One of a kind! As a county it is fair to say Carlow nurtures creativity and individuality, supporting crafts people, small businesses and indeed the many artisanal food producers who are dotted around the county.
Visit Carlow and your taste buds will literally be spoilt for choice. Experience the wonderful flavours and delicious produce, handmade following traditional methods of cooking. Keeping in touch with their roots our producers support the farm to fork model as they make use of products sourced from local farmers in an Agri strong community. Here’s a flavour of the choices available to you….
Passionate about cheese? Elizabeth Bradley, maker of Carlow Farmhouse Cheese most certainly is, having studied cheese making both in Ireland and Haute Savoie in France. Today Elizabeth produces a distinctively rich selection of chesses, which represent a true expression of regional flavour. Elizabeth is a strong advocate of the concept of ‘terroir’ – taste being local. Her cheeses are made from her neighbour’s milk and her own flock of sheep. Situated in Fenagh near the foothills of Mount Leinster, the team at Carlow Farmhouse Cheese truly believes in the direct interaction between farmer and consumer and this ethos is central to their business ethic.
Malone Fruit Farm, situated in Closh near Ballon, produces over 30 varieties of jams, juices and preservers. All produce is available from the farm shop and the local farmers market in Carlow town. They started out in 1988 by purchasing just 2 acres of land to grow strawberries. Today they harvest a variety of fresh fruits on 12 acres In 1999 they commenced the production of their own jams and jellies and since expanded their range to offer a variety of jams, jellies, marmalades, chutneys, fruit tonics and cordials. Whether your preference is sweet or savoury we recommend you drop in and experience flavours to suit all tastes.
Life is all about simple indulgences so cosy up after an eventful day and enjoy the authentic French cakes and pastries from Émile Pâtissier.
Made for every life event, there’s simply no excuse needed to make that purchase. Visit the family business in Carlow town and explore their range of artisan desserts and confectionary products. They are so passionate about making the most amazing cakes and desserts possible using the finest natural ingredients. They make all fillings, decorations and glazes from scratch using no artificial additives. Go on treat yourself you deserve it …
Garryhill, County Carlow is home to the first commercial snail farm in Ireland. Initial experiments on rearing the common brown snail started out in a 1 bedroom apartment in Kilkenny in 2013, following a trip away and a desire to eat escargot upon their return home to Ireland. Today Eva Milka and her partner breed in excess of 500,000 free-range edible snails, which they export worldwide including to markets such as Dubai & Singapore.
It’s all outdoor and it’s all organic. County Carlow and the Irish weather conditions are ideal for snail farming. To try a little escargot for yourself you can purchase directly from the farm. Now don’t be slow about giving it a go!
A wonderful example of how far hard work, an entrepreneurial outlook and a dedication to the land can bring you. The Mulhall family converted their family farm to organic in 2001. They subsequently established that the route to market for their produce was a difficult one. There were few local options at the time to reach their target customer audience aside from the weekly Carlow Farmers Market. So with true entrepreneurial grit and determination they opened a food hall in Carlow town. The fare on offer is locally sourced artisan produce with much of the food coming from their own farming enterprise. A visit to Coolanowle Foodhall will enable you to take home fresh locally sourced produce from the butchers, the delicatessen or just stop and enjoy lunch in the Bistro.
Food makes everything better and as Natalie Cassells is a known feeder a visit to her cookery school just outside Rathvilly is sure to put a smile on your face. Natalie’s quest is to fill your belly with delicious food and fill your heart with laughter. Operating her cookery school for over 10 years, it’s a perfect place for those wanting to fall in love with food and have a little laughter thrown into the mix. And how did it all begin you might ask? Well the answer is simple, it all came to be because of a blue tractor! Natalie created a tractor like cake for a family birthday. The amazement of everyone who saw and tasted it re-ignited her love for food and catering. Natalie commenced a catering business in Dublin and years later opened her own cookery school when they relocated to her husband’s home farm here in Carlow.
Add a little sunshine to your life! Operating since 1998, following the conversion of the old family milking parlour into a production unit, Sunshine Juice is now the largest freshly squeezed orange juice producer nationally. Paul Walshe and the team offer a wide range of award winning fresh fruit and vegetable juices in addition to smoothies and fresh fruit salads. For the health conscious amongst us the Sunshine Juice selection packs a tasty punch and can be sourced from a large number of retail outlets around the county.
The Thrive Tribe! They absolutely mean it at Thrive Café when they say they want you to Thrive. You can join the team for yoga, Pilates or cooking demos. There’s also a co working and innovation hub. Its all centred on the passion of the team in the café. Their objective is to provide a tasty and nutritious meal bringing out the best in your body. All food is free from preservatives, artificial ingredients and refined sugars. Operating since 2018, they source only the freshest of local ingredients that are packed with the maximum nutrients. If you’re looking for a meal which supports your well-being and provides you with energy that will fuel your day, then stop by on the Main Street in Tullow next time your passing through.
Bringing a taste of Greece to Carlow. Add a little tahini to your life! Petros and Catherine Konsoulas offer a wide range of Greek products such as their award winning extra virgin olive oil, sauces, dips and tahini. They produce their own tahini in Ballon using a secret family recipe that offers a delicious smooth taste with a wonderful aroma. Perfect for making hummus or add it to your porridge. You will always find this dynamic duo at the Carlow Farmers Market with an abundant selection of artisan produce for you to choose from.