprised. I think we all want to get healthier don’t we? One trick to get there is to know what you eat and that means reading labels.  Continue reading »

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I’ve heard all the reasons for customers to dislike supermarket’s buy one, get one free offers. They can make us buy things we don’t really want or need. They can encourage us to overspend on products we’ll never get to eat. They’re often on perishable goods, and a lot of the food ends up in the bin, causing environmental damage and leaving a heavy carbon footprint.  Continue reading »

Special Buys at Lidl

A post by peter at CheapEats.ie

An interesting email arrived from our reader Wendy Cullinane this morning:
I am on a mission because I was very disappointed to discover Lidl is attempting to pull the wool over my eyes.  I have been purchasing Lidl’s own brand of plain flour for more than 9 months.  The price averages at 82 cents per 2 kg bag.  This is consistent with numerous Lidl outlets in the Cork and Kerry region.
Usually I paid 74 cents for a 3Kg bag of flour.  I saw the price jumped after Christmas to 92 cents.  Continue reading »

Today Mike is tasting a great, inexpensive alternative to Rioja. This Toro picked up a Silver Medal in Decanter’s World Wine Awards last year, and it left our guests at the Recession Busters wine tasting in awe of its superior price / quality ratio.

To view product page and for more details, click on Quinta el Refugio Tinto Toro.  Continue reading »

Special Buys at Aldi

A post by peter at CheapEats.ie

A random recommendation: Aldi’s “Liskeel” organic probiotic natural yogurt. I picked some up last week and they beat similar offerings from Lidl, Rachel’s, Glenisk and even the delicious Killowen yogurt. As it happens, the Aldi yogurts are unsurprisingly cheaper, but let’s forget about value for just a moment: they’re simply nicer. Thick, smooth and naturally creamy, this natural yogurt is perfect. Good for lining the hungover stomach too!  Continue reading »

Last night, RTE’s Nationwide had a piece on Val Manning of that famous institution, Mannings Emporium at Ballylicky, West Cork.
Anyone travelling on the road north of Bantry on the way to Glengarrif, Kenmare and Killarney will have passed this little shop with the grand name; anyone with a modicum of interest in food will have been compelled to stop and enjoy Val’s company and stories.  Continue reading »